When I was a kid my dad would bring home his Macintosh computer from work. I don't remember the first time I used it, but I do remember feeling it was just another tool like a VCR or a TV.
My earliest memory is using a computer to draw. I'm guessing this might've been a precursor to Photoshop back in the 80s - something with minimal options. I never worried about "messing things up" on the system — it wasn't a concern. Instead, I focused on important things like how to change the icon for a folder. Later on learning how to format and reset a system was like learning a superpower. It guaranteed that my playground would be working.
I'm 40 now and computers (and the web) are still my playground.
I live with my wife of 16 years in Salt Lake City, UT. We both grew up in Florida and met in a computer networking class at a moment when we shared a major (talk about a luck)!
Like most people, I never wanted to spend my entire life in the same place I grew up. In 2018 Pluralsight acquired Code School (the startup I was working for at the time). We jumped at the chance to move from Orlando to SLC. It's been an amazing decision and we absolutely love it here.
Within a few months I'd traded in my swim suit and Disney Annual pass (yes, we're adult Disney fans) for hiking shoes and an ever-growing AllTrails list. It's been amazing have an entirely new side of the world to explore. If you have any favorite hikes in the western US I'd love to hear about them!
I'm taking this year off from hiking after tearning my ACL in my right knee in May 2022. I had surgery for it earlier this year (using my quad tendon) and have been recovering since July. I'm looking forward to backpacking, camping and exploring the mountains of Utah next year.
Here's the tl;dr of a few things I'm most passionate about.
- Making websites - Every since I built an anime fan site in high school I've loved building stuff on the web. The technologies change, but the desire to create things that anyone in the world can see still excites me. Related: All the projects I've ever built
- Minimalism - After my mom passed away when I was 24 I inherited the house I grew up in and a lifetime of stuff. This experience strongly shaped my mindset on bringing things into my life. Related: There is No Such Thing as a Minimalist Life
- Mindfulness - I've been journling online in some way since cringy LiveJournal posts back in 2001. Self reflection and growth mindset are important parts of my relationship with myself. Related: My 52 Beliefs
- Finances & Investing - I focus on investing for retirement using a buy and hold strategy of low-fee, tax-optimized, index funds in the right type of accounts. Related: An Interactive Guide to Early Retirement and Financial Independence
- Beer, Wine & Cocktails - I wasn't a partier in college. Later on I realized how much I enjoy trying new beers and cocktails. I have a special place for sours, belgians, saisons, gin and chartreuse.
- Activism & Anti-religion - Hot take here. I'm a super-left (basically communist), pro-choice, feminist who thinks republicans are destroying America. I'm an Athiest and believe any religion that expands into politics should be taxed.
- Goals & Future Planning - Having goals and plans for my life (or year, month, week, etc) helps me focus. I can go overboard and work too hard on these, but they can also bring me joy. Related: 101 Things I Want to Know, Have, Do or Be
- Board & Video Games - I had a NES and a Power Glove in the '80s. I've been a Nintendo fan ever since. I lean towards console games and strategy board games. Some of my recent favorites are Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Hollow Knight, The Last of Us Part II, Settlers of Catan and Wingspan.
- Travel - Growing up we'd go on long road trips from Seattle to Key West, Maine to Los Angeles. Since then my wife and I have begun to explore the world (Japan, Vietnam and Germany are a few of my favorite).
I'm always on the lookout for new hobbies and interests to try with passionate people.
Usually this is where you'd expect to see how I'm making money to actually, you know, live. My answer is a little more complicated than that.
Back in 2012 I joined this startup called Code School. We all worked really hard, found a niche (interactive code education), and a voice that resonated with an audience. Related: How I Ended Up (And Stayed) at Code School
A few years later Code School was acquired by Pluralsight – a much larger company in the tech education space. I received some money from the deal (~$400k) and some stock in Pluralsight (a private company), but it was no where near enough to retire to an island somewhere.
By 2018 Pluralsight had grown. They IPO'd and suddenly my stock was worth something! After 6 months I cashed it all in (~$700k) and decided to take some time off. Related: It's Official: I'm Leaving My Job. What's Next?
And that where I'm at today: still taking time off traditional work. In the 3 years since then I've had a blast building stuff online for fun. Since most of my time has been focused on these two projects:
After years of writing on LiveJournal and later on this site about technology, I wanted to try something more focused in a new space. As much as I love tech, I couldn't work in tech all day long and then come home and write about it.
I started Minafi as a place to write about minimalism, mindfulness and financial independence – topics I was passionate about and kept coming back to. Writing helps me explore my own relationship to these topics while learning and sharing along the way.
Recent I launched The Minafi Investor Bootcamp, a 10-course to learn everything you need to know to invest on your own, handle taxes, plan for retirement and grow your wealth using the stock market. It uses a pay-what-you-want model with the first course free.
Hardcover is a social network for readers. It's a bootstrapped project with a team of people working on it together.
I've been a Goodreads user since 2009. Since they were acquired by Amazon they've struggled to iterate and build anything unique. Hardcover is my attempt to compete against a top 100 website in the world (no pressure 😅).
If you're an active reader you should give us a try! If you do I'd love for you to reply to and of the emails from Hardcover with your thoughts (those emails go straight to me).
What do the next 10 years look like? I have absolutely no idea. When I turned 40 I wrote about what I want my next 10 years to look like – but like everything it's just a guess.
What I know is that I want to keep building loving relationships in my life, continue creating stuff online and focus on enjoying life rather than stressing out about money.
I'm an open book, feel free to reach out at anytime if you want to chat about anything, or if you're in Salt Lake and want to meetup.