5 Tips to Enjoying a Web3 Hackathon
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June 9th, 2022

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The evening I sent my resignation email & started to recover from my anxiety attack.
The evening I sent my resignation email & started to recover from my anxiety attack.

Guess what? It has officially been one month since I experienced my very first severe anxiety attack 🙃. Because I’ve never really felt anxiety in my life - that is, until I started going HAM at the startup I worked for, I knew it was a serious warning sign. My body, mind & soul was done with that hustle life.

And so, I left my decent paying job to go full-time into web3 and carve my own, more balanced career path 👏.

One might ask, “Do you regret leaving during the worst bear market of the year?” My answer is nah. I don’t regret finally prioritizing my mental and emotional well-being.

Besides, I went on to have the most fun time ever being a full-time, Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur in web3. In as little as 4 1/2 weeks, I was able to do the following:

Activate x Wormhole Hackathon & Permissionless 2022
Activate x Wormhole Hackathon & Permissionless 2022

While it has been a crazy past few weeks, all of the traveling and hard work has been worth it. Because I finally pursued my dream of going full-time into web3, instead of feeling dread or anxiety, I’ve been enjoying life even more 🥺.

Graph Day & Hack 2022
Graph Day & Hack 2022

On top of enjoying life, I’ve also been learning so. much. good. shit. from my experiences. One of the things I learned, and am excited to share with y’all, is how to enjoy a web3 hackathon.

Ready to hear my 🍵? LFG.

My Top 5 Tips to Enjoying a Web3 Hackathon

  1. Figure out why you’re attending
  2. Plan your schedule
  3. Block time off for self-care
  4. Find the vibe team
  5. Build your mini community

Let’s Dig a Lil’ Deeper

Figure out why you’re attending

As Simon Sinek mentions a hundred times in his book, Start with Why - whether you’re starting a new community or registering for a hackathon, it’s always important to start with why. Knowing why we’re attending a hackathon ensures that WHAT and HOW we do things throughout the event is consistent with our WHY.

Here are a few questions to consider before attending a hackathon:

  • Are you wanting to BUIDL an idea you’ve been daydreaming about?
  • Did you want to simply experiment with web3 development, and don’t mind BUIDLing someone else’s idea?
  • Do you want to connect with BUIDLers of your favorite dev tools, networks or protocols?
  • Are you looking for partners, advisors or core contributors for your project?

Figure out why you plan on investing this much time, (and money) into a n-long hackathon.

Plan your schedule

Usually, for every web3 hackathon, there’s a related conference. For example, ETH NY is coming up (June 24th - 26th), and it’s right after NFT NYC (June 20th - 23rd). And you know what this means, right?

It’s going to feel like the entire web3 fam is going to be in New York! Which means there will be an endless amount of gatherings to attend, and too many awesome people to meet.

So make sure to plan your schedule in a way that aligns with your WHY. This way, you’re spending your valuable time in spaces, or with people that will spark joy for you.

Here are a few tips to planning your schedule:

  • Flights - fly in a day early & fly out a day after the event
  • Lodging - book as close as possible to the hackathon or conf.
  • Hackathon Schedule - add this to your Google Calendar
  • Satellite Events - register for side events ahead of time
  • Calendly Schedule - book 1:1s with your fave ppl in web3

Block time off for self-care

Because of all the events you’ll attend, talks you’ll learn from, and people you’ll meet, hackathons and conferences can be quite exhausting. This is why my #1 tip is to block time off in your schedule for whatever daily feel-good rituals you have.

Don’t have a daily feel-good ritual? No worries! Just make some up right now by asking yourself: “What do I need to do, every single day, in order to feel good?

Here are my ideal daily rituals:

  • Morning - go out for a run + workout, meditate & explore
  • Lunch - put my phone away while I eat a healthy meal
  • Evening - plan for the next day, skincare routine & listen to Audible until I fall asleep

Find the vibe team

Now that you’ve got a solid schedule that prioritizes your WHY while keeping your mental health in mind, you’re ready to find the right team! And the right team is a group of people that you’ll be able to vibe with.

When it comes to picking the vibe team, I usually follow the path of least resistance. This means letting the universe know exactly what kind of team I want.

E.g.I want a team that I can have fun growing with, despite the stress of a hackathon.”

Next step is to have unwavering faith that the universe has got your back. Somewhere, sometime, before the hackathon, the universe will bring to you random people that have good ass energy.

When you meet these people, do not sleep on their presence. Invite them into your hackathon team (that is, if they haven’t already asked 😉), or ask them if you can join their team!

Build your mini community

YAY! You found the vibe team. Now let’s make sure everyone in the team knows how to stay grounded - even when the vibe gets a little tense or stressful.

Did ya know that a hackathon team is pretty much a mini community? It’s a group of individuals who care about each other’s success, and are willing to work together to bring an idea to life.

✨ I believe that a hackathon team can stay grounded by owning its’ community identity. ✨

For a hackathon team to own its’ community identity, they’ll need to build a strong foundation for their mini-community. Here are a few components that make up this strong foundation:

  • Guidelines to maintain a safe and supportive space to work in.
  • Principles for members to work together in a way that maximizes fun & harmony, while staying aligned with the vision or goal.
  • Roles to clearly state each person’s responsibility.
  • Onboarding Doc to ensure alignment on the community Guidelines, Principles and Roles.

Creating an Onboarding Doc for my #GraphHack2022 team helped us stay grounded, despite the stressors of the hackathon. Here’s a Notion template you can duplicate & customize for your team!

That’s it for today

Next time you go to a web3 hackathon, make sure to first figure out why you’re attending, then plan your schedule in a way that aligns with your why and also prioritizes self-care time, and find the vibe team that you can build a fun mini community with.

One more thing - if you have a fren that’s attending a web3 hackathon for the first time, pls share this article with them! It’s the article I wish I had before attending a web3 hackathon.

Until next time! ✌🏼💖

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