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(Mi)lly, Myself, and I - Issue #5

(Mi)lly, Myself, and I
The issue in which I fall in love with side projects all over again, and put up a pretty landing page for my new content tool (PLUS: name reveal…!)

#1 Side Projectitis is a real thing
Something must be in the air, because I’ve had quite a few job offers land in my various inboxes in the past few weeks. Some were really quite attractive, others seemed like they were from desperate hiring managers grasping at straws trying to fill open positions. I’m a generalist, for sure… but some of these were a stretch even for my… shall we say… ‘eclectic skill set’.
One opportunity that really did stick with me, though, was from a company called TRADERVERSE, which is building a collaborative social network for stock and crypto traders with built-in proprietary analysis tools, information aggregators, AI and ML trading tools, and a unique rewards system to incentivize active and talented traders.
Not many people know this, but I used to be really really into trading, mainly swing trading currency pairs and oil, but drifting into day trading stocks at the open from time to time, too.
Long story short, I could not stop thinking about this company and all the potential its technology and team have… so I accepted their offer. I joined them as Chief Growth Officer on November 1 🙂
This brings me to the subject of Side Projectitis (which I am sure will one day be an ICD-recognized illness).
Over the past several weeks, I kept saying that I didn’t want to be employed again after leaving my last position in August… but I’ve since realized that, right now, I love the idea of having side projects more than I love the idea of running a company as a solo founder with no other income. In part, that self-awareness is what led to my portfolio of projects mission in the first place, but even when I imagined my project portfolio, I imagined them as existing under one ‘umbrella’ company, potentially being spun off if any given project were particularly successful.
And there was something that didn’t quite sit right for me with that. I am not the type of person to have just one thing and no other occupation (note: The One Thing by Gary Keller is an amazing book on goal setting, and you should read it yep yep yep): I need a limited (read: healthy) amount of context switching to keep my creativity and motivation fresh for each project.
By only selecting a small number of contexts and really loving each one, I genuinely miss a project when I’m not working on it. (After I write this, I’m off to work on my side project after a few days crushin’ it with freelance work… and I can’t wait!)
It’s this desire only to have side projects that I am calling Side Projectitis. And far from a disease, for me, it’s actually a blessing. I love having side projects. It’s a way for me to problem solve, be creative, learn new skills, and hopefully earn some extra cash, all without the pressures of ‘having a company’. Side projects are a hobby for me, and I think I’ve finally accepted that I want to keep them this way (at least for the foreseeable future).
So, the bottom line here is this: this offer came at the perfect time. I’ve found an amazing mutually-beneficial combination of a growth-related position and a cool side project. I already see parallels where they can feed off each other, and I’m stoked to be filling my time with meaningful exciting work.
Happy, happy, Milly.
#2 Friends, meet ahavo.co 🎉
Let’s get to why you’re really here! To see the new landing page for my content tool side project: ahavo.co.
I sent out a tweet last week trying to recruit the first members for my new project’s waitlist:
Milly Barker-DeStefano 🐿️
All right, cool news incoming.

Got the first person on the waitlist to trial my new #content tool when it's ready.

It's @NeilRyanPierce, and he's cool AF, so you might want to join him on the list... #justsayin

Drop a 👋🏻 below and I'll add you too.

(Need more info? 👇🏻)
That little two tweet campaign resulted in 12 sign ups to the waitlist. And this in turn motivated me to get a landing page up ASAP, so of course I chose to make that on Carrd (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for landing pages, portfolio sites, and single page or sectioned websites - absolute bargain as well).
I made this beauty (graphics I created on Canva) while I was having a lovely hot chocolate in Starbucks:
And you can see it live here: ahavo.co.
Why ‘ahavo’? Excellent question.
  1. An egregious number of names are now taken, and I’m not willing to spend thousands on a cool name for a thus far unproven idea. So, I went with a made up word and a .co TLD, which is actually my favorite now.
  2. I want to elicit a eureka moment in my users when they get their mitts on this for the first time, hence ‘aha’ (a-ha). The ‘vo’ also reminds me of the Italian word ‘andavo’, meaning ‘I was going’. If you put the two together, you (sort of) get ‘I was going for the eureka moment’ (it’s a stretch… but hey, I like it).
  3. Say it enough times and it’s kinda fun… ‘ah-ha-vo-dot-co’ x ∞.
This is the first iteration of the landing page, and as you will probably notice, there isn’t a huge amount of detail on there yet. I’m still scoping the service but want to collect emails from people that are excited about the main value proposition (which in time will need some tweaking, but for now seems to be working!):
‘A brand new tool to help you 10x your content without putting in any more work.’
I’ll be sending a special discount code to everyone who signs up on the waitlist, so get yourself on there if you want to get even more value out of this bad boy when it launches 🤩
As for the GPT-3 training… I made zero progress on that last week. Need to do some more reading up and start asking questions in the OpenAI beta Slack community.
For this week, I’m focusing on tooling. It’s going to be a busy week with the new position at TRADERVERSE, so I’m just planning to get all my tooling down this week. I need to choose things like email providers, file storage, project management tools, etc. as I suspect I’ll launch this as a productized service before I fully develop all the SaaS components.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the week. Look after yourselves!
Until next time…
Milly
PS: The site only just went live, so if it’s not working for you, give it some time to initialize. It’s working my end but in my experience there could be issues while the SSL gets settled, etc.
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Milly Barker-DeStefano
Milly Barker-DeStefano @barkerdestefano

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