Saturday, 6 June 2009

Having All Three

Yesterday marked a month since I last updated this blog. I can do nothing other than apologise. Exams took hold and anyone who has a blog themselves will understand that the longer you leave between posts the harder it is to start again.

But anyways, I am now tied down to very little in the academic sense and will hopefully be posting more on here. Yay for me!

A couple of days ago I went to an exceedingly interesting lecture in Leeds by the fantastic Johnny Cupcakes with my friend JohnnyDurham. He is an entrepreneur who started by selling printed t-shirts out the boot of his car and now runs a multi-million dollar company, basically still just selling t-shirts - using the internet as his main method of selling.

He is a fascinating man and, although he didn't seem too sure exactly how different the UK was to the US (at one point he asked us if we celebrated Christmas here, lulz <3)

I look away a lot from it. Three things struck me from his three hour lecture though. He is very dedicated to his customers and has a very similar relationship with them that many of the big time YouTubers have with their fans. There is a lot of adoration and respect for him and his brand, and he in turn takes the time to talk or email them, or even organise gatherings for them (sound familiar) like the one he is holding in London today.

Secondly his ruthless and determined work ethic. He told a story of when he was starting up a badge making enterprise with a close friend. Everything was great they got a lot of work done and made a reasonable amount of money. His friend then got a girlfriend, and the business went downhill. Johnny’s friend spent all his time with his girlfriend and less and less time with his business partner. The venture eventually crashed.

Johnny then drilled into us the importance of not being in a relationship when starting up a business; that a new business requires too much time and commitment to be committed to a girl or boy at the same time. He mentioned that if you have your fingers in too many pies, one of those pies is going to get a half arsed effort and end up half baked. His view is that you cannot possibly have an academic career, a business venture, romance and time to go out on a Friday night with your mates.

This reminded me of a video Alan uploaded recently, you can watch it here:

It got me thinking about me and whether Johnny is just being bitter about the fact he can’t get a girlfriend or is there some truth in his philosophy and Alan’s poem?

I think of my life. I am very lucky. I have a great group of friends, within YouTube and out, who have done nothing but support me throughout my life.

I have a great academic career, I’m doing well (touch wood) and am also lucky enough to be good at my job as an English teacher. I also have YouTube and now BlogTV which doesn’t get me a lot of money but is a hobby that I have managed to get some kind of monetary gain out of; I like to think I am good at that too.

Then I look at my relationship track record and to be honest my romantic history is less than shiny. I struggle to commit, talk about my feelings, sex still scares the shit out of me at the age of twenty and many a chance to practice. I haven’t had a ‘proper relationship’ since I was 17.

Is this going to bug me and shroud any kind of success I have in the future with an abundance of “what if?”s?

Johnny Cupcakes didn’t seem very happy to me. Yes he has his fans and a fantastic brand and an awful lot of money. But the way he spoke to us, quite honestly, about how he cradled his laptop at night pining for the right girl to come along made me think about my circumstances.

I would like a proper relationship, maybe a family in the future. But what am I going to have to sacrifice?

Am I going to have to sacrifice anything? Can I have all three? A love life, a social life and success?


jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruby said...

Hi Jazza,

It's true, it's been a long while since you posted a blog. I have one of my one, which I havent updated in months, so I know how it feels when you try and get back into it. It isn't always easy.

You should be 100% proud of yourself, you've achieved many things other 20 year olds can only dream of.
I can understand the feeling of worrying about juggling everything at the same time. I feel the same way most of the time.

Love is something we(hopefully) all get to experience, it shouldnt determine the amount of success or academical fufillment we experience in life, but it does alot of the time.

I just want to say, that I liked your blog today.
If you ever want to chat about anything, feel free to contact me.
Take care,

Dee said...

