alas, problogger, we hardly knew ye

Creative Commons License photo credit: piccadillywilson

You may recall that I was going through a rapid-fire decision process related to my choice, for lack of a better word, of a job. I had a startup contact me, an offer of an officer position with a investment bank and a new contract position all come at me in the space of a day. The contract position was immediate and required an immediate decision.

Another option which I didn’t really discuss was tossing caution to the wind and turning down everything and continuing my problogging. What I discovered about problogging was this: you can’t do it at home with two small children…or at least I can’t. I am sure that many people have the ability to slam the door to their writing office shut, or head down to the local Starbucks or whatever they choose to do to remove the distraction of kids. I don’t. I have never figured out a way to block out the presence of my kids, or the necessary level of selfishness (for lack of a better word) to tell Bubelah to take care of everything while I work. My son drives me nuts (a lot), but he’s got my ear. If problogging were generating the largest portion of our income, I would have to lock the door for a few hours a day to get anything done. Alternatively, I would need to stay up til all hours or wake up early, but that’s easier said than done with two small kids. I’m already down to six hours of sleep per night, and that’s often interrupted once or twice. Since I hardly set the world on fire with my problogging – my productivity actually went down over the last month – I didn’t feel much incentive to continue doing it.

The contract position in the end was a no-brainer.
We bought a new car for cash, had a baby and neither of us worked for almost six weeks. We have part-time help for my wife, who’s recovering from her C-section, and in the end I wanted to go back to work before we had to touch our “real” savings. We had exhausted our go-to-hell funds (buying the car, paying for a lot of baby-related expenses, etc.) and soon we’d be going into our emergency funds. We have enough for a year or two (if we scaled back our fairly frugal lifestyle) but neither of us were anxious to divert money away from wealthbuilding that long.

So the contract position offered a good opportunity to start the income flowing in again without making any significant sacrifices in terms of my participation in our family life in the short run.
The commute is much shorter than my commute to my previous client, saving almost two hours per day. The work is interesting – I’m part of a team reengineering the finance process at a corporate level for one of the biggest corporations in the world, with a LOT of freedom to do it how we see fit after internal employees, frankly, couldn’t get it done. I am scared to say – because I know how these things go – that I am ever so vaguely interested in my work for the first time in a long time.

On the other hand, it was wrenching to stop “working at home” problogging
. I think when you work a 9-to-5 type job you can assume that life’s always harried. When you have a self-directed job like problogging, it’s amazing how easily things like doctor’s appointments can be accomplished. Most corporate employees and consultants know how wrenching it can be to schedule appointments around your work committments. You can direct your own time – with, of course, the huge caveat that if you have young kids at home THEY actually direct most of your time.

But in the end until I’ve built up my wealthstreams to a level where they cover our expenses and a little excess for investing, I don’t think I can give up consulting. So I’m back to The Collective, so to speak. Resistance was futile. I’m trudging up Wall Street every morning with thousands of other suit-and-tie people. I look around a see a lot of tired, out of shape (and this is New York, where everyone walks) and stressed looking people. Most of them, like me, aren’t ready to give up their income, for whatever reason: they don’t think it can be done, they actually like the stressful job or they are simply coasting along in entropy. But I’m back in with my teeth gritted and my determination to get far enough ahead by 2017 to get out. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m increasingly convinced it’s from sunny beaches and not from an oncoming freight train. That’s nice.

make money now versus make money later

OK, think fast: two jobs. One pays $50,000 this year; it will have a steady raise keeping pace with inflation (more or less) for the next 20 years, but there will be no spectacular bumps up. The other job pays $15,000 this year. In 10 years it might give you the experience to make $100,000 per year – or, if you haven’t done that well, it might pay you $15,000.

What do you do?

photo credit: Nadya Peek

I would argue this is at the core of your personality for many reasons. If I told you that I would give you $5 straight out, or we could flip a coin and heads you’d get $10 or tails you’d get $0, what would you choose? Investing works the same way: conventional thinking tells us that index fund investing is the way to go. You can’t beat the market! Hang in there – there has never been a 15 year period where the market didn’t go up! Be average – hope for the swelling tide to lift you along with the rest of humanity! Bet on the sure thing – take the $5!

So what does that tell you? Do you want to make money now or make money later? Would you take a job for free today with the promise of making more tomorrow? Or do you want cash in hand, thank you very much? Honestly, both are legitimate arguments. I’ve turned down two jobs in investment banking because they were bonus-based compensation and I knew that even though they might be worth 150% of what I was making from contracting, they also might be worth 70% of what I was making. You know what? That’s weak thinking.

Risk taking is fundamental for wealth building. I’m sure Warren Buffet would argue that he doesn’t take any risks: he studies exhaustively and then invests without concern because he’s done his homework. My grandfather did awfully well (until 2000) in the stock market, too, although he certainly didn’t have access to the type of research that WB does. It’s possible to take some measured risks and achieve success as long as your definition of success doesn’t mean being the wealthiest man (or woman) in the world.

I want to make money in the future. I’ve set up my lifestyle to make money in the future. I claim to want money in the present so I can retire now, but I spend a lot of time talking about making it now and coasting along on a decent contracting income without building my investments aggressively or a business or even my own knowledge (which deteriorates every day).

