Why I’m temporarily unhireable

The consulting work I’m doing now is a wonderful fit for who I am at this moment. In the past two months, I’ve been able to do a lot. They’d like to keep me, and I can see how I could make a good difference here. But I didn’t leave one wonderful job just to start another wonderful job, did I?

My primary reason for experimenting with entrepreneurship is to build something more flexible and more scalable than employment. By flexibility, I mean that it should be able to accommodate the unpredictable schedules and irregular demands of raising young children if W- and I have more kids. By scalability, I don’t mean the mind-boggling aspirations of venture-backed startups. I mean the ability to create more value with less time, and possibly by involving other people.

My secondary reason for experimenting is to learn what I can learn so that I can share those lessons with as many as people as possible. Thanks to frugality and other factors, I enjoy the privilege of being able to learn about entrepreneurship without immediate financial pressure. Thanks to a great network, I can learn from people’s experiences instead of struggling in isolation. Thanks to a keen interest in both technology and business, I can try things out instead of waiting for the missing piece. With all these advantages, maybe I can make things easier for other people.

With these reasons in mind, it becomes easier to say no, even though I also really want to say yes. Full-time work doing what I’m doing now? It would probably be awesome, but it doesn’t follow my reasons, so I’d prefer to help people learn how to do what I do. If I could be in more than one place, I would be in so many. Since I can be in only one place at a time, I’ll focus on training people, and I’ll work on the questions that I most want to ask.

  • I commend you on being persistent in saying no.

    A while back I learned to separate what I’m *good* at from what I *want* to do, and learned to say no to things that I wasn’t excited about, even if I would have enjoyed them and done an excellent job.

    Recently, I’ve been learning to say no to things I’m excited about in the moment, but not passionate about long-term. Excitement fades, but passion sustains. I’m slowly learning to differentiate between the two.

    For me, excitement manifests as new, shiny object syndrome. Often it’s driven from the outside. Since I participate in both the Asheville and Boston startup cultures, there’s a natural buzz toward creating or joining a startup. I pick up that excitement from other people and often confuse it for my own.

    I have to constantly remind myself of my long-term passions and the unique value I can bring to the world. And even though my current passion (teaching people better decision-making) isn’t conducive to my experience in the software startup world, I’m practicing saying no to everything else so I can focus on that passion.

    Good job saying no and staying focused. Keep it up.

  • Trevor: Teaching people better decision-making – that’s awesome! I’m fascinated by the processes that support better decisions. I love reading about behavioural psychology and trying to counteract our biases. I map out many of my decisions and enjoy reviewing them afterwards.

    I’d be happy to share notes. How are you finding your coaching business? What could help you make it even better? Public conversations are great. If you want to contact me privately, you can reach me at [email protected].

  • All I can say is “+1”

  • Needless to say, it’s really a smart move that you experimented with technopreneurship now than later Sacha. I remember my Technopreneurship professor in my Masteral saying that someday, we must all follow Steve Jobs and Bill Gates examples and be technopreneurs. But if people will start experimenting with business in their old age, it would be too risky because there are too many things to learn and unlearn. You are expected to make mistakes.

    But the companies who know you are surely salivating and wanting to keep you with them. :p But I really admire what you are doing. A lot of us are learning from you.

    And I am really excited to see your consultancy business grow. Who knows, I can work for you in the future. Hehe.. :)