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Starting it over again

Hello there!

Yeah, it’s me! I know, I know, it’s been more than a year since I last blogged. I even failed to fulfill the blogging tradition this year by posting the year in review feature and my new year’s resolutions. To be honest, I had too much going on in my life this year…although I know that’s not a good enough excuse to neglect blogging for a whole year!

In this post, I will share with you what has been going on over the past year. Additionally, I will make you a promise to stick with consistent blogging!

Feedgen

After working fulltime on Feedgen for almost eight months, we finally made the painful decision to shut it down. Despite being shut down, Feedgen did give me the chance to learn many important lessons in terms of the business world.

  • I learned to make good connections through networking
  • I learned that making the wrong hiring decision will end in disaster
  • I learned never to rely solely on a single opportunity
  • I learned that sometimes you need to say “no” more often than you would like

 …and many more lessons I will have to share with you in the future

Life at Frontcube

Frontcube was on its last legs as a result of my sole dedication to Feedgen. Where I should have been focused on building a stable income through Frontcube, I was instead focused on a new startup opportunity with Feedgen. You can say that it was the typical “entrepreneur” syndrome in that I was constantly trying to think of the “next thing” to come along. I was able to remedy this however with the closing of Feedgen.

Two days following the closure of Feedgen, I officially started to accept projects again and soon I was inundated with opportunity! Many of these opportunities were brought to me through connections that I made during my time with Feedgen.

Al Jazeera Media Networks

In April, I was fortunate enough to be signed on to a contract with Al Jazeera Media Networks to complete a lo-fi redesign for their English website. I was flown out to Kuwait in May to work on another project!

While I was working on the lo-fi design of their English website, Al Jazeera Media Networks also requested my services in redesigning their English and Balkan mobile websites! Let me tell you, that was an awesome moment!

Building a Business

As you can guess from all of these happenings, I have been completely swamped with work! As more work piled on, I began to struggle to balance my work and family life. This was a problem, so I soon reached out to expand my working team. As a bootstrapped entrepreneur however, I didn’t have a couple of grand in my bank account to staff a full design studio and I certainly didn’t want to take a bank loan! So I began to save everything I earned, putting only that which was necessary towards my daily expenses. I dreamed that one day I would move the business I created in my bedroom to an official office space.

As my business grew larger, I began to search for locations for functional office space. I began that search in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. I soon realized that an office space in Colombo would mean a three hour commute each day for me which would not only be costly, but would also eat a good chunk out of my work day each day.

Starting Off Small

With Colombo off the table, I decided to get back to my roots and start small. I built my first official office in the city where I currently live, Nittanbuwa, with the intention of moving to Colombo once my business was fully staffed and well funded. We soon found a wonderful place and officially opened as a company on February 2, 2013.

Currently our team consists of just three individuals but in the coming months we hope to add at least one more designer to our staff. Hiring staff members has however, become one of the more challenging aspects of being located out of a smaller city. We simply can’t find the talent that is more commonly found around Colombo! Still, I strongly believe that great things attract great people, so I fully expect to add more great talent to our team shortly! Let’s see how that goes though…

My Personal Life

As I have already mentioned, being a young entrepreneur put a strain on the time that I was spending with my family. I was not only struggling to keep promises but I was also struggling to get sleep and find time for my prayers, meditation and exercise!

A New Diet

During this time I came across a wonderful DVD program by Dr. Daniel Amen. Dr. Amen has written several best sellers (if you are in to diet trends then I am sure you will know him already.) Dr. Amen’s program changed my entire perspective over my diet and consequently over my overall wellbeing. My eating habits quickly changed and I began to say no to unhealthy (but delicious) Sri Lankan dishes. Even now, my relatives wonder how I can avoid eating these delicious foods! By continuing good eating habits though, I was soon able to begin moderate exercise routines, like jogging.

Exercise

As I began to exercise, I found jogging to be particularly tedious. I decided that I would use a little persuasion, something which I will mention here for you to try yourself if you are so inclined. If you are a reader of my blog, then you will know that I love to read but lately I have just not had enough time to read as much as I would like. I decided that I would use my exercise time as my reading time, to reward myself for putting forth the effort to exercise. This method of persuasion served me well. I invested in a monthly Gold membership at Audible and set myself a goal of listening to at least one full book each month. Being such a bibliophile, this soon encouraged me to jog every day!

The Future of My Blog

Beginning today, I am going to make a concerted effort to blog. I aim to blog more personal, business, leadership and entrepreneurial related content here while focusing my more technical posts in the Frontube blog.

Stay tuned!

Published in Lifestyle

  • laktek

    Woah! Seems you’ve been on a roller-coaster ride. One bit of advice, be open to remote working. I’m sure that will help you to attract more talent.

    • http://mohamedaslam.com Aslam

      Thanks, mate. Yeah, Some of my other friends also gave me the same advice. I personally bit afraid to open remote working in Sri Lanka. Probably I’ll need to build the mindset first.

  • http://gaveen.owain.org Gaveen

    Good to see you taking up blogging up again. I’m sure you enjoyed the whole thing and know you’ll bounce back in no time. :)

    • http://mohamedaslam.com Aslam

      Thanks, Gaveen. Great to see you here. Please keep in touch with the blog. :-)