October review and being that guy

In the September review, I talked about what I would do during my social media break and said this:

— Go out to lunch with a lady (JUST KIDDING I’M SCARED TO ASK *cries*)

The above did not happen (I’m a big chicken), but I want to tell you how writing the above quote set me up for a huge lesson learned during the month of October.

Here’s the September review
Here’s the August review
Here’s the July review
Here’s the June review
Here’s the May review
Here’s the April review
Here’s the March review
Here’s the February review
Here’s the January review
Here’s the 2016 review

When I resigned from the tutoring service in late June, I went on a month-long application spree (read the July review). Fortunately, the spray-and-pray method resulted in me getting three interviews within a couple of weeks and a company saying yes. Thus, I’m currently and happily employed.

However, there were a couple of companies I applied to at the time of the application spree who just got back to me in October and invited me to take separate tests for each. I didn’t want to say no because these seem to be rare opportunities. Passing the test meant being a finalist for the job, so I was not a lock at all, but I had passed a hurdle hundreds had not.

Given the organizations, I’m not allowed to talk about the specifics of the tests (and I’m not going to name the organizations except that they’re non-gaming. One of the jobs would be a high five figures with the chance at six very quickly, the other’s pay rate would be really good).

The first test was on a weekend, and it was right after the first javascript bootcamp session (separate post about my bootcamp experience coming soon). Thank goodness it was right after, I absolutely did not want to skip the first or any session because that would have looked really bad.

The test was 3 hours, but given the pace, it felt like it was just one hour. During the instructions for each part of the test, we were offered an opportunity to ask questions and receive clarification.

The early parts of the test were a little difficult but passable; it was more about being brisk. There was no need to ask questions.

Then came a part where it was absolutely brutal because the example in the direction said one thing and the booklet showed something else.

I wondered what I could have done to better myself in that part. Could I have asked for clarification before it began? But by the time I could think about it, the next part started, and it was just as tough. No rest for the weary. The pace continued this way through several parts. No time to think about what if.

Why was I being hesitant? This is a job that would put me at my highest salary ever and I was not being assertive! I was being too scared to ask questions.

Things were so promising, and it was starting to slip away. I wasn’t sure where I stood on the test, but recency bias led me to believe it was bad yet salvageable. There were only a couple of parts remaining.

In the penultimate part, the instructor gave us the directions and how-to, and I thought I understood but it was a little iffy. Once the testing in the part began, the task was rapid-fire, and before I realized what was really going on, I had missed some answers.

When that part of the test ended, I screamed in my head: “WHY DIDN’T I ASK A QUESTION!?!?!”

Why didn’t I?

Then it hit me … nobody during the whole test had asked a question. But screw everyone else, why didn’t I ask a question?

There was only one reason.

I was too scared to ask questions because I didn’t want to be ‘that guy.’

This was a 3-hour test, and there’s some guy asking questions and holding everything up and making us be here longer than we should because he can’t understand it the first time?

There’s a big difference between being ‘that guy’ vs. ‘the guy.’

‘That guy’ gets remembered for something stupid, for not being smart enough, for being completely lame. Don’t be ‘that guy.’ You’ve probably been told in the past to not be ‘that guy.’

You don’t want to be ‘that guy.’ You want to be ‘the guy,’ because ‘the guy’ is the one who is the hero, the one who gets the accolades. ‘That guy’ is who everyone wants to avoid becoming.

It reminded me of when I went to a coding meetup earlier this year and mistook one program for another in front of a big group of freelancers and entrepreneurs. Most people wouldn’t have even recognized the mistake but one notable person did. A couple of months later, I met the same person at another coding meetup.

“Oh hi, you’re that guy who (insert mistake here).”

The person remembered me not by Glenn and not that we went to the same meetup months earlier, but because of THAT ONE MISTAKE!

The only action that seemed doable for me at that moment was to smile at the person and scream internally. Yep. To that person, I was ‘that guy.’ Ugh.

It doesn’t take too much to be ‘that guy.’

It could be allowing multiple home runs, or slipping on a bike on the downtown streets with a lot of people watching, or hitting the wrong notes on a song.

Remember back in April, when I challenged myself to go on 3 dates with women and didn’t even attempt one? It was because I was fearful of being ‘that guy’ if a lady rejected me and then interacted with me at a later time. I still feel that way to this day, AND YES I KNOW I SHOULD NOT BE FEARFUL OF GETTING REJECTED when asking women out to lunch/juice/whatever but being ‘that guy’ makes me hesitant.

Back to the test, I was frustrated at myself for not asking a question at the penultimate part, and part of it was because I was fearful of being ‘that guy’ who held everyone up for a test. Asking a question was the thing to do and yet I was too scared to ask.

There was one more part to the test, and the instructions were just as confusing. I tried to understand it as best as possible, but I couldn’t. This was it. If I didn’t do well here, I could forget even being considered for the job.

When the instructor asked whether there were any questions, I raised my hand. Screw it. I’m going to be ‘that guy’ if it means passing this test.

“So I just want to make sure that …” and I explained my take on what was supposed to be done.

