I found my new favorite Twitter account. It’s called Thoughts of Dog. It’s hilarious. Definitely go read it if you’re feeling down or just want something funny and wholesome to read.
I’ve been reading a lot about taxes recently. And so I started a company, mostly to optimize and simplify my taxes.
There was no way for me — as an artist — to hire an accountant, because tax law is very murky and complicated regarding the taxes that artists should pay. I talked with a tax advisor first, before starting a company, and he said that the law is so unclear and can be interpreted in different ways that he couldn’t help me. Now, I have a company, and an accountant is taking care of all those tax related things and I don’t have to worry about any of that.
I will also pay less in taxes than I used to pay when I didn’t have a company. This seems like something more people should be aware of. But for a very long time I didn’t know that having a company, despite the accounting costs, is a good business decision and will save me money long term.
Instead of starting a company in Poland — my native country — I started it in Estonia. The taxes are very similar, so it’s not like I am saving any money on that, but there’s way less bureaucracy and you can deal with most things online. Also, I don’t trust the Polish government — it’s like they are set on ruining the Polish economy. I know many people who have companies in Poland and the costs, taxes, obligations, and ridiculous rules that are invented every year just to squeeze a bit more money from even the smallest companies are insane.
I would rather pay my taxes in Estonia where the government seems more capable.
Have you ever noticed how people dislike when you do something uncommon? I used to be vegan and my colleagues tried to get me to eat meat. I started going to the gym every day and I would hear that it’s “excessive” and “unhealthy”. Even small things have this effect. I remember once a friend offered me chocolate, and I didn’t want it, and yet I was pressured to accept it.
Lately, I’ve noticed the same thing about consuming news. I don’t do that. In fact, I actively avoid news. When someone tries to tell me anything about politics or sports or crime, I often say I don’t want to know. But they persist! Even if you say it a few times, they really feel they need to tell you what they know. I sometimes resort to blatantly changing the topic.
It’s not that I am completely uninterested in what is going on. But most of the news that people want to share are awful things because that’s what elicits the strongest emotions. If I knew those things, they would stay in my head. I would think about them and worry. So, I would rather not know all that stuff.
I had planned to write Weekly Notes every week. But that obviously haven’t worked out.
Here are things that I’ve found out or read or listened to these past few weeks:
- A few great episodes from Tim Ferriss Show:
- Episode #177 — Seth Godin — some useful tidbits about marketing and brands.
Memorable quote: “Brands are built around the edges.”
- Episode #189 — with Shay Carl — he is very enthusiastic, I loved it.
- Episode #194 — about Placebo effect — just wow! I didn’t know it’s that powerful.
- Episode #195 — An interview with David Heinemeier — so inspiring!
- Episode #177 — Seth Godin — some useful tidbits about marketing and brands.
- I bought a game on Steam but haven’t played yet, Pilgrims.
- Animals prefer food that requires effort to obtain over food that is simply served on a plate. It’s called –contrafreeloading. There is one animal that is an exception and prefers to be served — can you guess which one? (Answer’s at the end of this post.)
- This article about why you should work with the garage door up.
- The Most Precious Resource is Agency — about rising children, which I don’t have. But it’s also about the fact that education messes us up, which I agree with.
- I have no idea what is it about, but I subscribed: doctorsinclair.com.
- Paul Graham about the beginnings of Airbnb.
- Netflix used a photo without artist’s permission. The artist hired Pixsy to fight it and won. This is a great success story and I hope more, and more people will want to protect their rights. Pixsy is a service where you don’t have to pay anything, they simply take a cut if they win.
That’s it for these (not) Weekly Notes. Until next time!
(The animal that prefers easy food is — cat)
I’ve recently created my “Now” page. It’s a page that tells a bit about what I am currently working on, my most recent projects, what I am reading, etc. I took inspiration from Derek Siver’s now page.
So many people have created their own “now” pages that Derek made a website nownownow.com that collects all those pages. You can see what other people are working on and get inspired. I’ve already read about 50 profiles for fun.