Here is the question: what’s the main thing you need to do? Invest better? Build a business? Or just continue to slowly build income and plow your increasing income – through maintaining your standard of living and putting the excess into savings – into slowly building wealth? One of my favorite reads is Get Rich Slowly, but do I want to get rich slowly? Depends on how slowly you mean…

Carnival of Careers #1

Welcome to the June 2, 2008 edition of carnival of careers! This is the inaugural edition, and the first of many to come! Considering all of the articles are about work and jobs and careers, I thought I’d add in a few pictures and facts about some of the most popular beach/seaside destinations in the world.

First, the editor’s picks:

squawkfox presents How to Choose a New Career posted at squawkfox. Part of a five-part series, this article can help you kick-start your career planning.

Erek Ostrowski presents Manifesting a Job You Actually Want (Step Two) posted at Verve Coaching. The second step in manifesting a job you actually want is to create a conversation “for” what you want in a job (here’s the first step).

Creative Commons License photo credit: adpowers

Cancun, Mexico: There are about 140 hotels in Cancún with more than 24,000 rooms and 380 restaurants. Four million visitors arrive each year in an average of 190 flights daily. The Hotel Zone of Cancun is shaped like a 7 with bridges on each end connecting to the mainland. Hotels on the vertical or long side of the 7 tend to have rougher beaches and beach erosion can be a problem. Resorts on the horizontal or short end of the seven tend to have more gentle surf because the waves here are blocked by the island of Isla Mujeres which lies just off shore. The Hotel Zone offers a broad range of accommodations, ranging from relatively inexpensive motel-style facilities in the older section closest to the mainland, to high-priced luxury hotels in the later sections. (read more)


Sheila Danzig presents Start Your Nursing Career Today posted at Degree Talk Blog.

Praveen presents 10 Businesses You Can Run in Your Pajamas posted at My Simple Trading System.

David Cassell presents A Better Way To Destroy The GMAT posted at

Skyler Reep presents I Will “Lose” Your Résumé posted at Skyler Reep’s Blog: “I am an interviewer. I receive hundreds of résumés per year, and I make dozens of interviews. With this qualification in mind, believe me when I tell you everything you have heard about writing a résumé is wrong.”

Creative Commons License photo credit: antonellomusina

St. Thomas. Part of the island looks very much like the countryside of France, with cattle grazing in green fields. And west of downtown there even is a place called Frenchtown. Whether you stop atop a mountain or along the shore, be sure to sample one of our tropical drinks made with the exotic island alcohol, rum (pronounced “room”).

career advice

Metaliphe presents Are you overworked and underpaid but love your job? posted at Chandra Unplugged – No nonsense, Straight-up blogging from a Life Coach: Learn how to create the job you love and get paid well for what you love to do.”

Sagar presents Twitter for Librarians: The Ultimate Guide posted at College@Home.

deepali presents man is by nature a political animal posted at Paradigm Shifted.

Writers Coin presents Degrees are Important, but not THAT Important posted at The Writer’s Coin: “Education degrees can open doors, but not using your skills wisely can shut them”

career finance

Jim presents Introducing the College Grad Money Guide posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Mispahn

South Beach is the section of Miami Beach, Florida that encompasses the southernmost 23 blocks of an island separating the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. This area was the first section of Miami Beach to be developed, starting in the 1910s, thanks to the development efforts of Carl G. Fisher, the Lummus Brothers, John S. Collins, and others. The area has gone through numerous man-made and natural changes over the years, including a booming regional economy, increased tourism, and the 1926 hurricane that destroyed much of the area. (read more)

career management

Anna Farmery presents Why are you searching for perfection? posted at The Engaging Brand.

Andy presents Results from 2008 IT Salary Survey posted at Saving to Invest.

Cash Money Life presents No, I Won’t Accept Your Counter Offer posted at Cash Money Life,: why accepting a counter-offer might not be the best idea.

Alan K Rudi presents Critical Thinking Skills for Success in Business and Life posted at Successful Business Leadership.

Dorian Wales presents How to Fortify Your Job: 10 valuable (and challenging) Tips posted at The Personal Financier: 10 invaluable skills which are even more crucial today.

Jessica Donnovan presents Business Ethics – Speaking Up or Keeping Silent? posted at Sensible Self-Improvement.

Danogo presents Exploring Medical Animation As A Career posted at – Discover. Inspiring . Media, saying, “Even artistic types can have a career in the medical field”

Creative Commons License photo credit: tiarescott

Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The island had a population of 178,133 inhabitants according to the August 2007 census.[1] This makes it the most populated island of French Polynesia, with 68.6% of the total population. The capital is Papeete, on the northwest coast. Tahiti has also been historically known as O’tahiti. (read more)

work-life balance

Alvaro Fernandez presents Brain Health Business Grows With Research and Demand posted at SharpBrains, saying, “An in-depth look into the “brain training” field and future directions.”

David B. Bohl presents Secrets of Successful Managers on How to Budget Your Time posted at Slow Down Fast Today!: What do Jim Donald, Susan Lyne, and Bill Gates have in common?


That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of careers using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our here.

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