How Was 2014 and What Has Stood out if Anything?

This post was written in 2014. 

How do we mix wonderful and horrid into the same timeframe.  Oh wait, isn’t that just the story and foundation of my life?

My year had started out wonderfully.  I was living on a high of being named a Top Writer and had just hit 2 million views on Quora by New Years.  Thank you Quora User and Virali Modi, you’re such amazing friends!  These two girls have gone above and beyond to assist me with something from which I had thought was absolutely impossible.

As the year started, my friend Jeff Meyerson had sent me a message.  He informed me that he had interest in interviewing me to do the first Quoracast for the calendar year of 2014.

The podcast can be heard here:  Leonard Kim: Self-Improvement by Jeff Meyerson on The Quoracast

This year was full of many surprises, being just March 15 and all, as I write this article.  I wiped away all my failures from the prior years and became a new person.  No longer was I this failure who had lost absolutely everything he had, however I had recovered it all and then some.

Overall, this year has been absolutely amazing.  I have spent a lot of time expanding my network and making wonderful friends.  One of my friends was so kind to even invite me out to his wedding.

Terrence Yang, you don’t mind that I mention you, do you?  You’re such a great friend!

Does this picture that your wife had sent me exploit you a little too much?  I surely hope not!

(Insert funny caption here)

At his wedding, I met with someone whom he recently had invested into.  A very talented individual who is working on a platform that is crowdsourcing the news.  Quite an interesting concept, if you ask me.  What is his background in?  Oh, he was only the co-founder of this small little website that no one knows about.  I think it’s called Wiki, what was it?  Wikimedia?  Wikifuntimes?  Oh yeah, I remember now!  It’s Wikipedia.  Little does anyone know, he was the one who had come up with the name.  Quite a genius if you ask me.

The founder’s name you ask?

Larry Sanger of

Need proof he actually came up with the name?

Here you go:

Jimmy Wales’ answer to Who first coined the term ‘Wikipedia’?

If I were you, I’d register to his site to get in on it at the ground floor level.  It’s more than likely going to become the next big thing when it comes to finding the news.  I mean, look what happened with Wikipedia.

A little prior to that, I had been offered a writing gig with one of the most influential people in the blogging hemisphere.  A best selling author of self help books who initially cultivated the beginning of his success by becoming an entreployee.  He went on to create websites for companies like HBO, worked as a hedge fund manager and was on the Cramer show.

Actually, he’s the one who had inspired me to write because of how much of his life had resonated with mine.  Ever since I was first on the internet at the age of fourteen, I had never once seen someone open up about all their failures without sugar coating a single thing.  That was until I came across his writings.  When I was entering adulthood, my associates had told me to cover up all my flaws and display an image of perfection.  That worked, temporarily, until everything in my life had come tumbling down.

When I had the chance to read through the articles of someone whom I considered to be a mentor, even though I had never met him, I understood that it was okay to be who I am.  To accept my failures.  To accept my shortcomings.  He taught me how to express who I was and overcome the insecurities and barriers of fear I had, to show who I truly am.  For that, I will eternally be grateful
and in his debt.

His name?

James Altucher

Where do I write?

At Ask James.  It’s a site where you can basically ask James any question you please.  Most of the time, he answers.  Sometimes I share my perspectives as well.

He also was featured by the Huffington Post for having The Best Podcast On iTunes — The James Altucher Show.  I’d suggest subscribing to his podcast, as he has amazing guest speakers, such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ylon Schwartz, A.J. Jacobs, Hugh Howey and many others.  If you’re a fan of podcasts, this is definitely the one to subscribe to.

About a month ago, one of my friends whom I had met at a Quora meetup last year had invited me out to drinks.  He wanted to discuss life and talk about business.  He has been building out quite a successful startup recently called Boxcat Games.  In the past, he worked at Cogent Systems, where he was able to help catch terrorists and build amazing infrastructure for governments in various countries.  He told me of a story that really astounded me, of how he was able to help assist in the catching of a Sniper that was talked about all over the news.

He shared another story of how his small team had gathered up together to ensure that a government election in a South American country couldn’t get rigged on an impossible deadline.  Even though everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, they were still able to meet their deadline, while ensuring that there were no glitches in the system.  Absolutely phenomenal.

James Liu, if I only had half your skills…

Kai Peter Chang and I hosted a Quora meetup about a month ago.  That was a huge hectic mess.  However, everything came through right on time and it turned out to be a hit!

I’ve worked at an entry level job for almost the last three years and attend school full time, so I don’t have a lot of free time to do anything really.  However, I do all that I can to fit in everything into my compact little schedule.  A few weeks ago when spring semester had started back up again, I felt a little overwhelmed.  And by little, I mean a lot.  It didn’t help much that my mommy came to visit around the same time and drilled me with 21 questions each and every day.

I knew that I had to escape at some point or I’d go mad, so I had decided to buy a plane ticket to take a short vacation in New York.  I asked my business partner if I could stay on his sofa.  He agreed.   Then I asked James if I could meet with him for coffee.  Luckily, he was free the same week, so I bought a ticket.  I figured that I would buy a ticket then plan what to do in New York as time went by.  I’m not a big fan of making plans.  I usually just go with the flow.

Another question here on Quora was pretty interesting.  It had asked if there were any geniuses on this site.  I thought long and hard.  I thought of my friend who is going for his PhD at the University of Chicago, has an IQ of 178 and had created some applications that people on Quora have been asking for for years, such as a tool that allows you to export all your Quora answers.  I decided to give him a shout out.  That one post alone took his follower count from 1050 to 2050 in just under 68 hours.

