Farewell 2021 . . Hello 2022!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

2021 was a very interesting year for me. I did something that I never thought I would do. I challenged myself, pushed myself, but most importantly, I took a chance on myself. If you’ve been following along, then you most likely know that in April of 2021, I quit my job as a Technical Program Manager at a struggling startup to chase after my own dreams.

The problem was, that I didn’t know what my dreams were. I knew I wanted to have greater control over my destiny, but how I’d make money and care for my family was still a little fuzzy. Luckily, my wife was gainfully employed and we had some savings for a rainy day. With that in mind, I took a chance on myself, turned in my two-weeks notice and left.

The first couple months were very interesting as I didn’t really know how to make money. I didn’t even know what skills I had since up to this point in my life, I was a “C” performer. I didn’t consider myself good at anything and always got by with just knowing enough to convince people that I was “good” at something. Let me tell you first hand, this is not a good way to live your life. “Faking it until you make it” is horrible advice as it takes a toll on your confidence. I took a day to reflect on my interests and skills and decided to start with cybersecurity.

I wasn’t very good at cybersecurity, but compared to coding, I felt more confident. I felt confident enough that I could teach it at least. This was a good and negative thing. It was a good thing because I focused on cybersecurity awareness. This meant that I was just covering the every day basics of cybersecurity so I didn’t have to have “hacker” level skills to make money. But, it was negative because it also meant I did something I was comfortable with. . . thus not growing my technical skillset.

With my heading in place, I went to Fiverr and Upwork and created a profile in both platforms. I put my services up, and waited for someone to find me. I had no idea what I was doing and I had no idea if anyone would come. After a few days, I got my first notification. Someone needed some training material created. I had created training material before, but never at a large scale. This was scary and I had no idea how this was going to play out. Imposter syndrome, thoughts of failure flooded my mind. I had no confidence and didn’t want to fail right out of the gate. I had no idea how to do what I was being asked to do and there was a good chance that I would forever tarnish my “reputation” on these freelancing platforms. I was scared. After reviewing and discussing with my wife, I decided to take a leap of faith and contacted the client to get the ball rolling.

Fast forward nine months and wow, my life is completely different now. I know exactly what I want to accomplish over the next 12 months. I have clarity on my priorities in life. And, while I don’t have a direct line of sight as to how I’m going to achieve greatness in 2022, I know that I have the basic building blocks to get there over the next few months. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m writing this on January 1st, 2022 in hopes that I can look back 365 days later and see where I came from. I am so confident that I will achieve great things this year. I am no longer scared to take bold chances. I welcome failure because it’s the only way to learn. It sucks and it hurts whenever I fail. I have failed a couple times in 2021, but each time I apologize, return a client’s money, or work with them to help me learn and get better. In the end, it works out because either I learn something I didn’t know before or I discover areas in my domain that I’m simply not good or interested in.

2022 is going to be an amazing year for me and my family. We are going to make bold moves and take on some seriously hard challenges. Follow along so I can bring you on my journey. I’ll be posting almost every day, just sharing my thought process, journey, and most importantly, just documenting my process. Hopefully, I can inspire you to take a chance and chase after your dreams. This pandemic taught me a lot, but perhaps it taught me that life is too short to be living for someone else. Everything I do from this point forward is to help me improve. #onward




I’m an engineer working professionally in San Diego, CA. I’m trying to improve every day and use this space to document. Connect: apetech.me/social

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Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

I’m an engineer working professionally in San Diego, CA. I’m trying to improve every day and use this space to document. Connect: apetech.me/social

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