Howdy internet friend, and welcome back to whateversauce.com! It’s been a few years since the site has been online and it feels great to have it back. Things have changed quite a bit from when this site was all web comics and links to YouTube with songs and stuff. I’ve also moved, we aren’t living in eastern Washington anymore, we made it Orange County, California and have been here nearly two years. Growing up an hour from Seattle, even in my wildest dreamest I never would have thought I would live eight minutes from Disneyland (if there is no traffic) and that my family would have annual passes. So when I share the following information, I hope that you will believe it is true: you can do anything you want to in life if you have a single-minded focus and a burning passion.
In the span of less than three years I went from living in a literal tiny house in eastern Washington (it was around 200 square feet) to living in Orange County. From making less than $250 a year doing this website to making six figures working in information security. Admittedly, I had the benefit of five years experience before moving to offensive security. Ultimately, I had the most important thing of all going for me - burning passion. In addition to the Def Con tattoo on my arm, you will also find a giant DC flag on my living room wall and when I have a home office that flag will come with me and sit right behind me for video calls. I have to force myself to not visit Twitter on the weekends and usually by Sunday night I find myself once again drawn back for just a few minutes to catch up. I’m writing this blog post now, at 6:30 a.m. after waking up at 5 - something I do every weekday so I have extra time to work on projects. Once I finish this Hugo blog I’m moving back to Black Hat Go, which I will also blog about here. I want to swing back around to the subject of passionate desire, because I think it is really important.
With JSP Infosec, I was the fourth generation of Collins dudes to start a business, and I learned a tremendous amount from my numerous failures there. I think it is important to mention that I don’t think that JSP was a total and complete failure, because it did allow me to break back in to the information technology / information security industry. Additionally, I will take all the lessons I learned from what worked and what didn’t work forward in my career. I’ve learned that running a business requires sales. I’ve often heard it said that everyone at every company is in sales, and I would like to disagree with it, but I think that is something to it. Or, put another way, the failure to do any sales-related activity is a real problem in business. If you have a consultancy, you have to sell services until you have enough clients to pay the bills. I didn’t want to do that, and when the first round of funding dried up, we had no additional streams of income, and that really hurt us. I learned other lessons as well, including the importance of involvement in the local community and the tremendous advantage of passion.
If you read the about section, you would notice that I have a graduate degree in history. If you saw my most recent LinkedIn article you would know that I am reading Napoleon Hill’s, “Think and Grow Rich” and that I am doing my best to be positive in this time of pandemic. I know people often say that the world changes quickly, but when I started this blog post last Friday (it is Tuesday, March 17th as I write this) there is no way I could have predicted how much the world would change, and how quickly.
Companies that swore they could not do work from home are now requiring all employees work from home. Things that seemed impossible a week ago have already happened, like the government offering up $1.5 trillion to slow the coming depression. It’s important to note that this amount of money is enough to cancel all student loan debt in the United States, something which many politicians said was impossible. We also see countries like France cancelling rent until the crisis is over. This is a good point to add that this blog is not going to just be about tech. I’m also planning on putting my philosophy degree to use by writing longer articles like this one on a wide variety of topics. So if you are 100% here for infosec, you’ll almost surely be disappointed.
My point in this post is to just share how much things can change. If we have learned nothing in the last few days, we should just be aware of how fast the entire world can change. One thing that shouldn’t change is how kind we are to people. Please do your best to spread some kindness this week. We are in a really bad place right now, it is the time to come together (virtually - make sure that you are practicing social distancing as best you can) and remember that we’ve gotten through worse before. Yes, on March 16th the stock market did crash bigger than Black Friday before the start of the depression. This is just more proof that things can change and a lesson in the importance of kindness. Like my internet friend @Blenster says, let’s try to #MakeKindnessNormal and do our best to make the world a better place than the one we entered. Everyone can help make the world a better place. I’m doing my part and it would be really cool if you would too!