Leo's Letter #40 // The most fun I'll NEVER have again
It's been a long, long time but it goes by quick
Hey, it’s great to have you.
Half the year flew by and I have a feeling the rest of 2022 will go by just as quickly.
Hence I felt the urge to document, including capturing this relic of big tobacco on a nice day in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Read on for what I’ve been up to since attending the meditation retreat in December - it sure hasn’t been peaceful but I still try to find peace when I can.
P.S. - for those in the city next week for NFT NYC, drop me a line and let’s catch up!
A summary of the past six months
Back in college, I found out why the brothers in my fraternity described the process of joining as “the most fun you’ll never want to have again” (iykyk).
Looking back, the past few months felt like this all over.
Some background to set the stage:
I last wrote about finding peace after attending a meditation retreat
A week later, I got an offer for a “dream job” in crypto
Since then, I’ve been on a wild ride:
Living in a basement found on Craigslist
Working under a madman
Surviving and now trying to to live my best life
Experiencing Maslow’s hierarchy
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs outlines the five stages of human behavioral motivation .
The stages start with physiological (physical needs like air, water, shelter) and end with self actualization.
While it may be an exaggeration to state that I struggled with the first stage, I do want to recount my time living in what was basically a basement I found through Craigslist.
To start, my new job was located in an office an hour away from where I lived. I had two options: 1) commute via driving, or 2) live nearby.
The first option, driving an hour each way to work, did not work out. Imagine facing traffic not once, but three times along the way. This experience irons my will to never have to experience this again, as I know for a fact that a shorter commute contributes significantly towards happiness.
I was left with moving closer to the office, finding a room on Craigslist that was $750 per month and a 15-minute drive to the office.
The place turned out to be like a furnace at night. Now I know what it feels like in pre-war apartments where the radiator burned so hot that you had to crack a window open in the middle of winter.
Fortunately, I started looking for a new place and eventually found one that quirks aside (try driving through Fort Lee’s Main St during rush hour), better fit the bill.
Working (almost) all the time
My new job was to support the Head of the Crypto team at a fintech, and I was excited at getting to work my new manager, an exited founder
However, I realized that despite selling his company, my manager was still always on (the guy worked the whole week he was “on vacation”).
A few interesting stories:
My office building had a valet service to park cars. The valet employees eventually recognized me for being the guy who would stay after they closed at 8pm. I would often forget to pick up my key by then so instead they brought them up to me before heading home
My manager became the most frequent name to appear on my recent calls log, more than my family
I ended up working banking-like hours. I took comfort that it was winter and that there was little else to do on the weekends anyways
Eventually this ended when my manager left the company a few months ago.
I was free! And I got a taste of being a startup founder in the trenches all day.
Staying in motion
While I’m glad that I work much less than before, I’m still cognizant of trying to move forward.
But instead of being driven extrinsically by someone staring down my throat, I now have to push myself.
I put this to practice via:
Ruthless prioritization - shortening to-do lists. Saying no to event invitations (it’s hard to go to something in NYC when you lose two hours riding the bus). Using the weekend to plan for the upcoming week
Eating the frog - doing my most important task in the morning. This meant getting up at 6:50am to go after my personal goals before starting with work
Although I get a lot of both personal and professional work done on the weekends, I’m cognizant of the saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
I found the right combination through events involving travel, averaging a trip per month
My role involved travel to conferences and I took a trip to San Francisco in March and one to Miami in April (also briefly went through an experience like in the film My Sassy Girl and then feeling like JGL’s character from 500 Days of Summer)
I then went to Greensboro, North Carolina in May to celebrate a friend’s birthday
I’m now going to Charlotte to speak at a fintech conference and meet up with friends
All of this goes to say that it is possible to find order in chaos. A plan when things are up in the air. Established routines and pleasant departures (via trips).
Maybe this is partly driven by building out the recruiting or sales ops “machine” at work to my personal goals.
If so, it’s a positive blurring of lines vs. receiving 7:30am Slacks from my old manager.
(If he ever reads this, per the title, it was the most fun I'll never have again)