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Alexandru Trandafir
Alexandru Trandafir

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What's up with Alex (me) october 2019

Introduction

Background

I'm a developer with an entrepreneur/maker soul, originally from Romania.

In the past 18 years I have been living in Barcelona, Spain.

That's where I've spent both my teenage life & started my professional one & I'm very thankful for all the opportunities I had there to grow as a person.

At 18 I've started my 1st job as a developer, after 8 years, switched to freelance & tried to build a product and failed.

In 2015 while freelancing & after my product failure, I pivoted and created HeavyDots, my current software agency where I am both doing development & management.

Leaving Barcelona behind for 2 years and moving back to Romania

So I was doing fine in that environment, going to the office almost every day, going to events, meeting some friends around the city and spending time with other family members over there.

A month ago I've left and I'm planning to stay away for 1-2 years.

Even with all that, let's say I was feeling I was not in the right place, and all the ideas in my head of stuff I wanted to do was generating constantly an intuition that I'd finally had to follow.

Why I did this?

It was all about having my space, reducing the noise around me, focusing on what I wanted to do (values & lifestyle), reconnecting with my roots & opening myself to new experiences.

The following is a health checklist that I think every person should check periodically and act accordingly if feels like things are not aligned anymore:

Physical space & environment

You must make sure you have your own space, design your own environment and take care of it. Need silence to focus? Place for your stuff? A comfortable chair?

Or maybe easier access to nature & wasting less time on commuting.

Your environment is very important for your daily activity. You can read more on that from this dude.

Mental space

Quite close related to physical space, is the mental one.

Are you constantly distracted? Are you spending your days doing what others bring you to the table but never get the chance to pursue your own ideas?

That can happen, even with family, friends or coworkers, so even with people you care about a lot.

With all due respect to everybody, take care of the important stuff but set your limits & make sure you dedicate enough time to what is important to you.

Finances

Oh money. Make sure you take care of your debt, make sure you don't waste money in ways that don't matter to you, and actually use money for what IS important to you. Also work on improving your income sources so money comes from doing what you enjoy & brings you more stability & freedom.

Relationships

Both your intimate & professional relationships should make you happy. If not, move on, take care of your happiness & mental health.

There's a whole world out there full of people & opportunities, don't stick to something that doesn't work or doesn't align with your future goals.

Behaviour & influence on others

I am a strong believer that we influence others to behave in a certain way, and our own behavior is influenced by others. And this also has to do with physical space.

So every action you take, staying or leaving, impacts yourself & other people, keep that in mind.

Passion & intuition

Again, follow what makes you happy, don't do stuff you don't care about. Do stuff you want to be 100% on, & following your intuition can get you close to that. Maybe you can't explain why you take a decision, but you take it, cause it resonates with you.

Being open & contributing

One should not forget that the world is full of opportunities to both have new experiences & to contribute to others lives or your communities.

So.. Visit a new place, help someone & do something for cause you care about.

October summary

Professional

  • Met the business goals
    • With the team we have successfully met the business goals we had at HeavyDots, finances good, delivered work on some of the current clients & then got a few smaller projects started and 2 medium clients in process of negotiation that will be probably closed between november & december.
  • Building a Saas product
    • Small but good progress has been made with a new Saas I'm working on, https://portfolee.app/ , a private catalog for all your digital projects.
    • This is one of my priorities and I'm turning this want to do goal into an actual real thing changing my habits & environment to support it
  • Community & work life
    • Got involved with a lot of people on Twitter, by following & giving feedback to people aligned with my values & with similar goals, especially the makers & indie hackers building products
    • Struggle to work from home without having an office & human contact, got releaved by using https://www.focusmate.com/ , it's both a mix between a virtual coworking & a pomodoro technique, strongly recommended if you work remotely
  • Readings
    • Book: https://jamesclear.com/ Atomic Habits, (I know, you probably see this guy everywhere, well, it's worth to read it)
    • Podcast: https://jesseelder.com/ A friend recommended this podcast to me, as she "followed" her intuition :-)
  • Local community
    • I live in an empty village, no tech around here, but even so, I've met two people that want to begin their journey as developers. Let's see how this turns out, I'm happy to give a hand and I will of course recommend them dev.to.

Personal

  • Country side life
    • I got to be a lot in the nature, it's basically 30 seconds away from my room and getting to my garden
    • I've went to a river dam in the small city close to the village regularly to watch the sunset (that's where the blog cover photo is from)
    • I've spent a lot of time with animals, with the cats & walking the dog
  • Health
    • I've been cooking a lot and eating well. As a developer I love to build something, and it's also valid for cooking, and I believe if you work a lot and you rely on poor food, that's gonna be bad for you
    • I've been running around the village a couple of days per week. It's a little nasty with the cold, the dark and the traffic as it is not the best place to do it, but still, I find it mandatory to keep a good health and not get a cold.
  • Family & friends
    • At the beginning of october I've spend some days in a row going to barbecues because of some family inviting me over, it's great but crazy! It is amazing to do it, but at the same time one must remember to take care & not eat/drink/party too much.
    • I've been meeting old friends and it is good to reconnect and talk
  • No traveling
    • I've basically spent the whole month at home, in the village, no short/long traveling

Community

There's no surprise that this part of the world is not the best, even if I'm grateful for being here, I cannot stay blind and don't see what's going on around me.

After identifying a couple of issues, some "as simple" as "garbage in the river dam I was visiting" I have ended up setting up a small concept that was on the back on my mind for a while now:

https://selfcivic.github.io/

  • Long story short, the idea behind it is to self manage our local communities as if they were open source software.
  • Something's wrong in your town? Create an issue, get feedback & plan how to fix it
  • Collaborate with others & even use a kanban board

Future plans

  • Keep the business going good at HeavyDots with team & clients
  • Keep building a Saas product
  • Try my best at some civic involvement with Selfcivic
  • Plan traveling both inside my country and in near countries in Europe
    • For both personal & professional purpose
    • In Romania:
    • Cities such as: Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj, Brasov, Sibiu, Turnul Severin
    • Mountain area trips
    • In Europe:
    • Greece, Thessaloniki
    • Bulgaria, either Sofia again or Bansko
    • Croatia maybe too
  • Plan visiting more other family I've got here

If you reached the end of this post, thanks so much for reading & I hope you got at least a small good idea from it.

I don't have a regular blog and so I've choosen dev.to to share both tech-related & personal stuff.

Will try to make a new post in a month with news.

Link to next post in this series

https://dev.to/atrandafir/what-s-up-with-alex-me-november-2019-32kg

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