Today – October 10th, 2017 – marks exactly one year since my departure from the corporate world.
A lot – too much to detail – has happened since that fateful day, both in terms of progress on my new career path and, more personally, in terms of my own development. (Atop the list of things I’ve learned most about is, of course, myself.)
I figured I should commemorate the occasion with some sort of retrospective, even if a thorough retelling of events is too big a task to take on. For my own re-reading someday, I think it’s worthwhile to check in and note – today – what I feel are the biggest lessons I’ve learned since changing course. What follows is nowhere near exhaustive… It’s simply a look back, from a decidedly different vantage point than I had one year ago today.
Without further ado, a randomly selected handful of thoughts about my first year ex purgatori…
Hello again, friends.
My last post pointed out that you can follow the ongoing story that originated in this blog, by way of the social-media accounts associated with my fledgling company. This post is to tell you that there’s now a much better proxy for the type of content that I was previously posting in these pages…
White-Collar Nirvana is, essentially, now a podcast.
The podcast is called ‘What Up, World!‘ – a new project for which I teamed up with my brother. The format is conversational; it’s intended as a real-time account of our respective pursuits toward meaningful lives and livelihoods. From my perspective, it’s a direct sequel to this blog.
You should be able to find it (and subscribe!) wherever you normally get your podcasts: iTunes, Google Play, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Stitcher. For ease of access, I’ve embedded our SoundCloud page below, so you can listen right here if you’re so inclined. If you’re familiar with the contents of White-Collar Nirvana, episode 2 – in particular – will be quite familiar to you…
Hope you’re well and hope to hear from you on the ‘What Up, World!’ front!
Hello, old friend.
Newsflash: I haven’t been writing much lately. Devoting virtually every ‘spare’ minute to a new business venture has a way of interfering with one’s ability to project ramblings into the internet abyss.
I may write again, one day. I genuinely do enjoy it; I just can’t afford the time right now. (Maybe there were some advantages to being a 9-to-5er…) If you’re interested, though, do note that the story I was writing in these pages is far from over. It’s just beginning, as a matter of fact. And if you’d like to follow along, you can do so on…
While those accounts are, in part, devoted to informing people of the services that my fledgling company offers, it’s no secret that they’re also intended to convey the vision for what we’re building, and to document the journey of that pursuit. The dream for ChangeWealth – to re-purpose the power of a scalable enterprise entirely for social good – is, of course, a direct consequence of all the things I’ve written about in this space.
At times, my posts on this site have tackled broad, philosophical matters – but make no mistake that most of the opinions I’ve expressed here have been rooted in simple pragmatism. I believe it’s possible to convert any for-profit business into an engine for community betterment. I believe that doing so will result in that business and its community winning mutually in endless, snowballing fashion. And I believe that devoting one’s livelihood to such a pursuit will be shown to be inherently more rewarding than any measure of financial wealth or corporate status that beckons people to more conventional career paths.
If I’m right about these things, then whatever success my particular venture achieves will pale in comparison to the groundswell to come in this sector known broadly as ‘social enterprise’. My dream/prediction is that in 10, 20 and 30 years, conventional wisdom will gradually stop forcing people to choose between livelihoods of purpose and prosperity. Tomorrow’s economy will demand that employers find a way to offer both.
The pursuit of white-collar nirvana continues… see you elsewhere on the web!
This week, a former employer of mine announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs across the country – about 13% of its workforce. News articles quote the company as pointing to changing technology pressures and price sensitivity for the “restructuring”, which it describes as “difficult but necessary”. The same company posted net profits of $2.64 billion in 2016.
Someone asked me, the other day, about my relationship with this blog. I’m paraphrasing, but the thrust of the question was about what purpose it serves for me. I started to explain that at this stage it’s not something I take seriously, and that my goal is mostly to have something to look back on (or to have for my son to look back on) at some future point in time. Then my explanation led into the fact that – even though it wasn’t that long ago – my objectives were drastically different at this site’s outset. If you’ve been following, you’ll know that this was initially a form of therapy; an outlet for humor as a coping mechanism, in the midst of a livelihood that categorically wasn’t doing it for me.
I saw a video, recently, that was floating around online – one of these things you end up watching mindlessly, on autopilot between more productive tasks. The video could have been scripted/staged; I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter for the purposes of what I’d like to say about it.
I wrote a first draft of this opening paragraph, then erased it and started over when I realized what day it is…
It doesn’t take much to observe that people have a strained relationship with the concept of pragmatism, at least as far as the pressures of onsetting adulthood are concerned. How many aging, mediocre athletes/musicians/artists have struggled with societal pressure to ground themselves in the conventions of a 9-to-5 reality?
This is a follow-up to my most recent post. I’d suggest that you read that one before this one, but hey – it’s your life…
As I mentioned toward the end of that last post, the notion of the ‘Third Why’ is helpful as a means of constructing and organizing the meaning of lots of things around us. For me, the first thought that came to mind in hearing the quip had to do with that pivotal moment at which I pretty much decided that I was done with the corporate rat race, but there’s another application of the same idea that I’m interested in exploring.
On a podcast I listened to recently, a far more articulate speaker than I summarized the familiar experience of being interrogated by a preschool-aged child, in the following way: “the first ‘why’ is easy to answer, the second one is usually a bit more challenging, and by the third ‘why’ you have only one option, which is to buy the child an ice cream.”
How true. As the child strips ruthlessly away at your layers of flimsy logic, such a conversation has the potential to devolve into dark, nihilistic territory. Alas, the chicken may have crossed the road because he didn’t have a whole lot else to live for…