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Was it worth it: A reflection piece.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a reflection piece. I’m happy with my update post (I based the design off of developer patch notes) but it’s not enough. I’ve worked hard to free myself from my shackles and be a better person and for the most part I have. Yet I am still living dual lives. I thought over time the “Old Mike” and the “New Mike” would merge yet that hasn’t been the case. It turns out however far I run, life always seems to have different plans.

I find success only to have it ripped away from me over and over again. My world has and I suppose will always be in a state of chaos. It’s by no lack of effort on my part but rather always a series of unfortunate events. The straw that broke the camels back was when I had a contract with my dream company. Most of my life has built towards this moment, reaching the finish line. I saw the good in the business world and truly believed that I had finally made it, only to be cut down by the political nature of Corporate America. And I am at a loss. I pick myself up and have nowhere to go.

And here I am, split between being honest and being correct. My world has been a firm handshake, a quick smile, and language so polished that it’ll make your ears bleed. And I’m tired of it. With over 300 contacts on LinkedIn, it might be time to hang up the towel. What I’ve built has become ash and I feel nothing. The money is nice but at the end of the day, it’s an obsession not worth having. I am tired of being used as a tool, or worse, a weapon. I learned as much as I could so that I could help others yet that same intelligence has only ever brought misery. The more I learn, the more I wish I didn’t know. Americans bathe in ignorance and it’s tough to see.

During my search, someone I trusted introduced me to Amway disguised under the pretense of “Alticor”. I went through the process and saw how some choose to make their money. An honest answer is it made me feel dirty, so I walked away. Is this the right answer, I can’t really say. The business model is sound and works for those with enough motivation, yet the reverse pyramid is still a pyramid. And at the end of the day, I must follow my heart. Corny, yes, but the truth nonetheless.

I don’t know who to trust anymore and it’s a damn shame. I love my friends and I love myself and for me that’s enough. It’s when I’ve put my faith in my professional network is when I’ve been hurt. Interesting to say the least.

This said, I am done hiding. It’s time to find just what all I am capable of. I am finally doing what I want and while I sacrifice the security of Corporate America, I don’t want to die in a cubicle. I thought I could waltz into an organization and change the world, yet I realize that change starts at the grassroots. My whole goal with writing and now photography has been to give myself a voice. It’s liberating to talk and have others listen. Now that I have, I want to focus on what I care about and not worry so much about reputation. So, cheers. Let’s build something together, it’s time I finally got my priorities straight.


A late night musing and I have to say, it felt great. I’ve been feeling anxious since graduation trying to find my place in the world but I came to realize that it has always been the route of the entrepreneur. What that will look, God only knows but in my never-ending pursuit of happiness, this is worth pursuing. Thanks for all your support throughout the years, it has meant the world to me. As I continue to grow, may you grow along with me and if I can inspire just one person from the work I do, then I’ll have done my job.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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The life of Mike: An update post

So it’s been a while. My blog has been expanding quite a bit since graduation and there have been a lot of changes. I’m trying a new format for how I relay the information, so hopefully you find this helpful.

Changes since January:

  • Site now has a Patreon as well as advertisements
  • Site has been upgraded from a personal account to a premium account
  • Site theme has been updated to accommodate for photography and the occasional original videos
  • Bought camera so I can actually take photos
  • Learning basic coding to help with edits
  • twitter feed has been integrated into the blog to make for a more personal experience
  • Goodreads reading list has been added so you can see what books I’m reading at the moment.
  • Added my personal mission statement to the navigation menu

In addition to these changes, I also plan to eventually add a contact tab (currently figuring out the best way to implement) and am adding Ko-Fi to content centric posts (so not this).

Patreon and Ko-Fi:

I’ve been struggling for the past few months figuring out ways to monetize my blog in a way that builds a stronger community. As much as I love writing, writing well takes time and effort. At the moment I am hopping contract to contract in the Hellscape that is the current US job market. As such, I am looking at ways to become independently sustainable. I realized the problem with Patreon is the subscription. I like with Patreon that I can set long-term rewards and will keep the page as I still think it’ll (eventually) add value to the site as it grows. But I also realize sometimes people read content and simply want to chip in some money but don’t care for rewards and don’t want to pay every month; that’s where Ko-Fi comes in (it’ll be a “buy me a coffee” button). With Ko-Fi you simply click the button, pay what you want for the post, and that’s it. Most of the money spent goes into the blog and it’ll allow me to create better content and to do so more frequently.