If you have a website and don’t have a “now” page, consider creating it. This is a really neat idea, and people visiting your website won’t have to scroll through tens of blog posts to see what you are up to. And when you have the page, add it to nownownow.com, so others can find you. If you are unsure of what to write on your “now” page, read this explanation.
I’ve been going to the gym every day and listening to the Tim Ferriss Show. In total I listened to 23 episodes during this week — it’s because I listen at double speed and some of the episodes weren’t even interviews but just short summaries or Seneca letters.
Many episodes were amazing, but these were my favorite:
— How Renegade Filmmaker Casey Neistat Breaks Rules, Reinvents Himself, and Gets Thanked For It (#116)
— Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying “No” to Millions (#125)
— Amelia Boone on Beating 99% of Men and Suffering for High Performance (#127)
Go listen to them if you want to feel inspired!
After listening to the interview with Derek Sivers, I visited his website and signed up for his mailing list. And then I also bought his new book. It’s short, so I thought I was going to read it quickly. I was wrong — I started to read, and already the first page made me stop and consider how it applied to my life.
Derek has a “now” page on his website. It’s a page where he lists what’s happening in his life right now and what he is working on. Inspired by it, I created my own “now” page — it’s a work-in-progress, I plan to add more. A lot of people followed Derek’s example too and created their own “now” pages.
Casey Neistat recommended the book “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be”. I checked archive.org, and it was available there. I read it and liked it. You can read it for free here.
That’s it for now. I will continue going to the gym and listening to podcasts so you can expect another bunch of interesting links next week.
I found out about a local pottery studio that sometimes organizes classes. Last week they posted an event on Facebook titled “Make yourself a mug”. I have always wanted to make stuff from clay but never had a chance before. I called my family, and they all wanted to go too. Even my mom agreed to come though she claimed she was too old for that.
The class was today, and we all went, and we all made our own mugs. Each in their own style. The above photo is of my little cup. My mom and her partner made big coffee mugs. My brother made an angular mug with sharp edges, and his wife made a huge cappuccino mug.
The mugs are not ready yet. Now they need to dry, then they will be fired in a kiln (sort of an oven) and after that coated with a glaze, and then we can collect them.
If you have a chance you have to go to a pottery! And take your family too.
I want to lodge a formal complaint — there is no owl in my palm tree. You see, Austin Kleon, a writer, has a backyard with a palm tree, and in that palm tree lives Coconut the Owl. So not only does he have a backyard and a palm tree, but also a blog post that pretty much writes itself every week.
I, on the other hand, don’t have a garden with wildlife to write about.
The photo above is of the view from my kitchen. There is no yard. I need to find a new apartment soon — the owner asked me to move out because her daughter wants to live here. I tried telling her that she should just sell this apartment, that this is not a place that her 18-year-old daughter should live in. She says she will renovate when I move out, and it will be fine.
This apartment has a few problems:
- Some of the radiators don’t work. Most importantly, the one in the bathroom doesn’t work at all so it’s always freezing there. It apparently can’t be fixed because it’s a general plumbing issue.
- The water pressure is often so low that the water heater doesn’t turn on. (It turns on automatically when the water is running, but not if the water is running very slowly.)
- I have new neighbors in the apartment next door. Two nights ago a drunk guy was yelling to let him in, I suspected they didn’t want to because he was drunk and angry. I found some pumpkin seeds in my cupboard and decided to go to the grocery store another day.
- Live wires are sticking out of the walls.
- People leave trash on the sidewalk. There was a carpet lying there for weeks. And also a toilet — for months.
- The windows are leaking so much that when it rains and you are sleeping, you can wake up to a puddle in the middle of the room.
- There’s only hot water in the kitchen. Unless the water heater doesn’t turn on because of low pressure — then there’s only cold water.
- I was cleaning tiles in the bathroom, and one fell off and broke.
I know it looks bad. I swear, I am not as poor as it seems, and you can make money as an artist. I got used to the apartment. It will be funny to look at this list when I am rich, or at least living in a functioning apartment.
I spent the day dog sitting 🙂