The One Game to Master
The more I live, work, and play, I realize there's no greater indicator of my success or failure than my mental state when making decisions. I don't mean every little thing. I mean the decisions that have an effect that reverberates for months and years.
A few decisions lately have started to add up.
- Why haven't I taken a vacation?
- Is my time spent chilling with homies adding up to anything?
- I've been very deliberately (and diligently) avoiding meetings. How's that been going?
So how did my mental state influence these decisions, and am I happy about how it's gone since?
Not taking A vacation
I choose not to take a vacation because I don't feel like I need it. I'm not burnt out, enjoy work, and I've not had so much peace in my life for almost a decade. What is there to vacation from?
The fact that I'm even considering whether or not this has been a good decision is interesting. Why would I reflect on it now?
I think a big part of it is because people love to tell me that I should take a vacation. They're not me. They don't know what's best for me. I'm good with one day off. Why would I care about this?
Well, vacations recharge most people. Over time they burn out. I haven't (yet) though. Over time I think life is getting easier. For someone who burns out, vacations make sense. So perhaps that's why it's on my mind so much. It's on theirs, and they bring it up with me.
It's a good thing that I don't take unnecessary vacations. It's a better thing that I don't feel like running from my own life. When there's something I really want to do, and it requires travelling, I'll take a "vacation" then.
When I decide not to take a vacation, I'm always in the mental state that things are getting better. What's there to vacation from?
Hanging out with friends
While I enjoy spending time with them, I'm wondering what it's giving me. Everyone asks me about what I'm up to, the business models I'm running, and what I'm doing in crypto. The more time passes, the more I wonder why we hang out so much when at least half the time is people asking me about making more money.
The real ones aren't like that though, and it's a shame I don't see them very often. When I see the people I care about there's a feeling of reverie. We talk, we laugh, and we enjoy each other's company.
I had a hard talk with one guy who asks me business questions very often. "What do you think about this business idea?" "Do you think this can make money?" "If it were you, would you do it? How would you do it?" The list of annoying questions went on so I had to tell him to chill.
The problem was that I charge people for coaching and I was basically coaching him for free. So I drew that boundary because I can't be friends with someone who I feel is taking advantage of me under the guise of friendship.
The point is never to try and make money off your friends. The point is - if you're friends - they'll want you to make money. Further, they won't use their friendship with you as a front to get out of paying.
That happened before. I've had many "friends," say "how are you to charge me?? I've been supporting you since day one." Keep in mind, they didn't support me through shit. I'm glad it didn't go there this time.
If I can clarify now, again, It's not about charging money from your friends. It's about drawing boundaries that don't make you want to give up the friendship. I'm not here to be taken advantage of. So for us to stay friends, I had to draw the boundary. Otherwise, the friendship will end anyway. If we're friends, either he'll go through with the coaching, or we'll keep it at friendship.
When I look at friendships, boundaries are key. Without them, it's only a matter of time before the friendship ends anyway. The mental state is one where I know that if I don't act on the inward feeling of being taken advantage of (even slightly), I risk losing that friendship.
I really really don't like most meetings. I can't stand them. It's the biggest waste of time for me to have to go to a meeting for no reason other than making something easy for someone else. My rule of thumb is that if there's no transaction involved, I don't go to a business meeting. Even then, I often don't go.
When I decided to take this approach to meetings, most people didn't get it. It was years ago. Remote work was not as popular as it is now. So the time it took me to explain why became a chore. Eventually, I just had to tell people that I'm not going and they can send me the notes.
This one actually cost me a few business relationships. Old-school folks like the real estate people I used to work with especially didn't get it. It felt like they literally couldn't function without sitting down and spending an hour talking about something. Granted, they were from a different generation, or at least a different business mindset - even if we were nearly the same age. No hate, just not for me.
My mental state at the time, when I first made the decision, was focused on me. It worked. Stress went down, more work got done, and I was happier.
But there's a mistake in this as it continued. I probably lost out on 100k-200k because I refused to show up. If you're early in your career and you're reading this, sometimes it's more worthwhile to suck it up and show up.
The mental state when I decided on cutting back meetings was good. As time went it, it became more about not going to meetings than about the bigger goals around the meetings. Lost sight of what mattered, cost me some money.