Week 3: THINKING TAKES A LOT OF ENERGY (that’s why over-thinking is the worst and makes you sleepy) - Building Studiolist

  
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Studiolist is the largest search-engine of voiceover recording studios for voiceover artists, audiobook narrators, YouTube creators, and podcasters.

2020 is my last shot to make my 2017-born startup studiolist.org profitable* with a „labor budget” of 32h a week and a money budget of 12k EUR (which are all my savings).

*profitable means € 767 / mo, because these are my current fix costs: naii.io/2020/costs in an average month.

I’m documenting everything on YouTube (naii.io/youtube), on my blog (building.studiolist.org) and on Substack: naii.io/studiolist (blog and newsletter).


These are the questions I answered for week 3 in 2020 building Studiolist.org:

  • How are you doing? 00:49

  • What did you work on this week? 01:39

  • Obstacles 06:11

  • Solutions 08:58

  • Want to work on next week 11:00

  • Anything else? 12:12

Condition / Constitution / Mood

  • Lots of sleep (not sure why, but probably because of eating insufficiently)

  • last weekend was without work - only free time, music-making, dancing at Tresor (Berlin) with a friend, and again sleeping (a lot, e.g. 18.5h from Sun to Mon)

  • Had some days where I felt the roof was falling on my head and had many thoughts (too many thoughts) - felt overwhelmed regarding Studiolist (so many ideas that popped into my head)

Worked on this week

It was a week with lots of thinking, admin work, and things I didn’t plan to do but still, this is what I worked on:

MIT (Most important things):

  • 👷‍♂️ publish version 0.1 of Studiolist - a simple table that is sortable, searchable, and filterable

    • I didn’t publish it because I found out about Tailwind CSS (a CSS framework) that I want to use but it takes some time to learn it

  • ❌ design Hugo blog like Substack blog - I didn’t prioritize it and I still had conversations about the localhost issue through the Hugo community

The time I spent on Studiolist and Studiolist-related activities incl. documenting this week: 12 hours and 34 minutes. I haven’t completed this week’s episodes so you can another 2–3 hours to it. My goal is to spend 20 hours with Studiolist.

Also:

  • ✅ Started the official Studiolist blog hosted via Ghost(Pro) - called „Copywriting Examples“ (website is already up, the content will follow) - the plan to get traffic to Studiolist via those blog articles

  • ✅ Lots of technical things I dealt with but Studiolist progress in terms of something one can see is close to nil (one shouldn’t underestimate how much work/effort is necessary behind the scenes of a product/service)

  • ✅ Three new episodes of my Stoic Serenity podcast

  • 👷‍♂️ Dealing with feedback: Receiving pretty direct feedback from my brother saying „The Studiolist website sucks“ was hard to swallow

    • Of course, I know it does not look like something good at the moment but I also know that there are so many other things that were important than the website… the site worked fine for now, but now it’s time to make it prettier - therefore his feedback was timely

    • And then another kind of feedback that I received where that person had good intentions but it was not encouraging but rather destructive (didn’t appreciate that); she wanted to challenge my perspective and make me think much more long-term (like 5–10 years) in terms of making Studiolist profitable; that’s advice that I don’t need at the moment because - if listening to it - it would kill my momentum (which I don’t want, of course)

Obstacles

  • Lots of naps

  • Theater group

  • Feeling overwhelmed with so many thoughts in my head

  • Feeling impatient when realizing that I don’t make progress as much as I would want because that thing needs to be done before the other thing (which I didn’t know before)

  • This compulsive feeling that I have to have an inbox with zero emails so that I have peace of mind and work on what’s really important and urgent

  • Administration like domain set up on Ghost(Pro) or doing finances (I HATE DOING FINANCES; as soon as I can afford it, I will hire a virtual assistant who does that for me; I’m (very) happy I have a tax consultant already)

  • Communication via the various online communities and via Basecamp especially former client (instead of scheduled 10 minutes it became 1h45m) but that’s over now with her

  • Social life, e.g. the new year’s concert I went with my grandma (it was a misunderstanding and it did cost 5h30m of my time on Friday; it’s why I didn’t send this week’s episode of Building Studiolist on Friday)

  • Perfectionism, afraid of shipping what’s imperfect and therefore procrastinate though I got better at it

