Doing what's logical vs doing what I want (01/23/2020)

Letters of a Hugh Sam #32

Dear Reader,

Everything is finally falling into place. I went from being super depressed at the beginning January to now feeling really good about where I am and where I'm headed.

I'm been a lot more productive recently and my head is clear for once. I'm also looking into exercising more (~5x/week) because I've realized that the benefit to cost ratio is insanely high. It doesn't even have to be anything intense. I'm talking about playing badminton 2 times a week, yoga / stretching 2 times and maybe 1 gym session.

All this good feeling can be attributed to one thing and one thing only: Being a lot a lot a lot less on social media. I will definitely write on this another time or maybe make a YouTube video about it 😋

Hope everyone is having a good start to 2020.

Sometimes, I have some unconventional ideas that I think are really good and then, a few months later, I see a "smart person" on Twitter tweet about that exact same idea and I'm like "shit, I could have tweeted this and seem smart to random strangers" (very shallow thinking, I know, thank you, thank you).

It actually happen to me recently actually. Like, this Monday January 20th recent. It was a smart person called Nat Eliason that tweeted the following:

The first part of the tweet is pretty boring and very conventional, but the 2nd part though!! The second part is a gem (I think) if you want to make money. I mean, think about it for a second. There are thousands of old industries that people still have to use and none of them has ever been modernized in terms of marketing and services.

Plumbing, A/C repair, Garages, Home Repair, Renovation, Electrician, Lawn Care, Snow Removal, Gardening, etc.

All of these industries are led by your average 40-50 year old who still use paper ads or rely on word-to-mouth to do their marketing, have the crappiest website, usually don't relate well to the younger generation and usually only give decent service.

Even knowing all this, why do people still make a living doing those jobs?

Well because they're all services that EVERYONE needs and there aren't any good alternatives ! Like honestly, for all the industries that I named above, whenever I think about calling their services, I never have 1 clear answer that pops into my head. It's always some cryptic "oh, let me ask my mom or maybe my uncle knows someone, etc." Whereas if I think of buying Pizza, I immediately think about "Dominos, Pizza Pizza, Pizza Hut" or if I want to buy Electronics at a store, I think "Best Buy". For plumbing it's "let me google for a plumber".

The two best examples I can think of that are "proof" that there's a market for these types of renewed businesses are 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Clare.

1-800-GOT-JUNK is a company that simply picks up any junk that you want to throw away. It's a really simple business, but before them, whenever you wanted to get rid of junk, you either had to leave your junk on your front lawn and hope that someone takes it (with one of those ghetto trucks) or you probably searched online for where to dispose of your junk. Now, you simply call 1-800-GOT-JUNK, pay a fixed fee and voilà, you're done. This company brought in $223M in 2016 fyi.

Clare is a paint company . They simply sell cans of paint (so not a service). If you think about it, paint is something that everyone has to buy eventually and is especially useful to freshen up your house or your Airbnb. You'll really have to look at their website for more information on how this is "modern", but they essentially saw that the old model of going to RONA, having thousands of options to choose from, trying out the paint and hoping it's a nice color was very out-dated so they simply modernized the whole experience. Easier to try out, less options, "descriptive" names and a kick-ass marketing / branding.

And so a question that might pop-up in your head after reading this is: You're telling us all this Nick, but why don't you own one of those "renewed" companies yet?

That is a totally valid question ! To which I, unfortunately, don't have an answer either. I'm probably as confused as you are or maybe even more ! On one end, I know that whatever my future goal entails, I'll probably need money. And the more money I have, the better (probably). Consequently, a logical step would be to start one of those companies, get lots of $$$ and then, I'll be ready for my next goal.

On the other end, it's not really what I want to be doing right now. There's always a risk in starting any business so I feel like I should take a risk in something that I believe in or that I actually like. Not something that'll simply make me money.

Sighh... I don't know. My logical and emotional parts always seem to be at odds with each other. We shall see what the future holds for me.

That's it for me,

p e a c e.

2020 Goals Progression 💪

  1. 0 / 1250 YouTube subscribers

  2. Be happy at work (Y or N)

  3. 4 / 51 newsletters written

  4. 11 / 25 Substack subscribers

  5. 0 / 2 Trips (1 of Iceland, South America, Scandinavia or Eastern Europe)

  6. 2 / 13 books (The Three-Body Problem, Factfulness 👌)

  7. 0 / 3 realized ideas

Hey you ! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this week's letter.

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We'll talk more next Thursday, until then, have a nice week ! ✌️

— Nicholas