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I write on self-growth, productivity, psychology, society, and whatever I want to talk about.
What does it mean to be a minimalist entrepreneur ?
Short question, long answer.
A little bit of personal story today as I wanted to explain why I chose this path.
Since I’m a kid I launch projects. I started asking my friends to help me build small games when I was ~14-15 years old. I was mostly coding since then, and helping designing the game mechanics. I was never good at graphics, so I delegated that kind of task.
A few years later I launched another bigger and bolder game project. I hired people on the internet for free. Mainly introducing the projects on forums, and some people joined the crew. Fun fact: I didn’t know at that moment that I had SO GREAT artists working on that project (dessinators, 3D modelers, etc).
–> Djouqed’Ounen, if you read those lines let’s get a coffee we need to talk
A few years later, another project with a purposely reduced scope and team. We did launch a test version with about 40 friends that joined the experiment. This moment where people were using what we created was one of the best feelings of my entire life.
It was this moment that I knew building projects was in my blood. That it defines my life.
We never finished any of these games, the excitation moment of creating something new was quickly fading away. We weren’t willing to keep working through this frustration curve. We weren’t professional and experimented enough at this time (come on, we were young). And we only worked on our free time (nights after school, week-ends, etc).
What I liked about all these projects is that I systematically never had the skills beforehand to technically build what we wanted. I learnt on the way, and only what needed to be learnt.
All these projects helped me learn to run a team, run a project, work hard & get dirty to get the results, be open to criticism, pitch, etc.
I get better each time, and I’m convinced that one of my projects will someday be “successful”, whether if it’s in 3 months or 30 years.
Success is a swear word, pretty close to the F one: it means a lot and nothing at the same time.
This is so deep it would require another article. Let’s skip it for today.
There was a moment in my life where everything was “good”:
- well paid job (full stack developer)
- nice flat in a nice city with no commute time
- meeting my friends all the time
- no worries about personal comfort
But I was dying inside.
At that moment I didn’t know what exactly was wrong. But boy, the feeling was there.
I said to myself: “Damien, this is not how you want to spend your life.”
I started to read a lot about different lifestyles. Remote, nomadism, etc.
I loved one thing about digital nomads so called “minimalists”.
Only a few pair of socks, a laptop and it’s their fucking home.
I started to read and try a lot of things about Minimalism.
Minimalism doesn’t mean to live from a backpack.
Minimalism is simply about living more with less.
Have less things. Use less services. Declutter your brain from possessions, services, notifications, processes, etc.
Be more passionate about what you do.
Be more present with your loved ones.
Be more as a human.
I fell in love with the promise.
Now, I know exactly what went wrong one year and a half ago.
After 6 months spent in Sweden socialising and traveling with international people, coming back to my home country and land a classic job was definitely not my call.
I was dying because I didn’t explore anything new.
I was dying because I didn’t create stuff for myself.
I was dying because I couldn’t grow as a person: try stuff outside my comfort zone, fail, learn lessons, be better.
I quit my job.
I started Elyios with my associates.
I went on a 6-months period working remotely with my backpack as my nomad home.
Loved the lifestyle.
Everything was in that bag.
Nothing else to worry about.
However this lifestyle can become expensive if you want to live with a minimum of comfort.
And I wanted to grow a powerful company, hire people and have some positive impact on the world.
So I returned closer to my team and since then I’m giving everything I’ve got.
I want to go back on the road sometime.
Don’t know when yet.
When it’s time.
Fine, here are my thoughts about Entrepreneurship & Minimalism.
What about the combination of both ?
Time to answer the question in the title.
I guess it’s about Challenge.
Challenge to create more value with less funding, people and reach.
Challenge to live more with less perks, comfort and recognition.
Challenge to be more with less fear, ignorance and mental barriers.
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