  • Integrating my Stoic Serenity podcast into my daily routine - should I really do it as the first thing of the day? It could „steal“ valuable energy…

  • Doing other work that is less important, like making a logo for Copywriting Examples and a banner (I did as part of setting up my Ghost(Pro) blog so it was kind of important but not right now)

  • Dealing with distractions like feedback

Solutions

  1. Focussing on only the important + urgent work right now (be less scattered)

  2. Breaking down bigger pieces into smaller chunks of work to avoid overwhelm

  3. Resist the urge to check emails multiple times per day - review Solution #5 from Week 1

  4. Make Friday my finances day (Monday stays my clean inbox day)

  5. Have a dedicated amount of time for my social channels (WIP, Indie Hackers, seanwes, Copy Chief, Telegram, WhatsApp, calls?), this could be 20 minutes, 40 minutes or an hour

Previously mentioned solutions

  • 👷‍♂️ Meditation in the morning (not every day but some) - still super valid!

  • 👷‍♂️ Going to bed earlier (worked partly) / Adding more self-discipline to get into a less messed up sleeping cycle

  • 👷‍♂️ Starting the habit of checking my emails only twice a day.

  • ❌ Starting the habit of having 3–5 meals and micro meals

  • ❌ Starting the habit to go to my studio office

  • ❌ Starting the habit of letting an 8-hour countdown run on my phone

  • ❌ Starting the habit of cleaning my inbox only once a week (Monday morning) and checking what I’m calling my „social inbox” (social media) every Friday afternoon.

  • ❌ Stretching the night before going to bed helped to relieve the lower back pain (only did this in week 2 but not in week 3 anymore)

It’s still all a bit wild and all over the place. But I’m positive I’ll establish a working routine soon.

Want to work on next week

Nothing. It’s my sabbatical that I’m taking every 7 weeks for one week.

During this time, I can recharge and be lazy, get intentional distance from my obligations, work on other projects or travel. I’ll see what I’m going to do. I will live from day to day and plan nothing. That is the point of this kind of sabbatical.

My overall goal with taking sabbaticals is: I don’t want to work more than 180 days per year on my business.

You can see all my pending todos publicly on WIP.chat: wip.chat/@alexanderkluge/pending.

Anything else?

  • finances - credit card fraud solved puh

  • stopped working as a professional with my last client - this means I just gained 12 more hours for Studiolist (in total about 32h per week); we’ll continue as collaborators

  • renewed my Copy Chief subscription (I was hesitant to do so because of my shrinking budget but then deiced that 799 USD will be a good investment for the year - especially regarding Copywriting Examples)

  • Session 21 of theater group (great and effective and pre-session work was also well-appreciated)

  • finished „How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)” and started The Handmaid’s Tale (with „Peggy Olson“ from Mad Men - great actress!) - where I learned the Latin phrase „Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum“ (Don’t let the bastards grind you down)

  • learned a paraphrased version of a Bob Dylan quote that goes like: „A person is a success if they get up in the morning and they get to bed at night, and in between they do what they want to do.“ - LOVE IT!

  • had this thought: „You’re old when it’s taking you ages to make a decision.

  • read a great comic about belief-shifting and the backfire effect

I also want to express that I want to live 2020 as my dream year which includes:

  • building up Studiolist (obviously) and documenting it weekly,

  • but also sharing copywriting examples (through the official Studiolist blog),

  • working in my theater group,

  • sharing Stoic philosophy through text and voiceover,

  • creating audio-only ads (Harmon Brothers inspired) that includes learning how to make music,

  • and not to forget my little Tabata workout and meditation routine.

I’ll also be going to three voiceover/podcasting conferences (two in Orlando, Florida in March and one in London in May).

And - if the funds suffice - I’ll take the September off and travel around India. But that’s still uncertain.

All of that while living ascetically here in Berlin (Germany) with a lifestyle that costs around 767 EUR per month. Yes, the costs rose from 671 EUR to 767 EUR because I bought the Copy Chief subscription (799 USD/yr) and I included the planned (and upcoming costs for Ghost(Pro) which are 348 USD annually. I’m not afraid to make this investment and train myself to think boldly and with an abundance mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset - though my situation could (desperately) ask for a scarcity mindset.

Take care, and see you in two weeks!

The sabbatical is just coming at the right time. I want to relax, especially mentally.

Cheers,
- Alex

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