Life is always now.

Better, Not Bigger.

It is always that typical moment to reflect about life. 
But everything else is not typical, is just the way how we see, think & feel it.
These questions always keep coming back at the back of my mind.
“What i have achieve? what’s my next plan? what is the next goal?”
The vision & mission of yearly thingy becomes a thing, “resolutions”
I spend a lot of time self-reflecting monthly, weekly & also daily.
But when comes to year end, it is always difficult to put things together.
I felt that, i’m just too tired to do this & never felt really excited for this.
Most people i know get really excited for it, especially in their upcoming goals.

At times i do feel pathetic, mainly because of reality check. Reality check comes from your responsibilities like paying your bills & saving money for your finance, taking care of your health, keep improving your learning skills and knowledge. At the same time i find is tough to juggle with personal life, family, friends and community. You got to pay attention what brings out the best of you & what works best for you. If it is not in line with your goals & dreams, i will feel that it is not important part of my journey.

I know at times i have not done much and always learning.
Learning takes time, adapting & growing as well. 
I feel like learning is the most important thing in my journey.
Also putting it together as actions.
While everyone is doing this “little end-of-the-year reflecting”
I’m here trying to think how i can do it “better, not bigger”
I felt like there is so many things to get done, little by little until it is complete.
One of the way to get this done is by following the culture.
Culture have alot of meaning, often times we are just following and not doing.

💯 ️“Culture is not what you say, is what you do.”

— Marc Randolph, Co-founder of netflix

“Better, Not Bigger”

This is my current quote running on my mind, saw this quote on some google search. I actually made a podcast about this & also decided to write this blog.

🥭Mango Minutes Podcast Episode 3 “Better, Not Bigger”

I began doing alot of self-reflecting when i’m less busy.
When i’m busy, everything goes really super fast. 
One thing after another thing.
From notifications, news and so many information.
1 week before the year ends, i cut down my activities on social media.
I hold my phone and ask myself, what i have done and what i have not completed in 2019. It was very difficult to answer those questions.
I told myself if i can do everything by all myself but no, i was wrong.
Because you need to do a reality check,
You need to surround with the best like minded people.

💌 Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.

So here’s my 2019–2020.
Things like my finances, health and todos task i’ve done.
My goal is to create better connection to myself.
Shout out to my indie-maker friend Anne-Laure Le Cunff
For creating a template “Year in review”
A template to review your past year and plan the year ahead!

👨‍⚕ ️Health & Fitness

  • I was going through burnout: end year 2018
  • I overcome burnout in 2019
  • I took break from business to focus on mental health
  • I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, lost 6kg
  • Focus on my food intake & work-out like swimming & running
  • I changed my sleeping pattern: Bed at 11pm, Stop Eating at 8pm
  • I did intermittent fasting
  • I stop smoking, 4th time in my life

Conclusion: I created a better lifestyle now for past 6 months: Eat, Shop & Cook healthier, Sleep & Wake-up early, Continue to progress my diabetes from sugar intake. Also working out at least 2–3 times a week. So this is what happens when you are stressed then it leads to burnout then meltdowns and then it hits you with chronic disease “diabetes”. So health is a very serious thing, especially genetically it runs in your family.

The tweet that i was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes
The tweet that i overcome burnout, huge thanks to the maker’s community.

🤑 Work & Business

  • 10 years in the design & tech industry
  • In 2019, i took break from running my business, to learn more skills
  • Planning to rebrand and also use new technology to build better service
  • Also putting all my microstartups (side-projects) under 1 company
  • My business in 2019 was to focus on networking: building communities across the world
  • Help other makers achieve their goals in the community, i also build tons of small tiny projects that made some money.
  • My progress on Indie Hackers:
  • My progress on Makerlog:
  • Joined Nomadlist for Digital Nomad:
  • I’m pivoting from services to softwares as a service and other business models.
  • Also work with better companies for B2B partnerships, sponsorships & collaborations
  • I made money using Stripe, it helps me a lot. Other than that i did take some small gigs, enough for me to travel and eat.
  • I made alot of new videos, especially for product launching

Conclusion: I will be putting the side-projects as a learning progress and also part of my company. I will keep building it, doesn’t matter how long it takes, for as long it is done and it will be profitable. For my companies, i will continue to build & apply new technology and skills i learned and build it better. I will always go with the Zebra’s and not Unicorn, Independent & Boostrapped way of growing the business. Business is a long marathon, so always sharpen your skill!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fajar Siddiq 👨🏻‍💻🇸🇬🏝️ (@fajarsiddiq)

🎮 Making video for CSS Scan Pro
🚀A playlist of some video launches
💌 Awesome advice i got in real life!