I know what you mean, I've been thinking about that too. I have a friend that's had a boyfriend for over a year. She was usually pretty good about balancing school, friends, and love. But when she started doing worse at school, she decided to focus on that. She lives with her boyfriend, so in the process of doing so, she kind of forgot about her friends. We went from seeing her almost every day, to about once a month, after begging her to come hang out with us.
I know it's probably hard for her to get her head out of the books and remember that there's a world outside of their apartment, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss her and wish things were like before.

MegTao said...

You don't need to sacrifice anything, it's more of a balancing act. You do need to prioritize though, and you need to find someone whose priorities match your own. For example, as a University student, my education is extremely important to me and will always come first, so one of the reasons me and my boyfriend are able to stay together is that we are both very focused on school.

It's not easy. He just got a job, and his school schedule is going to be different than mine because the engineering program has winter term off for his next year and he'll be at school during the summer. This obviously makes things more difficult, but if you really care about some one or something, you'll find the time and the energy, I don't care what Mr. Cupcake says.

Elly said...

I feel very similar to this (and to jesse for being a creeper as well), and I think you can have all three (work, love, social life), but one of them has to be less important. Also they need staggering! For instance, I tried to get work and love under control at the same time, and both went completely to pot. However, when I gave up on love for the moment and really went for work, it began to go right, and now it's a bit more stable I feel like I'm ready to give love or social life a go.

Don't stress yourself out about it. Being 20 means you can do pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want. But it doesn't mean you can do it all at the same time. If you try to do it all at once, life will suck. One at a time, less suck, or at least that's my theory :)

Allayna said...

In my opinion, sadly, I think Johnny Cupcakes’ advice, and Alan's poem are correct. However, I don't think it's a bad thing.
I mean, we need to remember that two out of three isn't that bad. Which is where the "glass half empty" "glass half full" metaphors come in. Are you going to mourn the missing piece, or just be thankful for what you do have?
I'm going to go ahead and continue to be philosophical and say that maybe it's not two out of three, but three out of four. Maybe it IS possible to have a good work life, love life, and social life, but that would leave no time for you. And without the glass, the water has no purpose; it’s just a messy spill on the table. Plus, in reality, who fills their glass to the tip-top, anyways?
When I look at my life, I, like you, lack only the love life. But I think about how it still feels like I don't have enough time, the way that weeks can just flip past, balancing school and my friends. It'd be impossible to fit a relationship in there, and I don’t even have THAT many friends. But I'm so happy, that my lack of a love life doesn't matter.
I think that as humans, one of our downfalls is constantly comparing our selves to other people, and feeling pressured by society to do certain things. We look at other people’s lives, and see all these additional things, and we think that just because they have it, we should too. We feel left behind, when other people are more proficient than we are as workers, lovers, or friends, and we forget all the areas where we greatly surpass them.
Anyways, I don’t mean to lecture you, because I know you’re not complaining.
Everything will fall as it should.

[morgan.] said...

Then I look at my relationship track record and to be honest my romantic history is less than shiny. I struggle to commit, talk about my feelings, sex still scares the shit out of me at the age of twenty and many a chance to practice. I haven’t had a ‘proper relationship’ since I was 17.
As I read that paragraph, all I could think about was, "Hi, I feel the exact same way."

This blog post really struck me, Jazza. At the age of 19, I haven't ever been in what you (and I) would call a "proper" relationship. I have many possible reasons as to why this is true, however I believe the one major reason is because I concentrate so much on what I want to do and accomplish. I haven't done anything "major" like become mildly successful on YouTube, become an English teacher, or even start my own t-shirt line. I've accomplished certain things I am proud of, but sometimes I feel like my life could only be positively supplemented by a significant other. I'm not even thinking that the person I could be dating right now would be the person I'd marry. However, I would be getting experience to handle future relationships.

Finding a personal balance between those three things is a difficult thing to do, especially with a considerable lack of one of them. Even so, I am strong, I am enjoying my life, and whatever I do in my future I'll be able to handle.

Thanks for this blog, Jazza.

kimg said...

