What’s up in Q1 2022?

Imposter syndrome, community fatigue & new role

Intro

It’s one month into Q2, and I wasn’t sure whether to write a review of my Q1 or not.
But any kind of planning is in need of a reflection from previous events. I’m fickle, I know.🤣
So, here’s my Q1 review.

What was it?

In my Year 2021 Retrospective, I said I want to double down on:
  1. Community Building,
  1. Building in Public
  1. No Code Asia; to“processized” and productized the community.
While 1 and 2 are OK, not so much for 3. More on that below.
Petaling Street, KL // January 2022 // Taken with Konica C35 Automatic + Fuji Xtra 400
Petaling Street, KL // January 2022 // Taken with Konica C35 Automatic + Fuji Xtra 400

What happened in Q1?

I was working on a community builder stack, and learning about community building business with Tatiana in her Build a Community Business cohort-based course.
I was so excited by the new-found knowledge, and have drafted an ambitious roadmap for No Code Asia. Then, the imposter syndrome came, crushing all my plans.
The thing is, building a community is easy, but managing and scaling it alone, is so hard!
I should’ve asked for help, but I blame my introversion and overthinking for the blocker.
So, what did I do?

I started looking for a distraction job.

I asked around my circle if they needed help with their business. Even if it’s for a low pay.
I wanted a new challenge, but not for free. Being paid is good for peace of mind.
Ramadan was nearing, still nothing better to do and nobody had anything for me, so I thought, “Maybe I should just go back to do some agency gigs”.

Back to my agency.

❣️
A bit of the history of my agency, Jerami.tech is another spinoff of the previous “Jerami” mentioned in a post here. It was formed in the middle of 2020 during the earlier COVID-19 as a full-stack development agency with a partner who was in charge of marketing. Sadly, the partner decided to quit the company to pursue her studies in PhD and moved to the UK. That’s when I introduced the “Fractional CTO” service I enjoyed doing a lot.
I still have some retainers with enough pay, but I couldn’t get new projects in. I think it’s a mental thing, everything’s just not right.
Didn’t get anything done, except for chasing one client who hadn’t paid for almost 3 months. Have to drop them in the end. Another blow.

The unexpected DM.

While drafting a payment notice to my retainers, a Twitter DM came in.
It was “Xxx Xxx” from “Xxxxxxxx” (*I will reveal when I’m comfortable enough to share).
Apparently, one of the people that I approached earlier had told them (let’s use they/them for now) about me looking for a job. I was happy but at the same time sceptical, since I had a failed attempt before.
Some backstory; they had multiple burnouts last year, and were looking for help in the technical area of their company. It’s a small company of 4 — them as a solo founder, with a full-time virtual assistant, a freelance copywriter and a freelance graphics designer. None of them with technical experience except for the founder. That’s where I am expected to come to the rescue.
In the next few weeks, we tried to outline my exact role to compensate for what the company is lacking.
The founder is a techie, but only as a power user. And they are very familiar with Notion, Airtable, Zapier, etc (to name a few). So, what’s in it for me, right?
They were looking for a backup, a mirror to their role, which for me, was a big turn-off. To me, it’s like another freelance/contract work. I wouldn’t mind though. To be honest, I could just accept the offer and work for 2-3 months, enough to start fresh with whatever I was planning to do. And, the pay is actually not bad at all.
But still, it just doesn’t feel right. We then agreed to take a break one weekend to think it through.

Best role?

On a Tuesday after the much-needed weekend break, they DMed me during my dinner. I almost gave up at this time and thought they would, too.
Twitter DM
Twitter DM
Intrigued but too lazy to hop into a call, we continued chatting via Twitter DM.
For the first time, we finally “agreed” on something. A better role for me.
It started from merely just the automation-tech-guy to a more refined project+automation manager. A working title, but at least the role is much clearer. And automation is something that they wanted to go deep into, but didn’t have the capacity to actually work on it.
We had a Zoom call a few days later, and it was a done deal.
And the next Sunday after, I officially became their 3rd full-time employee. The 5th member of the team. With a slight increase to the initial pay they’ve offered before.🎉
Miri, Sarawak // December 2021 // Taken with Konica C35 Automatic + Fuji Superia 200
Miri, Sarawak // December 2021 // Taken with Konica C35 Automatic + Fuji Superia 200

So, what’s next in Q2?

I’m now in week 3 of my employment. We’ve already planned out our Q2 and Q3 milestones respectively. Still too early to predict, but so far so good.
I’m still trying to get used to having a real job. The last time I worked for a company/startup was in 2019. After that, it’s all freelance gigs.
The best thing to add is, even though the founder is based in the US, the rest of the gang are scattered in the Asia-Pacific timezone.
In fact, the founder is planning to do some nomading this year with South East Asia as their main destination of choice.
It might be the best time for a short trip since we’re close to each other.
Bali anyone? Hanoi? KL?🤣

And, how about the rest?

This new role will be my top priority.
But I won’t stop working on my “building in public with no-code” projects.
What I gained through this role, I will replicate and share them on this website.
And as for No Code Asia, the website/platform and the Discord server will still be there.
I will add in the rest of the new members that I should have added last year.
My apologies for the delays. I might share more details in the coming posts.

Outro

2022 has been good to me. I’m glad I was able to deal with my imposter syndrome as soon as I got it. I just needed a good gig as a distraction, which ended up a full-time role.
I’m psyched! but at the same time, cautious. I still have the shiny object syndrome to deal with.
That’s it for Q1. Wish me luck!🥰

Q2, let’s go!

🦓
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