Saturday, July 27, 2019

Nervous (about Scarcity)

Coming from a company where basically no one is ever fired, to a place where two out of 50 employees were fired in a single week, I'm nervous. I'm nervous I'm next. I'm nervous that it's a sign the company has hard times ahead. I'm nervous that despite my perceived ability to execute, I'm not as good as I think I am. I'm nervous that applies to everyone in our company.

It's interesting coming to a startup from a large corporate job. Everything you read about, it's all based in some truth. We may try to tell ourselves at times that it's different, that we are mature for our age or our size, but we still have a lot to figure out. It's a strange feeling.

I'm probably going to talk about money more in the future than I have in the past. The reason being I've benefited from a high paying job, a long bull market, and a decent savings rate, that my horizons have been expanded, and I view the world differently than I did nine years ago.

It's easy for us to have a scarcity mindset. There are only so many jobs available for a person like me. I can only save so much money. If I mess this opportunity up there will never be another one. However, there is more abundance in the world, especially at this point in human history. There was a tension around the office this past week, because people don't know what is next. We like to make our own decisions and being fired or getting laid off is not a decision people usually make for themselves.

A few weeks ago, the totality of the issues facing us hit me, and I had a little bit of a meltdown. It's going to be hard to get where we want by when we want. Since that meltdown we've recalibrated and can probably achieve our new schedule. I had the thought that we might not make it, which despite being a startup was kind of new for me, and I would have worked hard and have nothing to show for it. But then, I considered when I am in life, financially especially, and I think I would take six months to get a membership at Mr. Money Mustache headquarters to do a little work on couple side projects that could each use at least 50 hours of dedicated time, I would go finish the 14ers, and probably the centennial 13ers (100 highest peaks in CO), and then I would reach out across my network and see what job opportunities are out there.

It's cliche, because I'm a white male engineer, especially now at a startup, but money and job security are things that my relationship with has changed in the past nine years. In 2010 and 2011 I was happy for any job that would have me. I was super excited to have $1,000 in my savings account or pay off a credit card. While those things are still exciting, now I think about paying off the mortgage on my rental house. Who owns rental property? Rich people! Similarly, when recruiters reach out to me through LinkedIn their offers are not bad. Sure in every case they appear to be a step backward in responsibility and pay, and I'm not looking for a new job, I hope that I can be at my current company for years to come. The point is, there is abundance in the world. Maybe I'm coming at that perspective from a place of privilege, but there really is a lot of opportunity in the world.

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