Lessons From the Last 3 Years

I’ve been involved in mobile development for 3 years now, running Techority for 2. When Techority hit 2,000 approved comments last week I decided it might be interesting to reflect on what I’ve learned over the last few years that applies, (for the most part,) to life in general and not just app development.

Lesson #1 – Never undervalue anyone.
Client, colleague, employee, boss, family, friends – it doesn’t matter who it is, you should never undervalue anyone. This sounds obvious but all too often contributions these people make that are positive to our lives (be they professional or personal) are overlooked. If someone is doing something that improves any aspect of your life and you fail to recognize that, they will eventually stop trying. You can never express too much genuine gratitude, appreciation or recognition.

Lesson #2 – Learn to say “No”.
There are going to be times you have to say “no”, which is incredibly hard if, like myself, you just want everyone to be happy. Help people as often as possible but never go out of your way for someone who clearly doesn’t value your time, your skills or you; there is a very fine line between being a saint and being a doormat, tread it with care. Devote your time to assisting those who deserve it most; the polite, the kind and the sincere.

Lesson #3 – Everyone needs inspiration.
There are plenty of times in life (personal and professional) you’re going to get burned out, and when that happens you need to have something or someone you can turn to in order to keep going. Finding the things that motivate you is incredibly important; you cannot succeed without motivation, which requires inspiration. Motivation plus inspiration equals passion.

Lesson #4 – Learn to take constructive criticism.
You need to be able to accept constructive criticism and improve yourself based on it. That doesn’t mean that you change every single time someone tells you that you are doing something wrong, it just means you have to figure out when you should be taking the advice on board. It wont always be easy to hear but identifying the people in your life who will be honest and candid with you will benefit you in the long run; self improvement is a never-ending journey.

Lesson #5 – You can’t care what other people think.
This doesn’t apply to every situation, you need to gauge it before jumping to this – but ultimately it’s going to hold true a lot of the time. No matter where you come from or who you are, you will find people who think what you do is stupid, who think your ideas are useless, and, in the internet age, who have no clue about who you are but have read your name a few times and decided they don’t like you. The only way to deal with them is to take their vitriol with a very large grain of salt and realize there are billions of people in the world and some of them are going to be assholes.

Lesson #6 – Loyalty matters most.
I firmly believe that loyalty is the single most important quality a person can possess; it is the core of every good relationship, professional or personal, and without it you cannot possibly hope to form any kind of truly meaningful bond or connection with another person. Loyalty will close doors in some situations but maintaining it will open others.

Lesson #7 – Sometimes you just have to be reckless.
Move somewhere new, do something that terrifies you, strike up conversations with people who intimidate you, tell people your true thoughts and feelings, go overseas on a whim with hardly any planning because “f’k it”, expose yourself (please, not literally!) and realize that so long as you aren’t doing anything that will negatively impact on those around you that time is limited, sometimes you have to disregard the consequences in order to get stuff done.

These are some of the more important things I have learned, although I’m really only just scratching the surface – maybe another blog sometime soon.

Peach Pellen

15 Responses to Lessons From the Last 3 Years
  1. Scott Adelman Reply

    On that note, thanks for all you do Peach! You were extremely helpful when I was first starting out and I appreciate it!

    Scott

  2. Paulo Reply

    Well, Peach, as always, you are an inspiration to all of us for your kindness and all you do to strangers like myself. Thank you and you have a lot of valid points.

    The other day, I was feeling just like you were probably feeling when you decided to write this blog: appreciative and aware of who we are and who we interact with. So, after getting to my office, I went to each of my work colleagues and thanked them for making come to work a worthwhile and something I look forward to every day. It felt good because I was genuinely grateful for having them in my life… always let, people who you interact with, know how you feel and thank them regularly. And for those who don’t seem to appreciate you, don’t even bother, just move on. Be nice to them, but move on. :)

  3. John Reply

    It’s nice that you are taking taking the time to reflect on your past three years experience. As noted above in Scotts posting, you were also very helpful to me when I first started out and could not have gotten to where I am today without your technical support, advice, and honest involvement into truly helping others in need. All the best in your future endeavors and travels into the unchartered waters of mobil development! Cheers!

    GH (-:)

  4. Neil Evans Reply

    Hi Peach

    Good life lessons, I wish I had known some of those 20 years ago! Especially the ‘say no’ one.

    I guess another one that I have learnt is that when a client says ‘if you do me a deal on this one, there will loads more more’ you go yeah right and quote your usual price as general it is total BS and nothing will follow!

    Have a good time in San Francisco..

  5. Louesfera Reply

    Peach is always an inspiration for the rest of us. Thank you.
    You’re look so mature for your age (mature in mind, I’d like to say, not your body ;-)).
    I hope we met each other one day.

    Lou (from Spain)

  6. daniel sefton Reply

    Peach,

    You are indeed wise beyond your years…

    Daniel

  7. Peach Pellen Reply

    @Scott – Thank you, I always love hearing from people I’ve manged to help :)

    @Paulo – Thank you for the kind words. That is a nice story about your colleagues :) I of course don’t work in an office however I like to try and make positive contact with those who make things worthwhile whenever I can. Letting people know they’re valued is so important.

    @John/GH – I appreciate that, thank you. It has been wonderful watching you come so far :) I certainly look forward to said travels; uncharted waters were meant to be explored.

    @Neil – I’ve had the benefit of learning young, I suppose ;-) (I had a tough start but am lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of superb mentorship.)

    @Lou – Thank you, as always, you flatter me :) I’m sure one day we’ll meet.

    @Daniel – I assure you the process of gaining said wisdom has aged me terribly, haha.

  8. Nick Nebelsky Reply

    Wise beyond your years! I enjoyed reading this! I wish I knew these things when I was your age! Thanks Peach for being so giving with your knowledge!

  9. Rasputin Putin Reply

    Are all of your Corona tutorials going to remain down or are they being transferred somewhere else? It would be a travesty if all of that knowledge were to disappear from the internet, especially after all the work you put into making it :'(

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Gone for good. New tutorials coming soon for different SDK :-)

  10. Rasputin Putin Reply

    Wow. I haven’t been this sad since the Great Library burned down. Is there any chance you still have the files and could send them to me so I could host them elsewhere and keep the knowledge alive? I’ll provide links back to you in the .zips or something…

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Sorry, no – but I do sincerely wish you the best of luck.

  11. helios narcissus Reply

    Thanks Peach for helping us during our cradle periods in corona sdk. . you were extremely helpful and a beacon of inspiration;and, will still be :))

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Thanks so much Helios! I haven’t blogged on this site in awhile but am actually in the process of writing a follow up post to this one :) I appreciate your lovely comment.

  12. Jad Georges Reply

    Indeed very true; my warmest appreciation and respect Peach, I truly admire your for this insight. I was very touched when I read about “#6 Loyalty”, as I believe it matters even more than competencies in a way… And as you said: “Gratitude”, sadly in today’s world, this is often forgotten…

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