Half Year Review: 2021

Mexican Cigars. Mexican Mescal. Mexico, Menstrual Cups & A Whole Lot More

I have found what seems to be the only quiet place in Mexico City. I am seated and things are finally still. There is a fridge, unreasonably loud, humming over my left ear and the faint rhythms of reggaeton coming from some neighbouring house, but by the standards of Mexico, I have found a corner of tranquillity in and amongst the chaos of its capital city.

Today is the first of June which means by the time you have read these words they will already be a month old. I came to Mexico to witness an oligarchal union. Last week my mate’s brother – Alejandro, and Mexicano to the core, (Veracruzano to be exact) wedded a Putin loving, Soviet Union dreaming Russian from Moscow, Tatyana.

The event was a big deal.

I had expectations. There was much said in anticipation for the evening. I was told to prepare for a night unlike any I had ever experienced in my life. I was lucky enough to be allowed a plus one – and so, therefore, stoked beyond belief that I would get a chance to share this unreal experience with Emma, she joined me across the Atlantic. I have pictures and videos which I will upload someday – when I get around to it – but take me at my word that if you had strolled across this sight unknown to its reality, you would have had no doubts that you just stepped onto the set of some epic movie celebrating a wedding scene.

There was a man hand rolling cigars in the corner, a church from the 1600s, many moustaches, the cake was auctioned. Mezcal flowed.

Menstrual Cups

Wow, quite the transition right?

Well, not as random as it seems. At the wedding I was sat next to a Mr Jorge Valencia. A character who dopplegangs Felix Gallardo of Narcos fame to an absolute tee. He was introduced to me as someone who is involved in imports/exports. I was struck dumb for a moment and thought I was perhaps being taken for a ride. An oligarchic wedding, in Mexico, introduced to a man who resembles a cartel boss, and you are told he is in ‘imports/exports’… it was all a bit much.

I toned down my usual freewheeling commentary of things so as to not accidentally offend a genuinely dangerous person, but I was of course wrong to suspect what you all concluded as well. Mexican’s despise the drug trade. It brings insecurity to their lives and tarnishes their magnificence and glorious country on the global stage. I admire the way they talk about cocaine and weed so much because it is along similar lines to the messaging I am usually promoting. Those of disdain and waste.

But alas, Jorge Valencia is a through and through importer/exporter after all, only, exclusively legal. This is a man who could not embody an entrepreneurial spirit more thoroughly. His story is fascinating – you can be sure he is a future guest on ‘A Curious Worldview‘.

So we got to talking and it turns out one of his most profitable lines of business is a menstrual cup that he produced. Again – how does one get involved in menstrual cups is a whole story, but we’ll save that for the podcast. The business case for menstrual cups is strong. So strong in fact, that I have adopted the cause as one I am going to champion myself back in Sweden. The opportunity I see within menstruation cups is severalfold, but all in all, it is as ultimate a case for conscious capitalism as you could ever hope to stumble across. Read more here – and as the viral marketers say, watch this space.

Reflections & Taking Stock Of The First Half Of 2021

I find that I wish I had been recording my moods and days as they passed. I don’t keep a diary, or journal, or record of the small moments that are forgotten amongst the drawn-out longer-term view. Even when that longer-term view is only 6 months old. So much is happening, how am I supposed to capture it with justice in a twicely bi-annual look?

Like I said in 2020’s Annual Review – my productivity has been borderline off the charts. There has certainly never been a 6-12 months period in my life where I have created nearly as much as those 12 previous which no occupy our rearview mirror. Ironically, however, the funny thing is that those previous 12 months have also been the lowest-earning 12 months of my entire working life! I think I was earning more money when I was 15 cleaning cinemas!

I am as frugal as they come and a habitually good saver, so I have not come up against any money shocks. But apart from some lucky investments and some consulting work here and there – deposits into the old savings account are fewer than you’d think.

