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How I completely changed my life in the past six months

I don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing…and I’m okay with that

In the past six months my life has completely changed. I’ve taken more risks than I have my entire college career. I’ve built more meaningful connections than ever in my life. I’ve started more things than I’ve ever attempted before and — most of all — I’ve actually f*cking finished some of them.

Seriously, who am I now?

Last semester, I was
completely miserable.

Arguably the most stressful semester of my college career, I was neurotic from internal and external stressors. From domestic issues back home to living with Crohn’s disease without insurance coverage, my life was plunging into hell.

I tried to pull myself up. Knowing my life was my problem, I did what I believed could help me improve it. How?

I read Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Workweek. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the capacity to actually apply any of what I learned from it. Being a student, I was just too technically difficult for me to start my own business alone.

And expensive. I only make $300 a month from my work study — which barely covers utilities, groceries, and class expenses.

In the end, I felt dead-ended and I still had another year and a half to go. With the pressure of a new year growing, I knew I had to turn around my life for my own sake, whether I believed in resolutions or not.

I decided to act on what I could from 4HWW. In late December, I decided 2015 was going to be my year for action. The easiest thing to challenge myself to do: just do something.

George Watsky casting spells on people via verse.

 

I don’t know if you are familiar with George Watsky, but he’s a pretty inspiring guy to me. Facing the adversary of norms and personal challenges, he’s become a reputable rapper and poet.

He has one line that I always love to hear in his song Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. It goes as follows:

“I thought I was an atheist, until I realized I’m a god.”

Powerful, huh? Might be a little sacrilegious depending on who you claim to be, but powerful nonetheless.

The way I see it: if you aren’t going to believe in anything, at least believe in yourself. Why? Because you can do a lot more than you would think.

A lot more.


I did something.

One week into my Spring semester, I took action and really reached out for the first time in my life. It was intimidating and stressful; every nerve in me shook to stay calm.

I reached out a hand and said:

“Rayyan, right?”

That’s it. My introduction was me f*cking making sure I had his name right. How dumb is that? Answer: really dumb.

But it worked.

He affirmed, shook my hand, and we started a conversation right there. We’ve been friends ever since and business partners nearly as long. And it was all just because I heard him talking about his prior business and experience in venture capital and wanted to learn from him (which is another thing I’ve been doing ever since.)

Oh, and the world didn’t shake when I nervously reached out. The world just kept spinning, because it wasn’t a big deal at all.


My first weekend after taking an action was spent founding an organization.

A week later, I found myself building a webpage for an organization with my new friend. We brought together students of all different disciplines for the sake of networking and pursuing ambitious ideas.

Appropriately named HackWaco, we’ve got over 30 signed-up students with an average weekly attendance of 20 individuals. For a first semester, we think we are doing pretty well.

As I wrote this, I found that we have just as many twitter followers as HackHarvard — which has had more than 2 years to build their network.

 

We have been teaching courses, growing together, and actually making stuff. As a matter of fact, we launched our first product’s MVP just two weeks ago. From an idea to a working platform in only seven weeks.

Insane.

Did I mention that it was an idea I had two years ago? And I spearheaded it?

Double insane.


So, I’m technically a founder now.

Just over two weeks ago, we launched OneTogethr— a revolutionary but unoriginal idea to see what would happen if a bunch of people gave just $1 to non-profits every month. Not being a new idea, our biggest competitors haven’t gotten much more than 1,000 users. We hope to break that figure.

Thanks to the delightful Drew Thomas, we got it up and running like a dream from our MVP launch and now look forward to future scaling. We know our infrastructure works as of this past week. Now, we just need to test the idea.

Here’s where my lack of “knowing what to do” is involved again. With a small team, we are tackling the issue of how we get people to sign-up and play our game for a good cause. It is surprisingly hard to convince people to give up even a $1.50 a month, but we are slowly moving toward a hopeful tipping point. Stay tuned and sign-up.


This is the end.

So, yeah… you probably didn’t need to read this entire thing, but I appreciate that you did. It’s not really informative or educational; really I just wanted to express my experiences.

Actually, wait. There is something to take away, but it’s mainly for those of you still waiting to jump.

Just do it.

If you’ve read how my life has gone off the rails in the best way possible just over the past few months, then you can already identify why I say that. My one action — introducing myself to amazing people — is what has gotten me here. It’s why I’m happy with where I am.

Don’t worry about failing, just seize your life and jump.


Thanks for reading this awkward slice of my life.
I would love to get in contact with you, so feel free to reach out to me via twitter.

Also, check out OneTogethr.com to see what my newest venture is all about! We are in less than beta right now, so all advice would be greatly appreciated!

This article also appears on Medium and is published here with the permission of the author

Title photo credit: flickr

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