Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How to Guide: The Making of GCAS, Part 1

Many of our readers may have stumbled upon this site through a random link they saw shared on Facebook or posted on Twitter. Maybe you ended up here through the rare find of a Google search and have no idea what our site is about or how it came to be. I've decided to write a “How to Guide” four times a year in order to give insight to the creation and journey of GymClassAllStars.com.

I guess it is only fitting to start at the beginning -- the summer of 2009. I had just finished my junior year at the University of Texas (hook ’em!) and was interning for 20 hours/week in New York City. My commute into the city was over an hour from my parents’ temporary apartment. With that downtime, I started brainstorming different projects I wanted to try and accomplish during my life. To name a few of the projects I worked on that summer: write a book, learn guitar, establish a start-up, and (of course) design a sports blog.

Originally I wanted to launch a blog with now fellow GCAS writer Phil Vuong. I created a homepage image with the blog name PVCSportsBlog.com. With my limited DreamWeaver skills, I was able to build a pretty hacked-together site that I hosted on the bandwidth that came with my college tuition.

Soon after this idea failed to take off, Phil and I embarked on our second attempt at a blog site, nycsportsfail.blogspot.com,but it only lasted a couple posts before we called it quits.

At that point, I had learned 4 key things about starting a new pet project in which I will share with you in this “How to Guide.”

1. Find something you are passionate about and will enjoy doing even if there is no money involved. Most ideas don’t start with a paycheck; usually it takes a ton of hard work, time, and patience before any money starts flowing in. If you are not willing to put in hours and hours without seeing any return in the near future, come up with a new idea.

2. Decide on the purpose of the project -- outside of financial gain. An idea with a greater ideal or purpose will get you through the low points in your project. Gym Class All Stars is far from being an alternative to my day job at this point, but believing in what we are trying to achieve gives me the motivation to keep writing.

3. Just go and do something. Many times we store up ideas that are never fully formed and are eventually left behind as life unfolds. Instead I would recommend that you just try it. Even though it could end up falling apart, you always learn more from active failure than never trying in the first place. Something like Nycsportsfail.blogspot.com could turn into GymClassAllStars.com and hopefully into something even bigger down the line.

4. Find the right support that helps you keep going. It could be people that partner with you like Phil has for this idea, or even just friends and family that check in to see the progress you are making. Sharing your ideas energizes you to implement your ideas.

That’s it for now -- next time on “The Making of Gym Class All Stars,” I will delve into how we decided on our domain name.


5. If all else fails, come to China.

China might eventually take over Vietnam

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