I understand this… good things take time. Much of the work I have done in the previous 12 months is not likely to pay off for years. But when it does, ooh then it all seems so simple. Can the promise of compounding be realised? I bloody hope so

Update On All The Projects

Atlas Geographica

Steady uptake across all metrics. That is the story of Atlas so far. As you know, this is still very early days. Writing online is as fixed a domain in Extremistan as exists. Which is to say in other words, even though the articles published here will not necessarily be widely read they are nonetheless the landing page for all the ventures I embark on.

My curiosity for everything can be documented here. The topics are varied… since I posted the Annual Review of 2020 all of the following articles have been posted.

A Curious Worldview

By the time this is published ‘A Curious Worldview‘ will be +30 podcast episodes.

Strictly as an objective measure, the podcast does two things for me. It forces my hand to actually learn what I am going to speak about and, more importantly, invites copious amounts of serendipity into my life. Monetisation is a long way off – and to be honest – even if it never got there, I am confident in saying that it wouldn’t even matter.

I am thrilled, again and again, whenever I load up the video chat software and a floating head, typically that of one I admire pops onto the screen in front of me. I am learning so much from doing the podcast and although editing takes a bit of my soul every time – the meta role that this podcast is playing in my life is so important.

I am forcing serendipity and slowly opening up doors that would have never been available to me otherwise.

Other Podcasts

Geopolitics & Power Podcast

This podcast exists because of SEO.

If algorithms and search functions were redhot, and actually served the purposes upon which they promised, then this side podcast wouldn’t be necessary. But such is life, the search and algorithmic functions deem it the smarter route to have a stand-alone geopolitics podcast.

Every episode that has a geopolitical theme on ‘A Curious Worldview’ features as a stand alone episode on ‘The Geopolitics & Power Podcast’.

The Incerto & Nassim Taleb Podcast

This podcast remains the primary driver of traffic for Atlas Geographica and likely ‘A Curious Worldview’ as well.

The ruminations on risk, uncertainty and randomness which Nassim Taleb writes for us in the Incerto are truly some of the most timeless ideas one can return to again and again. I had not heard or read anyone speak in quite the same manner as Nassim anywhere else until I came across a Google Talk with Leonard Mlodinow.

Leonard is a physicist and as such also a brilliant mathematician with a very keen eye for the randomness and BS laden intrusions of probability and statistics. He authored a book titled the ‘Drunkards Walk’ which many of you will recognise is an obvious allusion to the impossible to predict paths of serendipity and randomness simply following your instincts can take you down.

Leonard’s book has given me the confidence to tackle a serious writing venture of my own. It is clear to anyone who has read this far down a bi-annual update about me that I am a happy and keen writer. These articles which I put together for Atlas Geographica are both a measure of training and sanity. Training because without iteration and refinement the writing would remain dull. Sanity because of how intrinsically rewarding the published word on the page is.

A book tentatively titled – ‘Invite Serendipity Into Your Life’ – is currently being penned. In it, I am making the case for why you should follow your instincts and say yes to opportunity. You don’t where it is going to take you, but why should that matter?

Nordik Cup

This is the most exciting development of 2021 so far. I have gotten into the Menstruation bizz.

I have created the Nordik Cup in response to what I saw in Mexico. A thriving business that creates a huge benefit to women and the environment. This product is truly an exponent of conscious capitalism.

I wrote my extended reasoning for why this product has only upside here. I would love to hear from anyone reading this what they think about it as well. Any and all commentary is encouraged.

Vision For The Future

In terms of the big, big picture – nothing has changed.

However, In terms of the details – I allow for ebbs and flows every day. Financial independence is still my north star. Most of the ‘disciplined’ things I am doing – which is to say, stuff I wouldn’t otherwise do – are still oriented towards this north star. Sales, business building, laborious administrative tasks that I would love to outsource. Things along these lines. They are the tasks you would otherwise not do which make up much of the hidden work that defines the backbone of success.

I am content with playing the slow game… however that is assuming a compounded payoff one day. A risk I am still unsure is todavia balanced. The daily competition between security and ambition sometimes makes me question whether what I am doing is on the right path, but so far, ambition wins out.

When we check back in December… let’s see how things have panned out.

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