Lifestyle design from the ground up

I’m sitting on an article I’m not sure any more I want to write. After two posts on startups, the new business structuring ideas and the fervent self education they bring – there will be translations next week – I want to talk about what I think, without being backed by precise data. And this is hard to do without being personal – which currently feels infinitely riskier than anything I published before.

During the last 6 days – or rather 9 months, to be honest – I was on an insane, insomniac research of career options ranging from the totally conventional to relatively outrageous ones. I’m reading until my eyes bleed then meet people and try out different stuff, because you don’t really know until you are actually doing it. A principle that I’ve always assumed to be true for my personal life, but somehow didn’t really realize it applies for work too.

Strangely this is a discovery that links personal and professional development together very well. In life, I tend to make big decisions easily and be willing to try out something just for the fun of it. Both my moving to Milan and Barcelona were somewhat abrupt. I learned incredibly lot – compared to my expat level zero anyways – and was very willing to admit and accept that my approach to building up a life was immature and not very efficient in Italy. (Which of course also led to a better, though nowhere near perfect start in Spain.) It also helped me to understand my priorities better and finally, today, to discover how setting foot in a new city – or a new relationship for that matter – is like setting up a new business. A wonderful opportunity to build yourself up from the ground again.

This is not one of those posts idolizing entrepreneurship. In my experience that is a hilariously interesting ride, but very often also excruciating and heart-crushing. I don’t believe it is a suitable path for everyone the same way I wouldn’t recommend a relationship style or diet to all of you. What I’m looking for is a structure that helps me to make sense of the world around me. My partner recently pointed out that I obviously derive a big chunk of my sense of self-worth from work which is a correct observation and also means that I can’t find integrity without building my professional self and decisions into this structure.

It helps me to look at entrepreneurship from a different semantic angle. In Hungarian, vállalkozni (that is, “entrepreneuring”) also means volunteering for something, taking matters in your own hand. I like this angle because it highlights that you have a choice and are free to experiment. That it’s completely okay to not know all the answers as long as you are ready to ask questions. So this is what I’m doing next.

silver for red, blue for yellow

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