I breathed a sigh of relief as the instructor explained the final part. Then the instructor asked whether anyone else had questions.

A lady raised her hand. She wanted to double check something with the instructor she wasn’t sure about.

Another person asked a question. Another one after that.

This stunned me.

Nobody wanted to be ‘that guy’ (or ‘that girl’).

The final part went well, it was perhaps the one part that might have saved my chances.

As I left the testing area, I kept thinking about all of the times I didn’t ask a question when I should have.

The test overall was one of the toughest I had ever taken for a job. About 100 people were competing for just a few spots.

Whether I get picked as a finalist will be determined in early November. I don’t expect to get picked.

I talked to my family about my experience taking the test, and my focus went toward why more questions weren’t asked. It was a realization that had I not asked a question at the end, then it’s likely nobody else would have asked a question for the whole 3-hour test.

I was determined not to make the same mistake for the second test a weekend later.

The second test had a similar feel. When it was time to ask questions, I had my hand up … whoa, a lot of people had questions. OK, this was a lot different. People were determined to make sure they weren’t going to get hung up by anything.

Going through the trials of the first test definitely got me through the second test.

= = =

As mentioned last month, I took a break from social media for all of October. I’ve done it before, and I looked forward to taking a break this time.

But unlike the past years, I felt more jittery this time around. I wanted so bad to see what was happening on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I was missing the latest snaps.

Looking back, I think I know why I was tweaking. It was because the goal was to not be on social media. Framing the goal in that manner was the wrong way to do it.

Had I re-framed the goal in another way, it would have been much easier to not be so anxious. Here’s an example from earlier in the year:

— Don’t drink soda, juice or energy shots for a whole month. Don’t even attempt to try coffee or agua fresca or even those Kool-Aid wannabe drops to get a fix. Nothing of flavor.
— For a whole month the only beverage to have will be water.

The goal for March was the latter, but in essence, they were both the same goal. One is saying to ‘do,’ the other is saying to ‘don’t.’

That’s what I should have done to better feel better about being off social media for the month without the ‘worry.’

I’ve hated what social media has become and done to me over the past year. It’s become platforms that are about “winning.” People share stuff, and others get upset, and there’s a back and forth until someone ‘wins.’ When I share stats and links to stories, there are people who poke and prod and play gotcha police hoping they can ‘win’ when all I want to do is share information I’ve gained.

And yet, I felt the need to be on it. It’s like when people ‘hate watch’ or ‘hate follow’ others. Why? To get upset over stuff you know that will upset you? But this was me. I wanted to be on a platform I didn’t want to be on.

If it wasn’t for Evan in 2004, maybe I never ever get on social media but who knows? (I’ll share that story at a later time).

Back to October … maybe the constant checking of email wasn’t enough. I wasn’t getting pinged every day. I needed that morphine shot, even if I hated it.

But I look at what I did do during the month, and it was as good as I hoped.

Last month’s post has all my thoughts on why people should take a social media break. If you need more inspiration, watch this video.

= = =

There was another mentorship event led by Liz midway through the month, this one in Culver City, and I decided to go for it again.

This time, I came in with confidence unlike the previous month, where imposter syndrome took over.

It was a lot of fun showing people the Capcom Pro Tour database and how I could pull stats in a heartbeat. One guy knew of fighting games and the top players but was a fringe follower of the competitive scene, and he was in awe of the database. It was cool to explain how it all worked.

The best part was displaying the simulation sheet, something I’ve been wanting to build since I started tracking stats during the year. It was working with ease, and I felt confident in explaining how it all worked and the math behind it.

Others I talked to during the event wanted to know how it all worked, and I was happy to explain the math, the simulations built into the workbook, and why I wanted to do this. Of the accomplishments during the month, this felt like the biggest, and I believe I leveled up big time by figuring out how to run a simulation using my stats as well as formulas done in other major sports.

Remember when I was challenged by others regarding my stats and that I gained confidence with each poke and prod? With every question — they were all positive during the mentorship night — I gained boosts of confidence as well.

Do I want to lead an Excel meetup? I tried a blogger meetup and that flopped hard so I’m hesitant to try. But I know that if I want to teach others Excel insights and games, I’m going to have to try something at some point in order to build the bridge toward teaching or an Excel bootcamp.

= = =

Had the opportunity with one of my brothers to attend TwitchCon which was in the downtown area and had a lot of fun. The venue seemed to be the right size for the amount of people.

There was a lot to do which made it fun. I think of all the events I’ve been to this year TwitchCon is up there with the best. But its obvious because I know and experience Twitch on a daily basis.

The event was three days but I only went on Sunday.

The most surprising part about the event was that I barely saw anyone I knew. There were plenty of streamers I’ve watched who were there. But actual friends or people I knew within the communities I’m a part of? Barely any. Maybe it was because I went on Sunday as opposed to Saturday or Friday. The friends I did see were awesome. I just thought I would run into more.

Perhaps I’m comparing it to an Evolution-type event where I can’t walk 100 feet without running into a friend or someone I know for 3 days straight.

This might have been the effect of not being on social media, where I could have pinged friends ahead of time.

