The anti-sterotypical story that led me to set sail on a hundred day voyage

All I could hear was generic bschool-kid garbage

I hadn’t seen my friend Joe in four, maybe five years when we randomly ran into each other last winter. We began hanging out regularly and he would always bring up this one friend from his fraternity who he believed would be a great author for The Sexy Politico (TSP). The Sexy Politico is a client of Argo Labs, the business I confounded last July, but we’re not apart of the new author process; so we told him to have his friend email the Editor or Publisher at TSP to get started. Joe didn’t want that. Joe insisted either Marikha or I have direct contact via phone, video, email, or whatever.

He gave me the run down on this dudes credentials one day, but while he sat there passionately pitching why at least one of us should meet him, all I could hear was generic bschool-kid garbage. Michigan grads know the stereotype – a frat star from the East Coast who spends their free time whoring around on LinkedIn and their summers interning at financial institutions. I hadn’t even met him yet but I already presumed this guy spent Tuesday nights at Scorekeepers and only had two pairs of shoes in his closet: worn out Sperry’s and untied Bean Boots.

It’s safe to say I had no intentions of meeting this guy, writing him off as carbon copy of every other Wall Street ass kisser produced by Ross that I’ve met. Not to say everyone who graduates from Ross wants to suck the NASDAQ’s dick, but with what information I did retained from Joe’s monologue, he fit every criteria for a guy I just didn’t want or need to meet.

It’s safe to say I had no intentions of meeting this guy.

But Joe knows me well enough to realized he needed to go another route if he wanted this to happen. So, Joe told his friend to send an email. Not to anyone at The Sexy Politico, not to me, but to Marikha. In his email he asked to Skype with Marikha to learn more about TSP and talk about his writing, Marikha agreed. Argo Labs, specifically Marikha, has worked very hard on TSP for a long time. There’s no way she was going to say no to a potential author reaching out, that would’ve been a wasted opportunity (which Marikha absolutely does not tolerate), plus, it’s just rude not to reply to someone’s email, especially when they’re interested in your work. When we asked the Publisher at TSP, Jacqueline, to join the video chat she couldn’t because that day, of all the days, was her birthday. So we did it alone and I was not please… at first.

Enter: Ryan Strauss. A Bitcoin enthusiast, former member of a Y-Combinator caliber startup, who quit his generic post-bschool finance job in Chicago to move back to Ann Arbor to live and breath the scene. Ryan spoke of this blogging journey he recently began to embarked upon: 100 Days of Blogging. The idea is simple – write a blog post each day for 100 consecutive days straight. I thought it was really cool; so I went to his Medium blog, read his posts up to that point (which are great), and really loved his passion – highlighted in his Defense of Greek Life. Ryan was interested in helping TSP beyond just being an author, offering his help in finance and suggesting we look into Bitcoin.

– The idea is simple –
write a blog post each day for 100 consecutive days straight.

Ryan began posting a few of his days on The Sexy Politico and consistently would reach out to me and others at TSP about a wide variety of things. He finally convinced me to look into Bitcoin when he sent me links to his coverage of the North American Bitcoin Conference on Bitcoinist. I loved the articles and started looking into the idea and Bitcoin more in-general. I quickly agreed with him and started looking into solutions, which of course he helped with every step of the way by offering ideas, providing links to solid APIs and Plugins, and even connecting us via email to others in the Bitcoin community. Eventually I narrowed down the implementation to two of his suggestions: ChangeTip and SatoshiPay.

Ryan contacted me in May saying he was going to be in Ann Arbor for his sisters graduation and wanted to meet up in person, so I invited him over to my home. I expected us to chat a bit and discuss the final stages of implementation for TSP, and for the first little bit of time he was there, that’s what we did. Eventually we found ourselves knee deep in conversation about technology, theories behind different aspects of Bitcoin, and the ethics of blogging. I learned that 100 Days of Blogging wasn’t something famous, but the derivative of a project his friend did (which was the original “100 Days of…”) that he decided to do on his own accord. That put in perspective just how challenging this 100 Days of Blogging can be and gave me a whole new respect for Ryan. I walked away from that day with a new friend, new ideas, and a challenge to blog.

I walked away from that day with a new friend, new ideas, and a challenge to blog.

That meeting happened only a few days after what is undoubtedly the hardest and saddest day I’ve lived in my life thus far – saying goodbye to Marikha (my business partner, girlfriend, and best friend for the last 4 years) when she had to leave the United States and go back to Bangkok, Thailand where she grew up. At the time Ryan presented me this challenge I wasn’t ready emotionally to dedicate any sort of time doing anything but missing her, and I needed that, but sitting and wishing doesn’t get you anything in life but a sore ass and a dull lamp. You have to want something more than you wish for it or you’ll end up with high hopes and no results. I’ve almost taken up this challenge everyday for the past week or two, maybe even longer, and I think I’ve said “I’m going to start 100 Days of Blogging today!” like a million times (just ask Marikha), but always find a reason to put it off. Not Today.

Sitting and wishing doesn’t get you anything in life but a sore ass and a dull lamp.

So, what’s the moral of this story? I’m kind of an asshole? A little. Really this is kind of a classic example of why stereotyping is wrong, but more importantly, I’d like to get across that someones past doesn’t define their future. This exemplifies what the lucrative potential outcome of an experience can be when you’re keeping an open mind and just try. It shows that you should always hear your friends out, even if you think they’re dead wrong, because weather you believe it or not, they know you better than you think. This story is a testament to the resilience of love, the pain of loss, and the power of your mindset. Missing someone, something, isn’t good enough. You have to want them more than you miss them. You have to get up and go after what you want instead of waiting to see what’s going to happen first. Otherwise – if you don’t – all you’re left with is a fading memory of yesterday while the world move forward. You can’t do it all at once, you have to find little reasons to continue to fight. Whenever you feel like it’s not worth it or you’ll never reach your goals, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath, think about just the next 24 hours, remove the stress of the future for a moment, and try taking things like challenge… one day at a time.

You have to get up and go after what you want instead of waiting to see what’s going to happen first.

This is a rebuild mode for me. A way to start something new, a way to physically see myself taking it one day at a time until I’ve done #100DaysOfBlogging.

Today is Day 1.

brandon jp scott

My name is Brandon, and I like to make things. I'm a Full Stack Software Engineer and Linux Administrator from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I started programming when some childhood friends and I decided to make a private Ragnarok Online server and host it in my parents basement. I got designated "code guy", fell in love, and never looked back. I started teaching myself as much as I could, and started my first online entity, a non-profit, with a high school classmate. Eventually I took this love to the University of Michigan where I studied Computer Science Engineering and Mathematics. During my time there I was lucky enough to work for two iconic tech companies, Automattic and Google. Currently, I am the Technology Director of Argo Labs, an Ann Arbor based digital engineering, design, videography, and content marketing company aiming to build a more unique web that I cofounded in July 2015 with two of my best friends.

1 comment

Ryan Strauss
Ryan Strauss - June 28, 2016 Reply

This is awesome, way to go, Brandon JP Scott!!! You’re gonna produce some great stuff and learn a ton. For the record, I do have multiple worn out Sperry’s. :-)

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