I’m taking an indefinite break from Way Of Ninja. Thank you for your support over the years.
Why the sudden decision?
At the end of November, last year, I flew to Thailand alone for three weeks. I wanted some solitude and direction. Things weren’t working out.
Way Of Ninja had been my passion project for ten years. Two years ago, I quit my job to work on it full-time. But, I failed on three counts.
One, I wasn’t able to produce helpful content frequently.
Two, the pressure to live up to my pre-injury-self was too much.
Three, this venture wasn’t making enough money to put food on the table and pay my bills (including student loans).
1. I wasn’t able to produce helpful content frequently
There was a reason why articles were somewhat irregular on Way Of Ninja. I was experiencing an immense mental block — the imposter’s syndrome. It got much worse after the injury and this ultimately sabotaged Way Of Ninja’s progress.
Part of my ethics as the founder was to back what I write with training experience. The problem is — how do you cross-train in over ten activities just to experiment what works? That’s what I was trying to do; to walk the talk, so to speak.
So, when the shoulder injury happened, I lost my identity as a cross-training “ninja”. The journey back was filled with setbacks. Every article I wrote came with emotional baggage and I felt immense hypocrisy. This slowed down the writing process and eventually spiralled me back into depression.
I eventually hired a few writers, while still adopting high editorial standards. However, the low budget meant spending time on editing, formatting, fact-checking and optimizing for social media distribution.
2. The pressure to live up to my pre-injury-self was a nightmare
I’ve talked about how I felt like an imposter, despite training aggressively and progressing in four to five different activities (pre-injury) — despite being promoted in Aikido; completing obstacle races with above average timing; progressing well in street callisthenics; applying the basics of parkour and MovNat; and more.
But, I’ve never talked about the other health issues (besides the injury). There were and still are.
Unfortunately, in doing too much, I had to sacrifice sleep and neglect seeing the doctor when I needed to. I’ll be at the gastro department of the hospital at the end of this month. That’s all I’ll say.
But, it is best that I take some time away.
3. This venture wasn’t making enough money to put food on the table and pay my bills.
When you venture into a passion project full-time, you stop getting a salary. And, as much as I enjoyed working on Way Of Ninja full-time, I wasn’t making enough money to put food on the table and pay my bills.
Everything came from my savings.
In fact, Way Of Ninja was draining me financially. With negative trends in social media reach (especially Facebook’s algorithm), I had to pay in order to reach ninjas who were following Way Of Ninja’s page. And, when I travel to review Muay Thai training places, the costs come out of my pocket.
It’s time I made Way Of Ninja a side project again and cut back on expenses. I will be focusing on freelance writing and content marketing.
Why not just transition into doing this spare time?
I intend to. But, for the time being, I need some distance from Way Of Ninja.
I had a life and identity outside of Way Of Ninja. Along the way, somehow, my cross-training and personal identities intertwined. I’m taking the time away to rediscover and regain confidence in who I am; an identity that is separate from Way Of Ninja.
While on my solo trip, I talked with digital nomads, who made me remember my strengths as a writer and content marketer. Thus, the decision to be a freelance writer and content marketer for businesses. With that, I’ll be spending the time to hustle to pay the bills.
I’ll be too busy for a couple of months.
Nonetheless, I intend to return to Way Of Ninja eventually (in my spare time) after I regain perspective, rediscover my own separate identity, stabilise my income, and deal with the health scare.
What’s going to happen to Way Of Ninja?
Other than pre-scheduled social media posts, Way Of Ninja will be silent on all channels for, at least, the next one month. This website will continue to exist.
There are still articles in the backlog that have yet to be published and I’m still getting pitches from writers. I haven’t decided what to do yet.
So, I will update you ninjas with the details by the end of next week. If you want to get the update, please opt-in to the mailing list.