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:wave: Hey hey, I'm Michael Lee and this is my site about being a developer, being a dad and making side projects.

My Dining Table for Tonight

Written on April 9, 2013

Tonight I got to enjoy the delicious dinner my wife prepared for me outside in the 80 degrees heat. With my own personal band consisting of birds, a calm breeze, leaves swishing in a nearby tree and cars roaming by the side street adjacent to where I was sitting, playing some sweet melodies. Ok, the cars and their drivers glancing at me weren’t so sweet but being able to unplug and have dinner outside alone with my meal, my thoughts and the gifts Mother Nature had to provide were.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to dine in at home with my wife. But tonight I had an opportunity to unplug and be outside which is something I find rare in my life these days.

I’ve been pondering the type of lifestyle I’d like to live in my near future as I am facing career transitions.

Should I go get a corporate job and work day in and day out for the sake of stability? Or do I want to take part in the growth and nurturing of a startup? I’ve also been pondering upon a third option which is follow my passions and do my own thing.

I’ve been following some people on blogs and twitter, who have achieved a lifestyle that brings them much joy and sense of accomplishments simply because they are following their passions. And to be honest I’m completely jealous.

To highlight a few of the types of freedoms they are experiencing that I hope to one day accomplish in the near future are, living life by their own terms, being able to travel and explore the world, working outside on such beautiful days such as today, and living off of multiple sources of passive incomes.

Living off of multiple sources of passive incomes is something that is appealing to me as I wrestle with the current career transition that I’m in. Creating a business that generates passive income has always been a mystery to me. It seems many have done it but I always wondered how. Is there a secret formula besides hard work? Must I have an ingenious idea?

I’m currently running a very small business on the side called Print Squares. It’s an online service that allows you to print your Instagram photos. Small and humble at the moment but realizing that this is a form of passive income that I’ve created.

Running Print Squares is a lot of fun and I’m learning tons just by this one simple business. My current challenge is how to grow the business and move to the next step. What is the next step?

I’ve started reading a book called, "The $100 Startup" by Chris Guillebeau. I’m a few chapters in and this book is inspiring. I’ll save more details until I finish the book. But one key point that I’ve been focusing on, is adding value to my customers.

Print Squares is simple and from everyone’s reception it seems to be a positive experience. But to be honest there are a lot of other places people can go to get their Instagram photos printed. What will set Print Squares apart from its competitors is value.

In honing in on value, I’ve decided to share photo techniques through a blog I’ve setup for Print Squares. The camera that I’ve been using the most these days is my phone and it’s obvious that camera phones will only get better. Any techniques you can achieve on a "better" camera can be applied to your camera phone.

In sharing my techniques and tricks I hope people will go out and create some awesome memories and create art.

Will my blog idea work? No idea but I hope it does bring value to my customers. I hope people become better phonographers. Even if it doesn’t drive more people to order through Print Squares, I’ll take the lessons I’ll learn and apply it to another side business.

Eventually I’ll get to a point where my family can live off of passive income.

I plan on having more outdoor dining table experiences like tonight. Hopefully as I pursue my own passions, it will allow me to explore where my next dining table experience will be.

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