This is going to be a long post.
Saying that 2020 has been tough would be an understatement. Things here on the Kidando.net platform have been slow. No podcast episode or blog post in months. I was asked the other day if I had essentially moved on from blogging.
No… was the answer that came out of my mouth. But it was accompanied by a short pause. Then a series of explanations for why I hadn’t published anything in a while. Then another pause. Then a realization that something was very wrong.
Imagine a soldier that’s been fighting a war for a really long time. I suddenly felt like I had been so engulfed in the chaos of fighting that war… that I might have forgotten to analyze the battlefield.
Make no mistake, I knew why I was fighting. But I don’t think I paid too much to how the battle was evolving. How the enemy was evolving. Or whether I, myself, was even evolving as all.
The battlefield tends to change over time. The land you fight on is destroyed and re-structured from the effects of heavy bombing. Enemies constantly changing their positions. You constantly having to restrategize.
I thought about the last time I strategized. Did I cover all the corners?
To keep it simple, if the strategy you are currently applying to make progress towards your goal is actually giving you forward motion… then it’s working. But if it is keeping you in the same situation or worse, taking you back to where you began… then you really need to restrategize.
The one rule I learned about making effective progress towards something even as you go through challenges is this:
Never let a challenge set you back. Especially for a prolonged period of time. Because that will give another challenge the opportunity to add to that setback.
The language of progress is forward. Never backwards or standing still. Whether you take 3 steps forwards or 0.5 steps forwards… as long as it is not 0 or negative, you are making progress.
Those are the standards I try hold myself accountable to.
So… what happens next?
Well, I took the time to analyze what I needed to do next. But I obviously had to start by understanding my problem.
I’m talking mostly about the direction of my online presence and not just the kidando.net blog+podcast.
So I’m going to share with you a breakdown of how I’m tackling things. And it will be structured in this way:
For me, this is very obvious. My biggest problem with my online presence is clarity of purpose. Which happens to be the root cause of so many other smaller problems.
I’m a person that is interested in a lot of stuff having to do with computers or what computers can create. From making music to making 3d art, to typing outposts on self-development.
Clearly, this can be a challenge for anyone trying to define themselves online if they insist on sharing all these things they currently balance.
I mean, most marketing courses about online branding teach you that it is important to focus on 1 thing at a time. Because you might risk confusing your audience.
If you have a website that has posts on your travels, tutorials for python programmers, interviews with marine biologists all in one place… it may be hard for you to come up with a brief elevator pitch when someone asks, “what do you do?”.
Which makes sense, right?
Well… maybe during the early days of getting to know social media.
This is not the case today.
I think I figured out that it is possible to share my interest in music, software development, business development, digital art, self-development, and game development.
Why settle down as a single product brochure while you can be an entire magazine?
Here’s the thing.
People are no longer “beginner consumers” of internet content. We have become sophisticated consumers. We devour content of all shapes and sizes.
This is has allowed internet personalities or people with brands online to also explore and experiment with how they publish that content.
What we put online is no longer just the work we have ALREADY DONE. The people and places we ALREADY SAW. We are now giving people updates on what we are doing RIGHT NOW. Sometimes in real-time, sometimes after we just finished making a bit of progress ongoing project. What people are starting to understand is that our online presence can actually be an “extension” of our very selves in real-time. Most importantly, extensions of what we want to show about ourselves.
Well, truth be told, many arrived at this conclusion years ago. The rest are just catching up.
Publishing content isn’t just about sharing images of your food, cat, house, car, or family. It can also be about what you think is the cool recipe. What do you think is a great book. What you are working on that is interesting to you. What obstacles you are facing as you try to make your first website.
Plus, you don’t have to publish with the aim of pleasing people. Authenticity is very important for your brand presence especially when you are thinking long term. Don’t think of yourself as “posting on social media”. Start thinking of it as “sharing something with people that might get… or who think like me”. Essentially, what you share online could be no different from what you would share when you were face to face with the people that follow you.
We don’t think of the person on Instagram live as a person creating an Instagram live video… no… we feel more and more like they are really there and not just behind a phone’s camera.
Take zoom meetings, for instance.
Though, the choice to have zoom meetings instead of in-person meetings had a rough start earlier in the year for the general public… today… holding zoom meetings has become an effective marketing strategy for a lot of entrepreneurs, entertainers, learning institutions… etc. In some cases being more effective at solving problems than having to wait to do in-person meetings.
