Some Notes for this Year

Aef Setiawan
3 min readJul 5, 2020

Yesterday my girlfriend told me that I will turn to 26 years old six months later. Yes, 2020 is just six months left in the calendar. She reminds me to make some review about my life, about my goals and of course our dreams.

Here are my notes and my contemplations after six months living in 2020:

Don’t build a business, but making money instead

Business is a buzzword today, everyone talk and dream having a piece of business in their life. I have been dreaming like it also, at least for three years. Founding some business, put a big effort on it. However, it went disappointing.

Building a piece of business sue big resources, time and emotion but the result out of my control. Of course, I never give up. I have grit. But I must have clear thought that making a business is not for everyone in every time. I change my philosophy.

Just making money is more realistic for me. The mental model is simple. Just learn how to sell stuff then the cash flow to my bank account. Yes, I should simplify my goals from running a business to running to sell stuff that earns much money.

Don’t chase Big Dreams, but incremental dreams instead

Many people teach us how to dreams big and believe it will happen. I think this word has been glorified exaggeratedly. Having dreams big will boost your mood and motivation, but sometimes we set a dreams that the action we can’t control.

Last year, my big dreams are co-founding multi-million a tech startup in the property like Go-jek or tokopedia. We build an apps then whish meet some angel or VC some day. But it went bankrupt and cost me in time, money and emotion. It also hit my mind so much.

Then my philosophy changed, from chasing big dreams to incremental big dreams. I have big dreams for the next five and ten years, but to achieve it I will get it incrementally, focusing on something that I can control.

When I founding my startup, I spent my time to focus on something that I can’t control. Seeking investment from VC, building great apps and so on. All the resources are not on my control. Hence, I should focus on the resources and competency that I have and control it to achieve the goal incrementally.

Don’t use assumption, but data instead

Sometimes I asked my self, how much money I earn in the last six month. But I can’t answer precisely. I did not make a clear record of my financial. I don’t know that I’m financially bankrupt or surplus. And I also confused that I’m hit my goal or not since I never track it.

I always use the assumption to make a decision and not using the previous data. Then, I could improve my progress day by day and in the end, I don’t know that I make progress or stuck.

Hence, I should change my mindset. check the previous data before making a decision. If don’t have data, just running experiments for getting minimum data. The mantra is, something that can’t you measure is can’t you control. And the key of measurement is on data.

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