💬 Friends & Community

  • I became maker “influencer” in the community to share about good products, feedback & reviews
  • Manage to overcome from toxic friends to build better bonding
  • For community across my businesses, it keeps growing as a fans.
  • I met alot of makers & digital nomads in 2019 in real life, it was an amazing experience meeting them in person i get to know from twitter and telegram group.
  • Most of my friends are married, currently hangout with friends from the community at Makerlog, Ramadan Makers, Open Podcast, JAMstack Makers and i was involve in many other communities as well at Maker’s Kitchen, Product Hunt, Indie-Hackers, Women Make, Newsletter Geeks and many more.
  • I spend alot of time using whereby for video conference
  • I really appreciate the people i met from the makers community (too many names to mention) they were so supportive, friendly & always with good positive vibes, you know who you are!

✍ ️Conclusion: So i spend time doing product reviews, i enjoy doing them in short videos like 2 mins or less. I make this videos to share with everyone in the community. Apart from that i got some swag from other companies.

🕵️‍♂️I became Influencer in the maker community by product hunt,
🤑One of the community member i help in his journey, there were more people but this is among the best moments as well with indie-maker/digital nomad from India, Mohd Danish
😃Here is a playlist of videos that i made

👪 Personal Life & Family

  • 🤷‍♂ ️My personal life was doing just fine, i’m still single. I wanted to find a partner but i think is difficult because i was single for 10 years and if i found one, i will settle down and get married.
  • 💜 I have a few close friends which is like a best-friends, there were very supportive for me, there were someone who i have known more then 10 over years. There were also some really good friends like work related too, they did drop by and text me once in a while.
  • 💚 I had good neighbours, my relationship with my neighbours were awesome, i love them, thanks for always being there for me too.
  • 💙 I had this one very special close friend, who is always there for me 24/7. Who created impact on me the most. It was awesome! Who was very caring and concern. It was the best thing happen to me in my life too.
  • ❤️ My family was everything, especially my siblings and also we build better relationships with my late mom & late dad family. I lost my grandmother this year. I also enjoy my time spending with my nieces and nephew, my little niece was born too this year. We did some good work out and change our lifestyle together. I made some awesome vlog.

✍ ️Conclusion: So i spend time more with my online friends more with other close friends, i also meet alot of people in real life and also spend my time with my family! I use to have a large number of friends but now i keep it small within my circle.

📹Family time was the best time, here is a playlist of videos!

✅ Learning & Knowledge

  • I learn how to build community really quickly by helping others. It was great to bring people together and make it more engaging, we achieve by sharing and learning together from all over the world.
  • I learn a lot about JAMstack, A modern architecture — Create fast and secure sites and dynamic apps with JavaScript, APIs, and prerendered Markup, served without web servers.
  • I learn how to use telegram! This was the app i always wanted to installed for many years, telegram prove me wrong that it is definitely one of the best messaging app for community and work related! I really love it. Before this i’m always on whatsapp, discord and currently i’m still using slack
  • I learn how to do things more quickly by listening podcast and reading blog. I didn’t pick up any course but i did go to youtube to learn on the go kind of thing, so i just search what i want and learn it quickly.
  • I learn how to use github and terminal! This was one of the best things as well and of course, the best design software! Figma! I learn how to use Figma and make mock-up and designs really quickly on the go as well.
  • I also installed spotify for first time in my life knowing that it will help me to listen more podcast around makers, founders and entrepreneurs!
  • I learn how to use Netlify & Gatsby! this was an amazing experience as well. I also switch my hosting provider to
  • I love Chrome Plugin: CSS Scan Pro, Reader Mode Pro, Full Page Screen Capture, this apps are really good and simple to use.
  • I love some nice mac menubar apps: Rocket Emoji,, Uptime Bar App. This are really helpful apps i have

✍ Conclusion: Special thanks to the makers community for sharing me all this amazing tools and also it have different impact on me on using it.


🚶‍♂️ Travel & Culture

  • I visited Malaysia & Indonesia for nomading in Kuala Lumpur & Batam
  • I also visited new offices of Stripe & went to GovTech office in Singapore
  • Some cultures are not new for me, but one thing i learn more about indie-makers culture is meeting people in real life and that’s the best thing ever.

✍ Conclusion: It was fun travelling, going to places without any goals but just plans of meeting people, good food, good time, places where is safe and full of nature and culture

At new Stripe office for some JAMstack meetup
Meet up with Tomas from Sweden
Featured in Cerita Desainer
💌 Two makers from different country come together to travel and work together! Amazing thing ever

✈️ Hobbies & Creativity

✍ Conclusion: It was really great to be creative and showing your best at what you do, If you think you’re talented then be persistent at what you do, because that is all matters to keep going!

My 1st episode of podcast mango minutes
By far! this is my best move for Solo-Ham trick!

