Category Archives: Money & Wealth

Not the same thing, but they will share a category on this site

The results are in…

After months of searching (years in total really) I’ve finally figured out my problem with finding my passion. If you don’t know me then I’ll just say that I’ve struggled with finding myself for a long time now. I’ve taken a bunch of different personality and career matching tests with pretty much the same kind of results. I’m Introverted until I get to know you better. I am a good problem solver and leader (with compatible types as my subordinates); though I will never ‘choose’ to be a leader. It’s usually chosen for me by management. I enjoy challenges deep thought and tend to stay extremely focused on the challenge until it is complete.

But that’s where the results stop. What the tests don’t go into is the fact that once the challenge is complete and I feel that I’ve learned a lot about the given subject I get bored with it and want to move on. Looking at my job history I can see a pattern. I typically work really hard on some tough problems at most places before I start to get bored with it. And I mean really bored; like physically ill bored (and depressed afterward). I’ve been living my professional life for the past ten years just thinking that something was wrong with the jobs I was working; or even worse something was wrong with ME.

While watching a bunch of TED videos on Youtube.com I started writing a list of the things that I want to do; my passions if you will. Most speakers kept trying to encourage listeners to find THAT THING that would make them jump out of bed in the morning. I looked at my list and found that not a single one made me feel that way. I’m just not that passionate about anything. “Great!” I though. Not only do I not like what I do, but there is nothing that I’d like to make a new profession either. So what does a geek do when faced with a problem like this?

I googled. I searched “I have no passions…” in Google and came up with surprisingly less results than I thought that it would. One site stuck out in the results and I finally decided to follow one of the links: http://puttylike.com/terminology/

It was there that I discovered what I truly am. I am a Multipotentialite; aka Slasher; aka Scanner; aka Polymath. Basically…

A modern day Renaissance  Man. I have multiple things that I want to learn about, but not necessarily become a master in any of them. I don’t want to devote my life to becoming a specialist in something; I want to devote my life to learning about anything that interests me.

Emilie Wapnick is the creator of Puttylike and has brought together a community of non-specialists as well as written a ton of useful information. After reading a good bit of the site I decided to change my thought process. I tossed my list of ‘passions’ and started a list of what I’d like to learn more about:

– Photography
– Computer Programming
– Linux Operating System
– Wood Furniture Making
– Landscape Engineering
– Creative Writing
– Guitar (Learn to Play)
– Automotive Maintenance & Upgrading
– Plant & Tree Identification (I was never a boy scout)
– Physical Fitness (Explosive Power Specifically)
– Healthy Cooking (and not so healthy baking)
– Home Alcohol Production (Still want to make the drink of my ancestors; mead)
– Graphic Design

I fully expect this list to continue to grow, but for now this will do. The next step is to train myself that (job growth + job skills != happiness). The real equation I need to solve is (x + x.skill obtained == happiness). If you don’t algebra just know that ‘x’ represents the items in the list above.

Retirement Planning

A lot of my thought process has been going into retirement planning lately. There are so many different avenues that one can choose as a source of income when that much desired life phase finally comes. I’ve already got a 401k account through my employer, and I plan on starting an IRA in the near future. However, I am more of an alternative thinking type of guy. One question kept bouncing to the front of my brain and I could no longer ignore it.

What other ways are there to achieve retirement?

Doing some research I was able to come up with a short list:

– Rental Property: This one was the most obvious to me since I already have a rental property. But then I started to imaging what it would be like if I owned ten properties. Let us just imagine that a $600/month profit was realized from each one (this is after they are out of a mortgage). I think that I could live off of $6000/month! A lot of people will say, “That will be a lot of work though, Dude!” It sure will, but I will be happy to sacrifice 10% of the rent per property to have a local company manage it for me; unless I really enjoy property management myself (who says that retirement means that you STOP work?).

– Royalties: Writing has always been a fascination of mine. I get this creationist complex when I write a story, or even programming code. Creativity is a GREAT motivator for me. Making a function work, or describing a scene so that the reader feels that they are there with the character gives me a high that I can’t explain too well. If these skills could be used to create something like a program or a story that people will, in theory, purchase indefinitely  the product will continue to provide some level of income.

– Start-up Investing: Can you imagine the amount of money your initial $5000 would be worth IF the company increased its valuation 50 fold?

Sacrifice Yourself

I can’t help the rush I get whenever I read “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade_(poem)

Sometimes you know that you are outnumbered in a situation, and you are in the situation by no fault of your own. Surrounded on all sides by those that want you to fail. We’ve all been there at least once. So what do you do in the face of almost uncertain victory? Do you back down to allow the greater numbers to move in? Do you stand strong and attempt to hold off the onslaught until assistance comes (if it is coming)? Or do you recognize your fate, and decide to charge the opposition anyway?

It’s time to go down swinging. It’s time to charge those against me. And maybe, just maybe; my honorable actions will bestow respect for me among those that stand against my charge. Maybe they will move aside and not make me fight them. If I’m lucky; maybe the will join me on my charge.

From now on it’s no holds barred. I have wants for my family and myself. It’s time to take this career seriously.

Money Problems

“It’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” – Biggie Smalls

It is believed by many that more money creates more problems. Yet almost all of us chase it down like there is no tomorrow. We overwork and neglect other priorities to make that extra bit in the next paycheck. Those of us that work salary are doomed to not know if more money will be made until the next performance review or surprise bonus check. A lot of the time the extra money doesn’t show up…

And then we begin to resent our current situation. So much hard work was put in to make that extra money and no reward is given. Our minds tend to “fill in the gaps” during these situations.

“This company doesn’t understand the work I do here.”
“My boss could care less about me our my team.”
“I can’t wait to see the look on his/her face when I quit this place.”

You may be thinking that I say, “well then quit! Take your skills and start your own business. Follow your passion and you will be happy!”

Well, that’s not what I am going to say at all. Quitting my job and following my passion would be great and all, but it just isn’t possible. Currently I simply CANNOT make the same kind of income with any of my passions. Could I develop a passion into a business that makes as much or more than I do at my current job? Sure; after many years of building and skills refining.

I (and most people) don’t have time for that.

So what can be done then? Should I just give up on my dream/passion and continue to work at a job that doesn’t understand me or what I do? My answer… Yes and No. Give up on your passion development (temporarily) and work on a few things at the office.

1) Realize that the company does not exist to keep you employed and/or happy. The company exists to make money. It’s as simple as that. Regardless of what is EVER said in any meeting in the end of it all the board DOES NOT CARE about you. They may even believe that they care, until something is done to mess with profits. Then the responsible party is in trouble. Big trouble.

2) Stop putting in extra effort where it isn’t needed. I am a strong believer in ENERGY management instead of TIME management. If working on a project for 2 extra hours is going to zap your remaining energy and only “get you ahead” slightly don’t do it. Go home. Enjoy time with family. Or spend those 2 hours on a hobby. You will enjoy those 2 hours versus the other option.

3) Find a way to enjoy the things that bother you about your current situation. For instance, I drive about an hour each way for work. I use this time as a release with inspirational music or podcasts.

I believe that money isn’t the problem. More money does not create more problems, but what it takes to make more money usually does create problems.

SO STOP WORKING SO HARD!