Discover more from The Daily Draft
A Different Type of Independence
Today I'm Celebrating My Freedom as Much as America's
The 4th of July is my favorite holiday.
As of noon today, the 4th of July is a day of independence for me, as much as it is for my country.
What happened at noon?
Let’s take a brief look back in history, “On July 8, 1776, Philadelphia citizens were summoned to the State House Yard by bells of the city. At noon, Colonel John Nixon publicly read the Declaration of Independence for the first time.”.
With today’s date and now the time understood as having significance, here is the news, as of noon today, the process for deleting all things The Family Alpha has begun.
The Family Alpha was created in 2015 while I was looking to find my way in life. I’d gone through a major personal event and was working to find myself; in doing so, I created a resource to share all I learned and was continuing to learn; it took off.
To the moment of beginning deletion (it’ll take a few days to get everything to clear), the blog had over 1,100,000 unique views, the Podcast had over 165,000 unique plays, YouTube had over 2,500 followers, and the email list had over 3,300 subscribers.
What was the problem with this “success”?
The Family Alpha represented who I was, not who I am; this has not sat well with me.
I was writing for the blog under a Pen Name (Hunter Drew) because, at the time, I was concerned I’d lose employment if it were discovered I was writing about men being men and women being women in the early stages of “Wokeness” and #MeToo society.
I was focused on intersexual dynamics, with everything being focused on marriage, sex, and game.
I was drinking almost nightly, skipping family events to grow the brand, and losing sleep to create content for others at the expense of my personal health.
At the end of the day, this worked, and for years, I enjoyed that which came with success. I was making money, being invited to speak at multiple conferences, and being a frequent guest on Podcasts; there was no shortage of people lining up to give me free products or access in exchange for promotion on my platforms.
Unlike many who find success online, I didn’t stay in that box.
I continued to evolve as a man and put into practice all the lessons I was learning.
I grew, and in doing so, my life, mindset, and, ultimately, the message shared grew as well. In this reflection, I’ve realized that far too many have failed to continue their development; today, some are talking about exactly what they were talking about 3, 7, and 12 years ago.
It couldn’t be me…
I dropped the pen name and alcohol and started writing more about fatherhood, sobriety, and family over sex and attraction. My priorities changed, and I made more time for family and took fewer speaking and traveling opportunities. I started getting messages from people telling me I needed to stick to sex and marriage; and that nobody cared about youth sports, sobriety, stoicism, or peaceful parenting. The “problem” there was that I cared.
I’m no guru, I do this for me.
Writing and Speaking are my arts, similar to photography, they’re my release, a way to express myself and get ideas out of my head, both for me as well a way to help others.
I’ve grown so far from who I was when I created The Family Alpha, that sometimes I didn’t recognize my own writing when I’d read past articles.
The Struggles & Release
I knew I’d created something which had done well, and I wanted to capitalize on it, but every attempt at reviving TFA came with a feeling in my gut that I was selling out and trying to make it work, not to help men or because my artist’s heart needed to write, but rather it was to use my platform as it was more profitable.
And I’m not coming at this from a position of “money is the root of all evil”; as cash is great, I make it and want to make more of it.
I am unwilling to use TFA for the sole purpose of growing.
And that’s it, the end of the story.
No longer will I get online and go to Substack, where I want to write and think, “I should create something for TFA; it’s been so long”.
No more will I think, “I haven’t podcasted in forever; if I can get back in the habit, I can get the episodes rolling again”.
Not a single time more will I beat myself up for growing an email list, only to never use it.
For this online thing to work, I have to do it my way, and that’s exactly what you’re seeing happen here. I’m doing it my way, this is me, Zac Small, the writer formerly known as Hunter Drew of the once-popular, now-evaporated Family Alpha blog - free from past expectations, with a focus on present and future creations, personal growth, and welcoming whatever is next.
Sometimes we have to let go of the things we found success in for us to grow and become our most free and successful selves. Today, as we celebrate independence and freedom in the United States, I remember that the only way to keep America free is for us, American Citizens, to live lives as free from control as possible.
- Zachary Small
If you’d like to support my work, or get full access to the content on this platform, consider becoming a paying subscriber.