I’m not saying they are a replacement… rather, they are an extension. They allow you to do more… or at the very least, they allow you to keep things moving. Why shut down your learning institution because of the pandemic, if you can at the very least, hold zoom classes?
Look at websites.
They are no longer boring pages of single-column content (I’m working on my website too, be patient). Instead, they are works of art. Or complex puzzles to solve. Garnering millions of views a day.
No one complains that a website is complicated anymore. If they do… they probably do it in private.
Jokes aside, my point is that the people and the platforms are evolving.
Back to me. What are the opportunities I’m missing right now?
But for the longest time, like many people, I never really embraced making money online as being something I would invest 100% of time and effort in. But the truth is right in front of our eyes. You can make a fortune in the online space if you figure out how best to present what you offer.
People are sharing recipes, how to grow fruits and vegetables, how to draw, make music, play video games… and they are retiring before 35.
Look. It’s not like I don’t think about some of these things… sometimes it takes time for some of us to move from thinking about stuff to implementing stuff.
But luckily, the more we compare the online world to how we do some things in the physical world… things can start to make even more sense (and cents). Your personal domain or website is like your own plot of land. Develop it. Build things that will attract eyes. The value of that domain will go up.
But the point I’m making here is that there is an opportunity to share with the world, your genuine thoughts on what you are passionate about or good at. Your take will always offer a fresh perspective on what you talk or blog about. No two chefs are the same. Not two chefs have the same goal. No two people making great food that people like even need to be professional chefs.
Eventually, both can go down two very different paths that end up making them experts of their “styles”.
The other day I watched a video by Ian Hubert – World Building in Blender. If you are not a blender user or aren’t too interested 3d graphics, you may not understand it too well. But essentially, this guy talks about how he developed the skill to build worlds. He did it without going down the “traditional” or expected route you would need to take to build those worlds. Instead, he used only the basics, his imagination, and his creativity to create amazing results. He was even part of the production of an Ed Sheeran music video.
Because of sharing his work over the years, he has become an expert in the eyes of many in his field.
We won’t always get the chance to be around people who truly understand or share similar goals with us in the physical world. But right now, thousands of kilometers away, there are people that think and dream like you. I am a part of networks that motivate, educate, and even assist me when possible on everything related to my industry/interest.
But these communities were already established by others. People who started off like me. And so I have the opportunity to do the same. The self-development movement is one that many people in my small circle are already very interested in. There is more I can do here. I can use my online presence and take the initiative to do more.
For instance, I feel like I can teach some of the technical skills that I learned over the years like programming or web design. These things almost always do better when there is a community behind them. A place where people can discuss new what they learn. Get help when they get stuck. These are what I think I’m missing out on most based on how far I have come.
Not too many, this is very obvious stuff I’m talking about. But again, and I’m sure you struggle with this as well… to talk is 1 thing. To execute is something completely different.
I’m willing to admit that I’m a slow learner. Sometimes I have to go through so many setbacks before I finally pull the trigger and get to work on what matters. I don’t hate myself for it. It’s how I am wired. But I’m grateful that at the end of the day, I eventually get to execute.
To be honest. This is all about getting your “ish” together. The most important thing I need to keep in mind is that I’m trying to project my personality online in the most responsible and respectful way possible.
Just… like… in… real… life…
The internet is often treated as a place that is very different from the real world. And in many cases it is different. However, the same people you meet in the real world are the same people that go online. I don’t think many of us face-time with AI programs…
SIDENOTE: I just had to be sure that I was saying something I was going to regret. So I looked it up and… lo and behold The Rise of Cyber Models and AI Accounts on Instagram.
Anyway, the solution to my issue is straightforward. I need to double down on my efforts to showcase the stuff that interests me… that people already think is okay. And I need to ensure that my platform and other social media accounts are better configured to accommodate that. Meaning I need to update the website and clean up my social media accounts.
There should be no ambiguity when it comes to my online presence. Some content creators think it’s okay that they balance multiple personas (i.e. that they sort of run different content as different personalities), but I think for what I want to do… it will only be hard to manage. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t tried before.
The goal is clarity. And for me, that means being comfortable with how I like to work. Today, I draw. Tomorrow I music. The day after that I play Nuclear Throne. It’s how I spend my time in the real world anyway.
But I obviously have to be a bit more organized about it. Magazines may talk about 100 things in 1 issue or 1 day, but it’s done in a way that is pretty “consumable” and not very complicated.
I have been designing interfaces since the mid-2000s, I think I can pull it off.