📖 Emotions & Spirituality

  • I spent time memorizing and perfecting my quran recitation
  • I also focus on praying on time and perfecting my mistakes
  • Apart from that i get distracted easily by notifications from social media
  • I feel this year was great but i feel i did not achieve my finance well but i did focus on my health, community building, learning about new tech and design very well.
  • I had a lot of meltdowns once in awhile, maybe is because of finance because i have some bills to pay and at times it drives me insane.
  • I spend a lot of time alone as well to connect myself to god, focusing to repent and be better person by doing more good deeds.

✍ Conclusion: It feels good to recite al-quran, always guiding me to be a better person in my life. Also it helps me when i’m facing trials, tribulations and shortcomings.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fajar Siddiq 👨🏻‍💻🇸🇬🏝️ (@fajarsiddiq)

🌹 Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful —

💸 Money & Finances

  • I make very little money this year, it sucks! but i’m grateful, enough for me to buy groceries and travel short trips for nomading. As much as it is i want to be making good monthly recurring revenue so i can pay my bills consistently
  • I need to save more money, i did pay some debts and yikes i got broke after that in some of my savings.
  • This was the year of broke, I don’t make so much money because i want to focus on learning and building, so i have to sacrifice my time. I will need to buck-up in the year to come!
  • I launched and i made at least $1,000+ and around $70 a month. So i guess is not enough. Is just branding & marketing services.

✍ Conclusion: I need to keep on growing multiple source of income, monthly recurring revenue target and also annually. Everything needs to be automated so i can grow my profit more and focus/balance more things better.

💸 — thanks to the makers who supported me in 2019

💸 Proudest Accomplishments

  • Taking care of my health! Overcome burnout & improve my lifestyle because of Type 2 Diabetes. Food intake is so important. Cooking healthy food is a must.
  • I manage to not give up in this tech & industry, i want to continue to keep on building my business and not be an employee
  • To be compassionate and full of wisdom towards diversity & everyone i meet regardless of race & religion.

😠 Biggest Challenges

  • Bills, After Bills, After crazy final warning letter bills. I hate it when i open my letter box and then i have hundred over dollars need to pay! Damn it. It was difficult times, i had to apply short-term social finance support for 3 months from the goverment, but i will keep doing it better.
  • Fixing my sleeping pattern to sleep at night, fighting insomnia. I hate it when i can’t sleep at night because i think so much sometimes, so i must learn how to relax when i’m on bed.
  • Not making enough profit, but i have enough just for food. Pretty messed up on this. I hate it so much but i have to be patience. It bothers me a lot.

🏆 Main Goals For Next Year

  • Make money first, make money second, make more money third, save money always.
  • No goals for 2020, just finish my todo’s task.
  • Just continue to celebrate small wins and also focusing on progress and not goals. Goals is annoying seriously, i’ve been having all this thoughts like annually and it pisses me off. I just want to do be persistent at what i’m doing regardless small or big, but just keep on going.
  • Loose 10kg, eat healthy, if i can do this then i loose more weight. Currently i’m losing at 6kg the most. I’ve got this!
  • Go for surgery for my Inguinal Hernia Repair that i have for around 10 years already. Cost me at least $3,000 at least and since i have diabetes, the doctor said i need to see my progress because i’m eating medication metformine and glipizide pills for 3 months. Hopefully if i manage to do this surgery, it won’t affect any wound infection. I hope to get subsidy from the clinics and is cheaper. Will need to plan for this.
  • Removal of tattoo on my right arm, already did for 2 years for 4x session. I need to go for more and also planning to remove it. I just want to feel more clean. I started this goal since past 3 years already. So i have to keep on going.
  • Grow my youtube channel, my twitter and maybe get verified and also for my and i deleted facebook profile and only use fanpage

🙇‍♂️ Grateful & Blessed

Finally this are little things i’m grateful for.
Some good memories

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fajar Siddiq 👨🏻‍💻🇸🇬🏝️ (@fajarsiddiq)

My new specs, i can see better now
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fajar Siddiq 👨🏻‍💻🇸🇬🏝️ (@fajarsiddiq)

Me trying to finish client work in the shipping pod
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fajar Siddiq 👨🏻‍💻🇸🇬🏝️ (@fajarsiddiq)

Love this book and stickers
Life is always now, be yourself and do what you do best at the same time, do what is right, know what is wrong and also keep striving to be better even when no one understands what you’re going through. Be strong and be patience in your journey, most importantly be grateful. Don’t forget the poor and the needy even if you’re broke, don’t forget that there is more people out there who went through more difficult struggles. So appreciate what you have and always know you can do it better. Always be nice on your way up and always help people. Knowing that, as you grow older things get taken from you, but nothing stops you to be better when you play more and have fun! So keep giving. Don’t chase after fame, focus on being better and not bigger. If you want to be serial entrepreneur, make sure you know what you’re selling, what you’re building and most importantly you must know how to maintain it, maintenance and persistency is very important. — Fajar Siddiq, 2019 end.
🤑Support my journey —


Related posts