Published on: Jul 12 2021
So it all starts here. Well, not everything though. But since it's the first retrospective I'm writing, this is the start of this new journey. A journey of self-reflections and planning at the beginning of each month to allow me to see what I was up to during that month and review my achievements and failures.
These retrospectives will not be those focused on the business side (I have no business) with revenue reports or losses (or at least not yet). They'll rather be about the different sides (not so many 😅) I have, focusing both on my professional and personal lives. I want to read them later and really see a picture of how I was and what I was doing in a particular month in time.
Until the moment I publish this there will be no About Me section on this website, if you intend to read along I need to give you some context (not too much because it needs to go to this dedicated area 😆).
Until September last year, I was working on my own startup, which I started with a friend from university. I had been on this journey for more than 4 years and I was the guy responsible for the tech, working as a full-stack and managing our tech team of 2 more guys.
Being a founder in a small team is really challenging and due to my nature, I was mostly working all the time. After so many years with this routine, in 2020 I decided that it was time for me to pursue other things in life and left the startup. No successful exit, just a restart in my life and career.
Being an introvert, for all this time I was mostly the guy who stayed in the office coding and haven't made many connections in my local startup world.
It was only this year that I really discovered the Twitter part of the internet and started to put myself out there. Initially, I joined it to follow some well-known developers to stay tuned to updates on the technologies I work with. Soon after I realized the fun of joining the bird app is to actively participate in the community and interact with others.
So I started making baby steps towards being more active on Twitter and after a few months, I've met some really nice people doing great stuff! They inspired me to be a tiny member of the indie hacker and developer communities and seeing what they do motivated me to start these retrospectives.
I guess that's enough for a quick intro, so let's move to the important things!
June was a month that changed a lot of things in the way I had been living life this year 😂 Since I started using Twitter more, in mid-March, I could spend time there because I was not working and waiting for my Visa process to advance and relocate to Munich.
With this freedom, I could start being active on it and start connecting with people. That lead me to try creating some developer content sharing things I learned and to start building on an idea to impact content creators starting.
At the end of May, I got the news that the company for which I signed a contract in March would like me to start working remotely on the 15th of June. Until this news, I was planning to dedicate June to focus on building my project more heavily but with this, I had to prioritize other things. I still naively planned to work on it but this didn't work out! 🤦♂️
My goals were:
This was the biggest cause of change for everything 😆
After receiving the news I had to figure out how to open a company to work as a freelancer and that took much of my time in the first week of the month. In the second week, I tried to focus on studying some things I thought would be useful to learn before starting. That made me review some concepts and even start a Flexbox thread series (which I need to continue). In the end, I didn't study as planned but it wasn't needed.
In the other two weeks, after starting on the 15th, I spent the most time working, getting used to the code base and merging my first PRs, trying to adjust to the routine and creating a new one.
✅ Goal successfully achieved!
Knowing that I would start working I thought it was the right time for me to have my website and blog. Having my own space in the internet wasn't a thing for me but after seeing so many nice personal websites and blogs where people share whatever they like I wanted to have mine as well.
It took me more time than I expected but I'm happy with this first version. I still need to add more sections to it for people to get to know me a little bit when they come here but that will go slowly :)
✅ Goal successfully achieved!
Since I expected to finish the blog sooner I also planned to write two articles: How my journey to get the job was + How my first weeks went. I came not even close to write about it because I was still coding until the end of the month. I will put them on hold since I still need to prioritize what to write about.
❌ Goal failed
SourceClub is a project I came with the idea after seeing how hard it is for content creators to start getting their initial audience, which helps motivate them to keep on creating and not give up. Initially, I thought about a way to help them be found. However, after some interviews, I saw that what they need is a way to connect with other people also starting their journeys for them to help each other, interact, share tips and have accountability.
So I wrongly assumed that I would be able to build and launch the landing page but I stopped doing anything related to it to focus on the other goals. The last commit I made in the project was on the 20th of May, which shows how much I need to go back to it 😅
❌ Goal failed
One of the things I envision with this project is for content creators to participate in small close groups with people helping each other weekly.