There was one person I did not expect to meet and I’m very glad I did.

When I was running Get Your Tournament, I briefly merged with Gameriot in early 2008 to handle Melee and Brawl (and some CGS) coverage.

The person who brought me onto the Gameriot team was Stu, one of the directors of the site who had helped create several esports sites (Rod was also a factor but I believe Stu pulled the trigger). Stu was an awesome person to work with and I could tell he had that entrepreneurial bug in him as we worked on building Gameriot to be the go-to site.

A few years ago he started a company that today works to help streamers grow their platforms. It’s been recognized by many organizations and he’s received a lot of praise.

But the road to success was not easy, and he nearly didn’t make it. Watching him build his company from a distance gave me the inspiration that I could bounce back after losing it all in 2010.

The day I went to TwitchCon was the first time I got to meet Stu in person. He was promoting his product, seemingly doing it with ease. We chatted about the past, what we’re both working on and what we’d like to do going forward. It was one of those “why did it take us THIS long to chat in person because this is awesome” chats. Stu also introduced me to a couple of people who might be able to help me complete my stats goal and possibly expand upon it. I’m grateful that I finally got to meet Stu.

That was another thing about TwitchCon that I overlooked until that point. It was about fun but there also is a networking side to it. Usually the networking at events is obvious. The tech events I’ve attended since moving back to Long Beach are some of those obvious ones. At TwitchCon it wasn’t. And that made me realize that perhaps going all three days was the best option because I could network even though I barely stream today.

To see people I know be successful gives me the inspiration to keep going.

Other than the networking, had the chance to play some new games and learn about what it takes to make it as a streamer. I don’t see myself being a dedicated streamer anytime soon but the information could be put in other areas.

= = =

Early in the month, my bike got a flat tire, and it was out of commission. So I didn’t do the trip through the San Gabriel River as planned. I am really anxious to do the trip, and I’m mad at myself for not having done it yet.

But getting the flat tire (randomly, I don’t even know what caused it), was a lesson in being prepared.

I couldn’t fix the flat tire myself. My wrenches were too small, and it was too tough to produce enough torque and force on the bolts. So I was stuck without a bike for a few weeks.

By the time I got back to Long Beach from work, the local bike shops were closed. Weekends were about the bootcamp and doing projects.

And I realized how much I was hampered without a bike. I felt more landlocked without a bike than I did in the first few weeks without a car.

Without a car, I felt like there were still options to get around. I was going to live. Without a bike, I felt like someone locked me in a box.

The day I got the bike working again, it seemed as though the sun was shining (it wasn’t, the skies were gloomy). Within two hours, I biked to get groceries, lunch, iced tea and cookies. It was awesome.

It’s a note to myself to make sure when I do go on the San Gabriel Trail, I will need more than just water and trail mix. I’ll need a repair kit, extra tubes, a pump and some tools.

= = =

Goals for the year

Work

— Reach at least $2000/monthly combined in the online and content marketing businesses.

In the first couple of days of the month, someone bought an item that, surprise surprise, was out of stock. Got a message soon after saying I was providing the worst service ever. So yeah, I’m done with dropshipping. Didn’t delete my account but I ‘closed’ the shop.

Well, I shouldn’t say I’m done with dropshipping since my current job involves doing it. But on this level I’m done.

At the end of the year, I will look back at what went well and what went wrong here (and the other goals as well). On the surface, I know the answers. Writing it all out will help me as I move forward.

— Begin reaching out to companies looking for copy editors and get to freelancing.

Had a couple of people reach out to me for gigs. The timing was bad on one but good with another, so I’m happy with that.

— Have the draft of 1 esports book complete

As mentioned earlier in the post, I wrote the framework for another esports book. All this needs will be the final totals from the Capcom Pro Tour season and it’s good to go.

— Start a new podcast and break listener records of the previous shows

Not happening

— Be the official statistician for one major esports event

Cross your fingers, everyone.

Workout

— Get up to 10 miles running per session (currently at 8.5)

Still at 8.5 but I want to talk about being in the gym for a couple of months now.

After reading about how to workout and how to maximize the workout, I believe I’m getting better in the gym and am having much better workout sessions. I’m going to spend November creating a plan that I will log and follow through with.

Going to the gym has been a satisfying experience and one of the best things I’ve done for myself this year that hasn’t involved learning a coding language.

Personal

— Post on social media less and stay away from getting the Twitter/Facebook dopamine.

Already talked about this earlier.

— Get partnered on Twitch.

Somewhat talked about this already. Can’t rule it out since the decision comes automatically. Realistically, don’t expect this to happen.

— Create a new niche site specific to a game (not Gwent, it’ll be something else)

Stay tuned, there might be something brewing.

— Post analysis of my games 3 times a week

See previous.

— Attend one out-of-state tournament that I haven’t been to before

Not happening

— Read at least 10 books.

Currently reading “Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big.” It’s a look into why some companies, when given the opportunity to be massive, decided not to go for it.

Most of the companies mentioned are recognizable, and that makes the story worth reading.

This was the only book for the month. I stopped reading in transit because I was writing the outline for my other esports book. I’ll take the tradeoff.