-no matter whether you like it or not
The point of this 10-minute article: Manifest exactly how retarded I am
What you can get out of it: A perspective on how difficult it can be to A) know what you want and B) predict one’s life, and advice on how to come to grips with both issues
Why I wrote it: It’s kind of a Not To Do list; once the issues/problems/tasks have been written down they can safely be postponed indefinitely. And that’s part of the lesson here, A) explore and be open to unknown sides of your personality and B) make a Not To Do list for the not-so-you-any-longer elements
Would you start Facebook if you had the chance?
The other day, an old friend reached out to me regarding his world changing start-up idea. It’s actually really good. Really, really good. Imagine the days before Facebook or eBay went live. That good. Good enough for me to talk to my network of people in high finance about it at least.
The only problem I have with the project is that I’m retarded for real. I have no interest in doing actual work, not to mention sinking serious money into a gargantuan project straight into the most competitive market place in the history of market places. It will get done, the question is only when and by whom. My guess is it won’t be a Swede when all is said and done.
Making the technological Singularity happen
Oh, yes, my hubris seems alive and well…
Another friend and I have been discussing the technological Singularity and general technological development for ages. Eventually, we wanted to do something about it. I mean, technological progress doesn’t happen by itself, as Kurzweil’s charts can lead you to believe.
And here we are, in August 2015, creating a kind of start-up incubator, meeting with potential collaborators and investors, not to mention prospects to fund. There is a crude website up, a logotype designed, a company to be incorporated, investor funnels, start-up funnels and other secret ingredients to set up. Damn, this is turning into real work…
I’m at a point in my life where there seems to be so many possibilities (*)
In the periphery, I’m mirror blogging (for money; today I wrote my first invoice ever) on a Swedish stock market site called TradeVenue. And then there is my interest in health that led to an affiliation with my favorite Omega-3 oil producer. Perhaps I should throw in a little something about personal trading as well here? I have been doing a few trades lately, taking advantage of corrections and bounces of first and second orders. In oil I got so lucky that I now have to consider taking profit and start over, since I don’t think we have seen the real trough yet.
Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes with an old friend who founded and funded several av the most well known Swedish websites, but now has moved on to the most down to earth industrial companies conceivable instead.
We just had a cappuccino each and took our sweet time, talking about start-ups, investing, commercial communities, portfolio management etc. Funny thing, he asked if I had any thoughts about managing money again… If so, he could have a line of clients waiting at a moment’s notice.
Then I went straight to another 90 minute meeting, over lunch (a large sashimi) at a place called Miss Voon, with a Venture Capitalist company. Primarily they wanted me to invest in their client companies but secondarily they became interested in my start-up projects. And quite out of the blue they asked if I was interested in board work or if I’ve truly gone full, full retard. I even got a specific company name and was asked to think about it.
Oh, and did I mention I have a dog that demands at least 3 hours of attention a day. That’s a bare minimum, and the actual figure is closer to 5 hours a day.
And then there is that very close friend who has a family business potentially worth a billion (Swedish kronor), that I help in assessing the value of every time the vultures close in. This week it was that time again, and I haven’t even responded properly yet.
Not quite as urgent, but still important, in a few weeks I’ll be giving a speech at the venerable (1337) institution The French School, Ecole Francaise, a stone’s throw from my apartment. Future oversized oscillating male genitalia, no doubt. The perfect crowd for effective inception maneuvers.
Relaxing perhaps just isn’t for me
neither is structured work, however
After decades of hard work, constant stress and sleep deficit, my plan was to relax, do nothing, and read.
Somehow reading turned into learning (the most interesting blogs, books, podcasts etc. all contained useful information and soon my bias for relaxed reading turned into educational reading and doing [DuoLingo, KhanAcademy, Codecademy])
Then learning turned into teaching (live math teaching or more general mentoring)
Teaching turned into blogging (I was urged to create a blog to tell more people about my ideas, a natural extension of my inclination to teach what I learn, to lend the perspective I myself acquire)
Blogging turned into responsibility (the ability to respond to whoever reacted to my articles, just kidding) – a responsibility to explain and elaborate on whatever advice I might give, to be reliable.
But now, things are piling up fast, too fast. I’ve got over 50 books on my “urgent” to read list. I’ve got almost 10 tangible book ideas I want to write (but apparently not badly enough). I also want to make music and oil paintings.
And somehow blogging has found itself to both the very top and the very bottom of my to do list. It’s both a responsibility, a joy, almost my raison d’être, and a safety valve.
At least I don’t have to worry about ideas for articles, I record more than one new blog post idea per day in my commonplace (Evernote) and I currently have 204 ideas marked “blog posts” waiting there – and this one was not even on the list.
What happened with retirement? With drinks, music, hammocks, summer breezes, reading books, creating art and relaxing? I know what happened. Life happened. And that’s good.
Pay attention to where your steps are leading you, and embrace what life turns out to be, rather than trying to strictly heed your younger self’s ambitions or plan too diligently for your future self.
By the way, my robotics project is put on hold. Phew!
Either, I’m just trying to convey what an awesome dude I (still) am.
Or, there is a message in here somewhere…:
The more time you spend knowing yourself the better. The earlier the better, and the more the better.
Be open to sides of yourself you didn’t expect (becoming a finance guru, or stop being one, or becoming one again, desiring 100% leisure or doing meaningful work most of your waking hours, etc. Accept and embrace changing, and encourage the same in others. You will change anyway).
If you have plans you keep postponing and regretting never doing, just stop. Either stop postponing, or stop regretting.
Realize that if you keep postponing, that specific plan just isn’t one of your real priorities and thus nothing to regret. Write it down on a Not To Do list and move on.
P.S. Just as I was writing the final sentences on this spontaneous post, I got an e-mail from a very senior portfolio manager (many billions of dollars in AUM) wanting to talk to me as soon as possible. I like getting close to the sirens to test my own desires, to learn what I really want when a possible turn of events is just a signature away.