Building an exit strategy

around my 33rd birthday this year i thought “what i’m doing now is great, but there’s no way i’ll be doing this in 10 years.” after months of reflection i’ve worked out a plan.

my schedule should resemble a Roman warrior: conquering, or feasting. men are not equipped with regulators to disburse “safe” portions of energy at predictable frequencies. we thrive in 1 of 2 dichotomous territories, the domains of On and Off.

examples of being On:

  • producing media (book, course, film) on a deadline
  • hosting a bootcamp
  • building a cabin in the woods

being Off is then the reward for a job well done. and one measure of our work quality is the length of time we can afford to be Off when it’s finished.

falling into the trap

despite the clarity above, i don’t take time off. maybe my work quality isn’t there yet. i celebrated selling Cross Sell with a $12 dinner at Lee Chadol. i celebrated selling Fomo by making a free web scraping course.

sure, i usually wake up to a calm morning of coffee and books. but inevitably this is interrupted by a fire fight at one of my projects. could be a support ticket, bug, or urgent feature request. so throughout the day i oscillate between high and low energy tasks. it’s an inefficient and unbecoming practice for high energy men.

turning things around

during a work sprint this summer my fund Fork Equity sold 3 assets in about a week. we parted ways with a GitHub devops utility, a Shopify AR/VR app, and our flagship education property, Micro Acquisitions (now Acquire Academy). by making these deals my sole focus, they got done quickly. which reminded me of how much we can accomplish by being 100% on, just 50% of the time.

next i hosted a coding bootcamp for 9 guys that went 8a-midnight for 14 days. during which i did 1,000+ pushups, ate like a king, made new friends, got paid, drank till 2a, and still lost weight. conquer mode.

and most recently i finished building v1.0 of RIGD, a stock options trading tool, with Ben and Ronak. we went $0-[redacted] MRR in 30 days and have quite the roadmap. i can’t share specifics because we are Willy Wonka-ing this ish but it’s one of those projects that will seem obvious later when it’s too late to get involved.

escape hatch in 3..2…

landing on the conquer/feast lifestyle i envision will require several changes not only to what i work on, but with whom i work.

for starters that means wrapping up, the final project in Fork’s portfolio. then i’ll shut down the fund itself like Seinfeld shut down in Season 9 — when everyone wanted him to keep going.

finally i’ll become a dad because the world needs more people like me. and i need more help cutting the grass. and parents who make excuses about their lack of success due to being a parent need a wakeup call.

and while i roll out this 2-year plan i have just 1 more change in mind.

work with me

i want to go back to building on a deadline. i want to work night and day, ship, then disappear for awhile. this is how i’ve always done my best work. remember that time i logged out of Twitter for months to record an album in Korea, in Korean?

also, i officially prefer being a developer instead of a marketer. the aha moments and dopamine hits of the former are more conducive to sustained intensity than distractions and failures of the latter. (marketing doesn’t always work, but programming does)

so here’s the pitch: Ryan Kulp is looking for a new startup. internet, do your thing.