Site Update: August 2020

Sunflower fields in August

Coming to you from a new apartment, new environment, and new beginnings.

August was my fourth month on this blog, and perhaps the most eventful.

There were lots of ups, downs, and everything in between in August. I wrote five essays that meant a lot to me personally, I moved with my girlfriend to a new apartment for the first time, I’ve been building my new online course, and I lost someone near and dear to me.

Unfortunately, I lost my grandfather Teodoro late last week. I spent much of the last ten days with family, friends, and in solitude, reflecting on his life. On Monday, we laid him to rest beside my grandmother, Rosina, with whom he spent most of his life. Needless to say, there is a lot on my mind these days, but writing will hopefully ease things a bit.

Remembering my grandfather Teodoro, who we lost in August 2020.
Here’s a picture of me and my grandparents from our amazing trip to Southern Italy in 2017. I miss them dearly.

You can read more on my experience with loss in this week’s post.

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Each month, I look back at what’s happened with JoeBalcom.blog over the previous month. If you’ve missed any articles, you can check them out here, and I’ve included links to the most popular ones further down in this post.

If you missed my previous updates, check out Site Update: July 2020, Site Update: June 2020, and Site Update May 2020.

Writing

Admittedly, I did not hit my goal of two posts per week in August, but what I did do was some of my most meaningful writing yet:

Growing Up with Two Mentally Ill Parents. This essay was extremely difficult to write, to say the least. It’s a story that I never told even my closest friends. It’s something that I’ve held near and dear for 29+ years. Gathering the courage to put it into writing, and then out to the world, was nothing short of frightening. But once I let it out to the world, the weight that was lifted off my mind and body was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And the overwhelmingly positive response simply floored me. Thank you to everyone who has read and reached out. It means so much to me (and I hope even more to you).

To anyone who knows someone, has a family member, or even a parent (or two) living with a mental health challenge, this one is for you.

10 Principles of Unparalleled Live. As many of you know, I’m currently in the midst of building and launching an online course, which I will be unveiling to beta testers next Wednesday. I’ve made this course for people who know they are capable of greater and more meaningful things in life, but don’t quite know where to start. Put simply, this course is made for my 28-year-old self. The principles in this article are some of the primary ideas serving as the foundation of this course, which I have no doubt will change so many lives.

Disrupting Higher Education. Building upon the theme of education, this essay talks about the sham higher education is turning out to be. It is something that everyone knows, but won’t say, because most think there are only two paths in life—college or limited opportunities. I entirely disagree with that scarcity mindset and lay out exactly why I won’t be sending my future kids to college in 20 years.

Why You Need to Bet On Yourself Now, More than Ever. Then, I build upon my battle against the scarcity mindset. Too many people underestimate themselves and overestimate others’ ability to help them. Accountability and ownership of one’s career trajectory are hard things to convince people of, but it’s a battle I’m willing to fight until the end.

Mamba Rules: Defining (and Living by) Kobe Bryant’s 10 Guidelines for Greatness. I wrote this in honor of what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday. Kobe and I didn’t share much other than the fact that he and I only grew up a few miles apart and the fact that we’re die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fans. Earlier this summer, the Eagles posted Kobe’s 10 rules on a wall at their training facility, which motivated me to write about them. I hope you enjoy this one!

Kobe Bryant 10 Rules for Greatness

Unparalleled Weekly Newsletter

In the month of August, I published the five editions of my Unparalleled Weekly newsletter. I’m amazed at how much traction it has gotten early on, and it’s all the motivation I need to keep putting good (hopefully great) work out there.

Every Monday morning, I send out a short email with the five best, coolest, and interesting things I’ve collected over the past week that can help expand your mind, redefine your comfort zone, and get your week started off in incredible fashion. If you haven’t signed up, sign up here.


What’s Next

Essays

I do have a good amount of projects on my plate coming up, most notably Unparalleled Live, but I will do my best to post at least one essay a week this month.

Projects

Unparalleled Live: I’m launching the beta test of UL this month. Putting something I’ve put so much work into is simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking. But it is the only way, as I believe the lessons within these live sessions will absolutely transform careers and lives forever. If you have any questions or would like to take part, just email me at [email protected] I’m so excited to see where this endeavor takes us!

Book Publishing: An unexpected benefit of putting meaningful writing out to the world is that people sometimes ask for a book to accompany it. And I’m not saying just a few people, no… HUNDREDS of people have come to me over the past month, through Facebook, email, or text messages, asking when the essay about my parents will become a book. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. So that is a calling I will eventually have to follow.

I also plan on revamping and republishing my small career/mindset guide (more like a personal journal over many years) Starting with Zero and putting it out for sale, so look out for that!

The Unparalleled Podcast: I’m mindful of taking on too much at once, so I am going to keep this on the back burner for a little bit until my beta course is all wrapped up.

Audience Participation

The first few months writing on the blog were psychologically hard, as it can be tough for any new blog to receive meaningful feedback right away. But then in late July and all of August, the floodgates opened. It’s much more than I could have ever asked for, and it means so much to me that so many of you resonate with my writing. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Of course, I’d love to hear from YOU! You can subscribe to my newsletter and reply directly to those emails, we can chat on Twitter, or you could simply comment below any of my posts.

Also, tell your friends, and tell the world about the essay that has resonated with you the most. Getting the word out is the best way to support me if you want to read more of this kind of content.

Thank you for spending time reading my work on this site. I appreciate the time you spend here because I know you could be using that time for many other important things in your life.

No matter what life throws at you, just remember:

Don’t wait for your future. Create it.

-Joe

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