Not asking for much.
But - and that's the kicker - I want to earn it through something I've created.
Not by selling my time and doing someone else's work for them - as an employee or even a freelancer - but by first creating something I think is useful / interesting / fun / cool / lifesaving - and then getting paid for it. Some people achieve it by creating their own business or service, some create art or ideas, some build products or companies.
Don't get me wrong, being "your own boss" does not guarantee happiness, or even fulfilment, but there seems to be a backwards correlation: being happy and fulfilled increases the statistical chance you're making a living through something you've created
It's the fine line between art and business. The stereotype about artists is that they create to achieve self expression - and the adoration of others is a side effect. Though there are some artists who truly don't care what you think about their art - in reality they're incredibly rare. It's the nature of humans to seek praise from their peers - and artists are human as well. Validation is not the only positive result of a large and happy following. Artists are human as well and humans need to eat - that silly need blurs the distinction between "art" and "business".
A good startup founder, not to mention a small business owner, has to be a little bit of an artist but also a little bit of a businessman. Youtube channels, Twitch streamers, bloggers etc. have to constantly come up with content that's original and creative but at the same time dedicate thought and energy to keeping and growing their audience - sometimes in ways entirely unrelated to the content itself.
I tend to be a realistic person. I don't believe that my ideas, opinions and mathematical analysis is appealing enough for a large enough audience to ever make a living out of Life in a Graph - and it doesn't bother me. This blog was never meant to be a source of income (I would probably start a "learn hacking fast" website or something if I wanted to earn money by writing) but more of a platform for "self-expression" (it sounds so new-age-y).
That being said, the feeling I get on the rare occasions when my creations are "validated" by the fact that someone else is willing to pay for them or that they're capable of generating money (and hence freedom) - that feeling is incredible.
So I've added a Google ad. I chose the smallest size, text ads only, colors that don't stand out and clearly marked it as an ad - despite Google advising me to do pretty much the opposite to maximize my hypothetical revenue. The top priority is not bothering readers - revenue is practically irrelevant. I mean, let's be honest, even if every single reader clicks the ad - I'd still starve :)
But - since my goal is just 1$ - an ad seemed like a good way to get that feeling of "my work has some value" while not taking money from my readers and friends. So if you want to support me - all you have to do is click the ad :)
Until next time, may you know that your creations have value.