Ray Dalio’s words from Principles have been echoing in my mind lately:
“You can have virtually anything you want, but you cannot have everything.”
Today marks the 1 year anniversary since I publicly announced The CEO Library, the project I founded together with my friend and mentor Bobby Voicu. At the same time we started working on it, I launched Friday Read, my personal newsletter. In the past year, I divided my attention and tried to grow them both, fooling myself into believing that I’m capable. It became increasingly clear to me that I’m not.
That’s why I decided that I need to eliminate all distractions and redirect every drop of energy towards building The CEO Library. In order to do so, I’m closing down my personal mailing list.
Having a mentality of “I’m unstoppable and I can do whatever I set my mind to“, combined with fear of rejecting good opportunities for better ones, has kept me paralyzed. Instead of making sure I’m taking care of my priorities and giving all I can towards them, I chased too many rabbits at once. So now I need to recalibrate.
Friday Read was a distraction – one that I don’t regret whatsoever, since I learned a lot. It allowed me to meet some amazing people (and I hope I contributed a tiny bit to their growth). But still a distraction. Even if it wasn’t eating that much time out of my workweek (only 2-3 hours every Friday morning), it was a huge mentally exhausting factor.
You might disapprove and (rightly) object that putting all my eggs into one basket is a bold and highly risky move. I hear ya. I know all your arguments, since they’ve been running through my mind for a while now. I’ve taken them all into consideration and yes, while 100% conscious that Future Me might regret making this decision, I’ve decided to proceed anyways. It is what it is.
Right now, it’s more important to me to know that I’ve done everything under my control to build The CEO Library. Cristina Chipurici is currently 99% overlapping with The CEO Library’s identity (switching from writing in Romanian to English language only complicated things and led to extra confusion), and The CEO Library needs to be bigger than Cristina Chipurici. It’s about suppressing ego. Long term perspective versus easy short term gains.
Or maybe I’m just weak and I lack the level of resilience and grit that’s needed to fight all these monsters in my head. My mind has a limited capacity. I can’t keep pursuing two tracks at the same time. At least not at the level of excellence I’m inevitably pressuring myself to. As an old buddy was saying: when I’m my own biggest enemy, I’m winning and losing at the same time.
I’m trying to reframe all these failures and mistakes as “ways that I gathered new information about me“. I’m learning. I’m growing. And I thank you for the wonderful journey so far, while hoping that you’ll keep close from now on… in a different way.
So, what’s next?
1. I’m going to send those subscribed one last email, with a long list of friends that I respect and recommend to follow (basically, a round-up of all the wonderful folks I previously mentioned in Friday Read). I’ll also update this list of newsletters (a couple more were created or discovered since I wrote that).
2. Obviously, I also recommend you to subscribe to The CEO Library newsletter – it’s actually similar to Friday Read, so maybe you’ll enjoy it as well. And, who knows, perhaps I’ll start a Friday Read newsletter there as well? I honestly don’t know yet. What you can be sure of is that I’m not going to enforce this by merging the two mailing lists – leaving aside the legal arguments, this needs to be your choice. I’d also appreciate a lot if you’d support my – our work there (monthly donating via Patreon is one of the ways you can do that).
And what happens if The CEO Library fails? If I fail? Well, I can always just start from scratch. Again. It’s not like I haven’t done this before – oh, so many times!