This means I’m also doing a complete rebrand. I teased my new logo on social media.
It’s origami. The art of paper folding. Making art out of folding paper. Creating a crane, dinosaur, frog, plane, or terminator.
I think that best symbolizes what I’m all about. I have many interests and I don’t want to be confined to just one thing online if offline I engage in multiple things.
This isn’t something I started working on just the other day. It’s been years in the making. I just feel that up until recently, I hadn’t checked in with myself to take note of the evolving landscape. And how it massively supports my initial goal.
To be honest, I’m not coming up with a new plan. Again, nothing really new for me. But just to give you a little insight into how I’m going about it…
Although I don’t follow it 100% like a true robocop, I am committed to always getting back to check on my schedule what I should be doing at any given time. For this, I use LibreOffice Calc which is just a spreadsheet tool like MS Excel or Google Sheets.
Many people are convinced that there are some people who simply have more than 24 hours to work with when it comes to pursuing goals. But the reality is that effective pursuers know how to plan, execute on, and account for what they do with the same 24 hours everyone else seems to struggle to manage. It’s not easy… but if you are more intentional with your time, you will be surprised just how much of it you always had.
It is during moments like this, that I just turn my brain off and relax. I stop thinking about my dream, coz I might risk thinking of justifications for quitting. Instead, I just try to make the other side of my brain take control for a while. And have fun.
Responsibly…. Most of the time…
I need to remind myself that it is okay to just binge watch anime, play video games, watch movies, take a walk, travel, visit friends… so that I can feed different content to mind. It’s like how you maintain a healthy body diet. You have to be by mixing up your foods and exercises. We are multi-faceted. Argue in meaningless but respectful debates from time to time. It’s a skill you are going to need anyway.
Like I have said, I have done the logo. Currently working on the website. Started currently putting my next e-book on hold. Turns out there are still a few things I need to learn about the subjects I write about.
Put the podcast on hold.
Now hear me out.
The podcast is something I have come to enjoy doing. But truth be told… I can’t handle it right now. So instead, I shall go back to blogging. The podcast will make a return when I can at least know that I will be a bit more consistent. It requires time. Production and post-production times are hard for me to make time for right now. But blogging… I can blog during the wee hours of the night without worrying about waking up the neighbors.
So for now… please let’s just clap for how Leon Oscar Kidando was able to produce 29 full episodes!!! It wasn’t easy.
I’m currently working on a game I started about 4 years ago. It’s had such a disappointing development story… but at least this year, I was able to restart it, and looks like it’s destined to land in the project folder labeled “completed”. This year? Don’t think so. The best I can hope for based on where I have reached is a really small demo. Just to kick start the enthusiasm with the fan base I built back then.
They probably moved on… but let's see. There’s a lot I have learned about game development over the years. I am no beginner.
I’m going to be making music more seriously as well. That is one side that I feel has gotten the least amount of attention from me, especially online. This is strange considering it’s the first skill of the ones I mentioned above, that I ever learned. Back in around 2003.
To be frank, I allowed the process of “growing up” and “adulting” to interfere with my love for the craft. I substituted sinking my teeth deep in music… for what they tell us we should focus on when we are in college and when we are looking to build a good future.
I should not have believed them. Those things were for others… they were not for me.
Anyway, I see my kid-like passion slowly coming back to me.
Last but not least, I have been working hard to make sure that my core business which is providing IT solutions… gets off the ground. Again, it’s been a tough year. And running a company is not an easy thing to do. But thanks to the help of my business partner, it’s a challenge we are managing to overcome.
I shall speak more about that on this platform. I have learned a ton and I think the stuff I have learned is worth sharing on this platform. It is said that self-development eventually leads to business development. There is a lot of people who want to understand what to do and how to get started. So why not share what I already know and have experienced?
I have written a ton! And it’s mostly about me. But my intention was not just to update you but to share with you a tale of a person who has been and still is on a journey to figure things out. I am not yet where I need to be but I am definitely on my way there.
This is where I am now. This is what I’m working on. This is what I will be driving for the rest of the year and beyond. I have grown. I have learned. And I feel very capable. Best of all… I have already gotten the ball rolling.
The rest we will see as time passes.
Now, how about you? What is your 2020 and beyond looking like? Have you had a moment similar to mine? Are you going to think about your own journey after this? What do you wanna be, attain, or do when you grow up?
Do you have a website? Do you think it’s time to invest in building an online presence that better represents who you are now and what you are working towards?
Let me know in the comment section below.
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