I found myself thinking about what you wrote when I went for my run. In response to your question: You probably wont be able to have all three, unless you are like LB Johnson and just don't ever seem to sleep. However, while asking if you can have all three is a good question, I think you also need to ask yourself if you are happy. If you're happy, don't stress over finding someone. If you do along the road find yourself unhappy and more than wistfully thinking about having someone else, then begin tostart thinking about sacrificing time in one area and investing that more time into the romantic area.
To reiterate what others commented, I think everyone worries about that. But I believe it's important to realize that there are other types of love than romance and sometimes you do have to go find it, and make sacrifices to obtain as well as maintain it.

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ariel said...

I have this theory.
Basically, it's that if you want something to work out, then you'll find a way to make it work out. This could apply to relationships, business ventures, school, future plans, anything.
You just have to want it enough to work at it, I think.

robbjbrowning said...

I find myself agreeing with Meg, Morgan and Ariel. It's all about a balancing act, and these things come with time.

I'm 19 and my last (and only 'proper') attempt at a relationship failed miserably after 3 months in January because of my personal commitment issues, so I've been concentrating on my friends and my impending return to academia this coming September.

However lately I've been kind of seeing someone who I have a lot in common with, who is really nice, and who likes me. Now normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I'm faced with university soon, and although I'm not going far for uni, I've never imagined myself GOING to uni whilst in a relationship, and this is one of the reasons why my last relationship failed - I closed myself off then to avoid being hurt come September.

So I decided to not be in a relationship before uni to make things less complicated, and me being the pessimist I am in terms of relationships, I didn't think that it would be too hard for me to stay single. Along comes this new person, and now I'm wondering what I must do - do I let them in and run the risk of being hurt come September? Do I carry on with the relationship at uni and try a long(er)-distance relationship, which would very well prove stressful?

What I'm trying to say is that life always throws something up at you - positive or negative - to spice things up a bit. You just have to take it as it comes; it's one of those things you don't know how to deal with until you're there.

You are by far one of the most driven, intelligent, eloquent and frankly generally admirable 20-year-olds I can name - you said it yourself, you're lucky and you are GOOD at what you do!

Something I have had to remember a lot lately is that people our age are still young, we have time to explore the world on many different platforms, and shouldn't be in such a rush to get the end result, because it's the journey there that truly makes us who we are.

MikisthatChick said...

Head up Jazza :)

Thats awesome that you and Johnny got to go see Johnny, haha, he's from my hometown, and a really rad guy. His shirts are awesome (if a bit overpriced...but hey, it works!)
Johnny (the cupcake) does seem a bit sad with his life of late...i read his blogs, and he's very close with his family and friends, but you're right, i think the whole relationship thing gets to him. But honestly, it seems to me at least that it's mainly him not thinking he has the time, because living here in Boston, i know that all the ladies love him :)

Thats good advice, to not be too involved when starting a business, but key word is STARTING! If you have a wonderful girlfriend who cares for you and loves you for you, she will want you to do well in life, and will help you in any way she can to make sure what you're doing is successful! Sometimes having someone there for you is much more helpful if you're going to be stressed.

So i suppose my relationship status is very similar to yours in all respects (minus i'm a girlie) but i have faith that it will all work out, and it will for you too! Jazza you are a wonderfully talented boy and have so much vision and excitement, you're going to me successful in most everything you do. :) So as for making sacrifices, will. But so does everyone. And if it comes the time that you need to, it wont seem like much of a sacrifice if its for something you are passionate about. You'll find the perfect girl Jazza, don't worry. Or maybe even she will find you!
best of luck :)

theresa said...

Hey Jazza,
really appreciated this blog. Thnx. It inspired me to write one myself, within which I quote from yours. Hope you don't mind. Couldn't find any 'general terms and conditions'.
In case you do mind just tell me and I will change it.
Not that anyone reads it anyways^^
All the best,