This would be achieved by having something like Weekly Sprints where we could share plans, discuss and review. Since I haven't done more in the project I'm far from starting this but I hope I can turn this into reality 🙏
❌ Goal failed
June was a watershed for the year. As I said before, up until starting work I was having a routine of studying, trying to code some stuff, and interacting on Twitter. I stayed home all the time and continued with the sedentary life I had been sustaining since even before the pandemic. I knew I would go back to the gym one day but did nothing to make it comes sooner.
Knowing that I would have a new routine, I planned to start a better one rather than just start working. So I decided to go to trial CrossFit classes in the next week after I joined the company. I had been interested in doing it for a long time but I'd never been to any class.
After having the initial fundamental classes, I signed up for a 3 days-a-week plan and I'm really happy to be back to exercising! I'm really excited about working out and I hope to stick with this routine to lose weight and get close to the fitness level I used to have (which were not that much though 😂)
For me, this was the second biggest highlight this month 🙌
The biggest highlight was starting to work! 🤩 I'm super excited to have this new phase in my life, working for a company, having my 9-5! haha Previously I had my own startup so I didn't have really defined time to work and for myself. So I'm really happy with this change!
Due to the timezones I also started waking up at 5 am to have the daily stand-ups at 6 am and I'm enjoying it as well. This makes me leave work in the middle of the afternoon then I can try to create my own routine with exercises, study, building, and connecting with people.
I didn't think well enough about the things I could do to ensure I set realistic goals so I didn't achieve most of them. I also cannot be changing priorities a lot during the month otherwise I won't have a system to follow.
I spent too much time without doing anything about it and I need to get back to it. Otherwise, it'll either die and I won't continue with this aspiring indie hacker journey or see someone do it and be frustrated for not doing what I thought would be really cool to help people xD
This month was a really tough one for me regarding my time on Twitter. After I started with my work routine I didn't manage to interact or talk to people like I used to do. During my work hours, I'm not usually taking a break so I don't go to Twitter. Then when I leave work I try to interact a little bit but since I was figuring out my routine it was hard for me.
A good thing is that this July I'm trying to organize things better to be able to reconnect with people. I hope this will be a highlight for next month.
This is the section I want to show the progress in some areas I want to work on. Not necessarily I will be actively trying to reach some goals on them but they should be things I want to review at the end of every month. This way I can adjust some of my approaches or start focusing on some of them for the next month.
This month I haven't been so active as before. In May I had my best month interacting a lot, talking through DMs, having some calls and gaining 99 followers. Due to the new routine, I'm still finding my way through it again so hopefully in July I can connect with more friends!
My goal with Twitter is to connect with people to become friends and build a community together rather than just building an audience. However, it's important to look at these stats to see how active I was.
2 -Again, this was really impacted because I wasn't so active on Twitter. I want to have calls with people I meet there as a way to get to know each other and also with friends for us to catch up.
I started this in the last week of May with two things in mind: get to know more about the person I'd talk to and do user interviews for my project. I reached 4 people who I felt more comfortable with talking to and they all accepted the call :) I plan to go back to it in July!
4/30 -These were the days I was having trial CrossFit classes and the first class after I signed up. They all came in the end of the month but I'm happy I'm back at it 🙌
0 - I didn't intend to write anything since I wanted my blog to go live before. That's something I want to keep a count on since I want to write more technical articles and share my journey. At least I want to publish one article a month, the retrospective 😂
Inspired by a thread from @dansult, I thought it would be really nice if I could also record videos of me talking about how things are going in some moments of my life. Showing the real me like this would be an easy way for me to remember how my life was back then, instead of reading I would just watch me talking about it.
I've always thought about how I could "store" my thoughts and things that I was going through but never took action on it. Start writing retrospectives is the best thing that can push me to do it so I'm planning to stick with this habit. In the video below, I revisit the topics I wrote about so that I can watch it in the future (and see how I looked 😆):
That's it for the first retrospective! In this section I intend to show the plans for the next month but I still need to think about them better so I'll leave it for the next article.
If you've come so far, congrats for bearing with me and my writing, we should probably meet in real life one day 😂 If we still can't, I'd be happy if we could connect on Twitter (@c_rafael22) through DMs or even a video call 😜
Rafael Leitão, 2021 - Created with Next.JS and Chakra-UI