Giordon Stark, you’re awesome!  I hope to one day become a genius like you, even though it’s highly unlikely as all your answers on physics are illegible to me.

However, I did love how you explained recursion!

Giordon Stark’s answer to What is recursion?

Have any of you heard of Quora User yet?  This guy is quite interesting.  He’s a new user on Quora and he’s going to be building out a fashion line in 2016.  A lot of his posts resonate with me as well.  I met Colin this year online and talking to him has been more than a pleasure.  I surely can say he’s a great friend who surely has a ton of wit and humor.  The small chats we have here and there are always quite rewarding.  It’s always relieving to be able to speak with someone who is able to see the world through a much similar perspective as mine.  It’s almost as if we see eye to eye.  Oh, and I’m not one to really predict the future, but I have a pretty good feeling he’s going to be a top pick for the title of Top Writer 2014.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been retitling a few of my Quora posts and putting them up on my blog, with the help of Quora User.  She has gone above and beyond for me.  She has decided to help me with more than I could ever ask for.  She manages almost every single thing on my blog.

Then I’ve been sharing them throughout social media on other platforms like Medium, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  It’s quite surprising, that people on other platforms are finding an interest in my writing as well.  I have received an influx of email messages along with offers to expand my online presence.

Have you subscribed to my blog yet?

My site is at Leonard

In two weeks, I will be doing an interview with Scott Balster, the founder ofEmployTown.  That seems like a lot of fun.  Hopefully he will be sending me his talking points soon!

Most importantly, I wanted to mention how amazing of a friend Ellen Vranahas been.  She is probably my best friend.  Which is quite sad, as I have yet to meet her in person.  However, every time we talk, she is full of joy and happiness.  We can be completely transparent with each other and confide in each other with everything, from the best of times to the worst of times.  Ellen, I love you.

I don’t think I can tag any more people, so there are also all these amazing people listed here who have helped me out in some way, shape or form and are considered to be amazing friends that I have met this year as well.

Leonard Kim’s answer to Who mentors new users on Quora?

However, I guess it isn’t fair to point out all the highlights without pointing out the negative instances as well.

Since  school started in the last few weeks and my mommy visiting me for quite possibly an indefinite amount of time, as she has no date of departure, I have felt quite overwhelmed in the last few weeks.  Luckily, writing helps me negate most of the anxiety I have been feeling.  However, I have been dealing with a lot of stress in the last few weeks.

One of the things that really gets to me is deadlines.  In school, I’ve been given deadlines to have assignments completed at certain times.  I wake up at 6:40am and don’t get home until 7:00pm from work, so it has gotten quite intense trying to manage a life where I write on the internet, go to work to pay for my bills, complete my school assignments and try to add in leisure time.  The leisure, I haven’t been able to get much of that recently.  However, I have been looking back to my principles and my foundation in the last week to really get back on track.

In the last month and a half or so, I have spent more than I earn in a month on a shopping spree, trying to mitigate all the anxiety and stress I’ve felt.  I did everything from buying gifts for my friends to filling up my wardrobe with pieces I have yet to wear.  One particular piece I bought recently, which I just had authenticated yesterday has caused me a lot of stress as well.  I feel almost as if I don’t deserve it, due to the nature of how valuable it is.  Sure, I did get it for a steal, however it just doesn’t feel right to own.

Buying this item was quite a great lesson though.  It made me realize that I have completely changed from who I used to be.  It was like a wake up call and a reminder to myself that I really don’t want to have an extravagant and lavish lifestyle.  I feel like I have evolved from the need to have high maintenance items and that I can be quite comfortable living just a simple life.

I’ve also been trying to get a business started for the last few months, however I’ve been having a lot of difficulty in finding a technical lead to help me with the project.  I thought that maybe I could find everything I need here on Quora, however that doesn’t seem to be the case.  It’s horrible too, as I have about a dozen people waiting on me to release the service so they can immediately become customers and a lot of people waiting for a strategic alliance with this nonexistent company, however all I have is a piece of paper that states what I need.  If you happen to know anyone who can help me with this, I’d be eternally grateful.

A few days, I have also lost sleep due to trying to hit all these deadlines.  I preach about having eight hours of sleep a night and I was fully reminded of how important it was.  I don’t understand how people can function on anything less than eight hours, as bipolar nature starts to emerge rapidly.  I did force myself to get back on track with my sleep and have been able to feel much better about myself though, as my sanity has been restored.

Oh, then I had a catastrophe with my website a few days ago.  My load time went from two seconds to twenty seconds.  I spent three days trying to get all the help I could in figuring out what was wrong with it.  My business partnerCarlo Silva came to the rescue and was able to find the underlying issue to the problem.   It just so happened to be that my Pinterest plugin destroyed my whole site.

Wouldn’t that be an interesting post?

How Pinterest almost destroyed my website?

Anyway, yesterday, I went to the dentist, which was probably the most devastating experience of the whole year.  Throughout the whole day, I could feel how much trauma my teeth had gone through and I’m dreading my next appointment in  the upcoming week.  Also, the financial burden of these visits is going to be wiping out half of my London fund, which means I have to get back on track with saving money.

I was also heavily reminded of how important gratitude is.  As gratitude is what has helped me come back to finding myself through these last three weeks of turmoil.

Oh and If anyone is interested in how to get your visiting mother to stop asking you 21 questions, it’s pretty simple.

Step 1.  Buy an iPad with internet capabilities.
Step 2.  Download Netflix and if she’s Asian, Viki as well.
Step 3.  Teach her how to use the program.

Once this is completed, the 21 questions stop.

So, I guess to sum it up, despite the temporary anxiety and pain I have gone through in the last few weeks, my year is going quite well.

How is your year going for you?

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media

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