If you're one of the many media outlets out there who could of taken my recent stream/discord discussions out of context, ran with them and created clickbait articles, then thank you for not doing that.
If you're reading this with absolutely no knowledge of what the situation is that brings me to writing this post, let me give you a brief overview.
I have decided, after many problems, to take a break from everything I do on the internet. I need to recalibrate, realign & to be perfectly honest, make sure that I know exactly what I want to do going forward.
I had a discussion via my stream & also via discord which meant that from yesterday (19th October), I took a step back and will continue to do so until I feel I am ready to return (if ever).
So, that is the short answer as to why this post exists. Now, on to the events which occurred to get me to this point. I'm going to go into as much detail as I feel necessary in order to put you in the same mindset that I am currently in.
Okay. Here goes...
I have always been a "loner". It's true. I have zero "IRL" (in real life) friends. Every single person I have ever become friends with was a direct result of meeting them over the internet. To add to that, I have been isolated from my family (through my own doing) - so the harsh reality is that I've always been extremely lonely - I've made no secret of this if you've ever got to know me.
To add to this, it seems I am the type of person that attracts people who enjoy screwing me over. From my mother who left me homeless & bankrupt and then fled the country, to later on in life, after bouncing back, people who I thought were friends using me for money, my house and my "lifestyle". It has been, what feels like, a never ending cycle of "who will get me next?".
As a result of that I live a very guarded life. I do not let people "in". I tend to not bother with emotions. I am extremely reserved.
However, the people who I do let in, get the best version of me. I treat them like I'd treat my own children. I want them to succeed, I want the best for them - I want them to thrive. I care for them more than I care for myself. I am told this is a flaw but my own happiness will always come second.
Over the last 7 years of being a part of the community I have gained a close circle of friends who I can rely on & who SHOULD be able to rely on me. They all share a similar sense of humor, love flight sim & are involved in the tech side of things in some form. They also all volunteered their time to create the things we have today (projectFLY is a great example). It was almost like a family. I promised them that as soon as I could find a way, I would give them all a job.
Fast forward through the past 7 years and I had a group of friends who just "got" each other. You can't really explain the connection but it's just there and it's fantastic. Inadvertently, I no longer felt lonely. They were the reason I did the things I did, came up with the ideas I had.
So, the start of 2018, I was approached by an investor (who we all now know is Nico (DAL213 on Twitch)). Now, I'd been approached in the past by all sorts of people who wanted to "invest", none of them I really cared to do business with because it didn't feel right. I run a lot on instincts and normally I pride myself on my instincts being right (jokes on me really considering those are the same instincts that result in me being screwed over), especially after a lifetime of them being wrong you learn to spot the signs.
In December (a few months earlier) I'd had weight loss surgery. I was in the "honeymoon" phase & I was quite possibly the happiest I'd ever been in my life. Finally I felt like I was getting my shit together and everything was going to be okay. I'd moved to a new house, bought a new car, new surroundings. I'd purposely moved closer to my family and was building my relationship back up with them. Life was sweet.
Nico, after some initial conversation stated that he believed in my ideas and he had the resources (money & contacts) to expedite these ideas and make them a reality.
At first, I was extremely skeptical. My guard was the highest it'd even been however I was offered the chance to fly out to New York, no strings attached, all expenses paid - naturally I took it.
After I returned from New York, I was convinced that this was a legitimate offer (and I still do to this day), so we started mapping things out and squaring off the legal side of things.
This is where I made my first mistake. Although Nico is genuine (I owe him way more than anyone could ever realize), I should have done significantly more research into how a typical investment works (this was a first time for me). Instead I completely trusted the direction I was being taken in & through a lack of communication and my own stupidity, I took a gentleman's agreement and went on my way creating a team of developers (some friends, some people I knew from the industry to be good at what they do).
This post has already gone on for far too long so suffice to say, I found myself in a situation where I ended up paying developers out of my own pocket because there had been no "formal" agreement of the situation. The bank of Matt soon ran dry and I could no longer do this.
Time progressed, things were dragged out, people weren't being paid - it was a mess. Lots of promises but nothing actually came to fruition.
I've purposely missed out a lot of events because knowing them wouldn't change the outcome but ultimately, last week, some of the team quit and I realized that I am no longer the person to be at the helm of this operation.
Whichever way you look at it, I have failed them. The people that trusted me enough to leave their own stable jobs to come and work for me. The people who I class as close friends. I should of been more vigilant in my approach to allowing this to happen - created stability from day one instead of leaving things to chance and trusting other people. I have absolutely learned my lesson from this and it's not something I can currently forgive myself for, hence why I am taking a step back. Maybe I'm punishing myself.
Learn from my mistakes, do your homework, don't just blindly trust people because of their credentials. Always second guess everything. If I'd of taken that advice, I wouldn't have just destroyed 7+ years of my life.
I apologize if you feel I have let you down/failed you. Whatever expectations you had of me, now is the time to lower them to nothing - I have nothing to bring to the table right now, I just want to disappear and see where life takes me. As I said on stream/discord, I may pull myself together and be able to brush this under the carpet - right now though, I am struggling & I am not afraid to admit it. I have had a lifetime of sucking it up and moving my disasters/failures but there is something specifically difficult about this scenario. I don't expect you to understand but I would just like some time.
To the team, although I've spoken to you privately - thank you for your extreme patience and willing to push things forward even though it didn't work out as planned. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.
That's about as honest/transparent as you're going to get from me. To everyone who's supported me over the last 7 years and continues to do so, thank you for making this "loner" feel worth something. We're all human, don't forget that.
Thanks for reading,