Upcoming Posts:

The plan is to do a Corporate America series! The series will be a few articles such as a look at contracts (small business vs. corporation), reputation (the in’s and out’s, why integrity is important, etc.) and How to spot a manager from Hell (a tale of modern day managers and a look at when to leave a company). I also want to post about the gun “situation” in America, however, I also don’t want to get burned at the stake (this article has been years in the making and might be a few more years in the making). Come May, I have a lot planned for mental health awareness month but want to keep that a surprise. And finally, more poetry and fiction! I’ve been enjoying what I’ve wrote thus far and am glad you have as well! I have a few stories I’ve been bouncing around, it just takes time to write and edit (I’m only one man).

In Other News:

I have decided rather than trying to build a team for this site, I am going to keep the site my own. While an editor would be nice, quite frankly I do well enough on my own that the cost would far outweigh the benefit. As for the writers, if need be, I will have the occasional contributor (however, at the moment, there is no need).


That’s it! Thanks for reading! It’ll be a while before another post like this, so sit back and enjoy the content in the coming months; I have a lot planned and am glad you can join me on this journey.

 

With love,

Mike

Mike Cole’s deep dark secret: What I did cannot be undone

It started with a simple idea, a comment made by a friend, jokingly. She was talking about her trip to Ireland and made the odd remark, “I only date men who shave their armpits”. For the sake of accuracy, I must confess, this was almost 4 years ago, when I was but a Freshman in College. And it could very well have been another friend telling the story. Regardless, that’s besides the point, the idea remained. An idea long forgotten until I traveled to Germany for my last great college adventure and went to the store for the first time…

At the store, I decided to buy deodorant as any clean, well kempt man should do. To my horror, the deodorant was tiny! This simple difference changed the course of my German experience forever as I was haunted by the question, “why”? The argument can be made that everything is bigger and better in America, so we simply get more, yet, somehow, I found that answer to be less than satisfying. So I dug deeper and 2 months later I found my answer; it wasn’t just Germany, it was Europe. Everywhere I went the deodorant was tiny! At this moment, I knew I was onto something big.

At this point in my journey I had traveled all across Europe, blending in as I said “Ich bin ein Genie” and “Ich bin müde”, two of my favorite phrases. But none of this got me any closer to an answer. Until one day, when one of the German students was repulsed after seeing armpit hair on an American. The dots began to connect and it all made sense. Europeans shave their armpits. Men and Women alike. And just like that, the mystery was solved. Less armpit hair means less deodorant and quite honestly means people in Europe as a whole smell nicer. That night I slept like a baby and didn’t think much of it; yet my tale does not end there.

Many believe that there was only New Hair, New Mike; a rebirth of a person as he chopped his mop and become the product of envy among men and the epitome of desire for women [insert winky face here]. Yet I was curious. Driven to the brink of insanity towards the end of my 4 months, I did the unthinkable. I took my dull razor (worn thin from months of shaving my hefty beard) and went straight for my armpits. Yes, I, Mike Cole, in an effort to be fully immersed in European culture, shaved my armpits. And worse? I liked it. I felt clean and free much like when I shaved my hair for the first time. And then I got a rash… Fun fact, armpits are fairly sensitive, so don’t use a dull razor blade. Fast forward to present day. The year is 2018 and I’ve perfected my technique. Electric trimmer, shaving cream, then razor and you’re done! Note, if your skin is extra sensitive, use skin lotion after shaving to prevent irritation. Ahem, anyways…

It’s been done; a secret I thought I would carry to my grave, a sin now to be judged by my fellow American (and my lovely international audience). So why talk about it? Is it because I am currently reworking how I write and needed something to post? Partly! But more than that, armpit hair is actually disgusting when you think about it. It catches sweat and even if we slather on deodorant, it still drips and is absolutely gross. Shaving fixes this problem and you get to use less deodorant (which means you save money!), so go ahead, don’t be shy; shave and watch a miracle happen.


Thanks for reading! A quick announcement; I am a recent college grad or aka a broke person. As such I created a Patreon to help support myself. A dollar a month means I can buy a lot of rice and perhaps not starve to death. And thank you to my first donor, who pledged $5 per month; it means a lot and it’ll be exciting to expand the blog with the money.

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