I’m usually a fan of DIY projects. Building your own computer from scratch is a lot of fun, replacing hard drives is exhilarating and setting up and configuring networks is icing on the cake.


You know what’s not fun?


Making your own Ethernet cable.


By example, let’s look at an RJ-45 cable. This set includes 4 pairs of color-coded wires. That’s fine. But, individually, each wire is not much thicker than a single piece of hair.


Some six years ago, I made my very own Ethernet cable. It was no simple task. I had to identify each wire by color. Then, I had to untwist each pair of wires and get each wire in the correct order, side by side, inserting the multi-wire set into the socket at the same time. You can’t insert them into the socket individually, otherwise you’re going to mess up the entire process. 


Thanks to my arthritis, this process was made even more complex. 


The process looks something like this:



Make one mistake though, and your cable is toast. Work like this requires a delicate hand and patience, neither of which are things I had at the time. I went through at least six pairs of wire sets, asking my classmates for help. I broke several pairs of wires and by the end of the workshop session, my fingers needed a deep rest.


I did learn something really interesting, though. Computer networking and life relate to one another.


See, each wire represents a strength we as humans possess. A lot of the time, though, we allow others to connect our wires for us, which usually leaves us with two wires touching that shouldn’t be. We look for answers externally instead of from within. We need to build up ourselves, on our own.


The fundamental nature of happiness and our relationship between our inner world and the external world most often intertwine. Without realizing it, our happiness is often governed by the external world.


In the same way, the person building the Ethernet cable is in charge of whether or not a single computer will have network access.


Allowing a single negative thought to dictate our actions will have all sorts of dire consequences, just as a single mess with the wires will “fudge” the cable up.


A little cliche, I know, but those are thoughts that really came to mind at the time of building the cable.


Life’s Like Tetris


Life’s like tetris. The more you play, the harder it becomes and the more it speeds up. The point is to keep at it and accomplish your goal no matter how fast it goes. Focus and control will leave you victorious.


A College Story


When I founded my Startup in late 2013, I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I was working a job on the side and going to college full-time as well.


Burnout would soon become my best friend.


Nevertheless, boarding the city trains early in the morning with a cup of coffee in my hand, it felt like victory. On my way to the office, I’d always ask myself: “Are you happy? What could you do better?” I was my own man acting on my vision and nothing could stop me. Or so I thought.


There’s a lot of talk about the not-so-nice VCs who take advantage of young and inexperienced founders. But vice versa, inexperienced but manipulative founders will sometimes try to milk an investor’s money even if they know that their project won’t reach fruit.


I met a couple of investors at social gatherings at night. I worked with some. In the beginning, I could barely put two words together. Thanks, anxiety! As I began to attend social business events more frequently, I unleashed my inner-voice and spoke just fine.


The first investor took me out to dinner to hear my pitch and made an offer quite quickly. Suspicious, don’t you think? (I didn’t think much of it at the time). The second investor? We went to grab some food late one night and at the table, he told me something really interesting: “Everyone thinks they’re going to be the exception to the rule, you see. Investing in your business would be like throwing darts at a fly.” I was an essential part of my business, and that’s where most investors become spooked. Why? Because the success of a business shouldn’t solely rely on the original creator(s). It must be something that is able to live on past them. A chef can’t very well hire other chefs to cook a recipe that they don’t know the ingredients to. Creators and chefs must divulge their “secrets” and accept external help. I was a stubborn man working through PTSD who wanted to do everything alone. Mistaken.


What did I do? Well, nothing I’m proud of. I trusted the wrong person. She took the idea and built on it. I had nothing left to do. Some lessons:


  • If something sounds too good to be true, run.

  • If you’re too proud to accept help, don’t start your own business.

  • Don’t spill your whole idea to an investor right off the bat. Just pitch it, short and sweet. Do your homework on him or her first.

  • Starting your own business means putting other things on hold. I probably made bad decisions not only because I was inexperienced, but I was exhausted from going to college full-time and having a side job.

  • Be cautious about the VCs or investors you partner up with. Do they have your best intentions, or are they trying to brain-rape you to sell your idea to another team that promises a better delivery?

Ultimately, doing so much at once led me to only X hours of sleep per week. Blackouts, memory becoming hazy, my emotions as a young man in business weren’t ways in-check , falling asleep in class, forgetting to eat, etc. I’d blame others for mistakes I could have prevented.


Do I regret it? Absolutely not. I don’t think I want to be the head of any business ever again, but the thrill of the experience was something I won’t ever forget. Leaving to my own office in the city early mornings right after my morning jogs, coming home late at night, trying to fulfill my dreams at the time, being my own boss, providing opportunity for others, etc. Those are things I will hold onto. For something of a year, I can say I ran a business. I ran it right into the ground, but I ran it nevertheless and those experiences have been added to my arsenal of information; of what to do and what not to do.