Integrity
Write
Loading...
Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo

2 years ago

Why I quit a $500K job at Amazon to work for myself

I quit my 8-year Amazon job last week. I wasn't motivated to do another year despite promotions, pay, recognition, and praise.

In AWS, I built developer tools. I could have worked in that field forever.

I became an Amazon developer. Within 3.5 years, I was promoted twice to senior engineer and would have been promoted to principal engineer if I stayed. The company said I had great potential.

Over time, I became a reputed expert and leader within the company. I was respected.

First year I made $75K, last year $511K. If I stayed another two years, I could have made $1M.

Despite Amazon's reputation, my work–life balance was good. I no longer needed to prove myself and could do everything in 40 hours a week. My team worked from home once a week, and I rarely opened my laptop nights or weekends.

My coworkers were great. I had three generous, empathetic managers. I’m very grateful to everyone I worked with.

Everything was going well and getting better. My motivation to go to work each morning was declining despite my career and income growth.

Another promotion, pay raise, or big project wouldn't have boosted my motivation. Motivation was also waning. It was my freedom.

Demotivation

My motivation was high in the beginning. I worked with someone on an internal tool with little scrutiny. I had more freedom to choose how and what to work on than in recent years. Me and another person improved it, talked to users, released updates, and tested it. Whatever we wanted, we did. We did our best and were mostly self-directed.

In recent years, things have changed. My department's most important project had many stakeholders and complex goals. What I could do depended on my ability to convince others it was the best way to achieve our goals.

Amazon was always someone else's terms. The terms started out simple (keep fixing it), but became more complex over time (maximize all goals; satisfy all stakeholders). Working in a large organization imposed restrictions on how to do the work, what to do, what goals to set, and what business to pursue. This situation forced me to do things I didn't want to do.

Finding New Motivation

What would I do forever? Not something I did until I reached a milestone (an exit), but something I'd do until I'm 80. What could I do for the next 45 years that would make me excited to wake up and pay my bills? Is that too unambitious? Nope. Because I'm motivated by two things.

One is an external carrot or stick. I'm not forced to file my taxes every April, but I do because I don't want to go to jail. Or I may not like something but do it anyway because I need to pay the bills or want a nice car. Extrinsic motivation

One is internal. When there's no carrot or stick, this motivates me. This fuels hobbies. I wanted a job that was intrinsically motivated.

Is this too low-key? Extrinsic motivation isn't sustainable. Getting promoted felt good for a week, then it was over. When I hit $100K, I admired my W2 for a few days, but then it wore off. Same thing happened at $200K, $300K, $400K, and $500K. Earning $1M or $10M wouldn't change anything. I feel the same about every material reward or possession. Getting them feels good at first, but quickly fades.

Things I've done since I was a kid, when no one forced me to, don't wear off. Coding, selling my creations, charting my own path, and being honest. Why not always use my strengths and motivation? I'm lucky to live in a time when I can work independently in my field without large investments. So that’s what I’m doing.

What’s Next?

I'm going all-in on independence and will make a living from scratch. I won't do only what I like, but on my terms. My goal is to cover my family's expenses before my savings run out while doing something I enjoy. What more could I want from my work?

You can now follow me on Twitter as I continue to document my journey.


This post is a summary. Read full article here

More on Personal Growth

Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

1 year ago

These 10 phrases are unprofessional at work.

Successful workers don't talk this way.

"I know it's unprofessional, but I can't stop." Author Sandy Hall

Do you realize your unprofessionalism? Do you care? Self-awareness?

Everyone can improve their unprofessionalism. Some workplace phrases and words shouldn't be said.

People often say out loud what they're thinking. They show insecurity, incompetence, and disrespect.

"Think before you speak," goes the saying.

Some of these phrases are "okay" in certain situations, but you'll lose colleagues' respect if you use them often.

Your word choice. Your tone. Your intentions. They matter.

Choose your words carefully to build work relationships and earn peer respect. You should build positive relationships with coworkers and clients.

These 10 phrases are unprofessional. 

1. That Meeting Really Sucked

Wow! Were you there? You should be responsible if you attended. You can influence every conversation.

Alternatives

Improve the meeting instead of complaining afterward. Make it more meaningful and productive.

2. Not Sure if You Saw My Last Email

Referencing a previous email irritates people. Email follow-up can be difficult. Most people get tons of emails a day, so it may have been buried, forgotten, or low priority.

Alternatives

It's okay to follow up, but be direct, short, and let the recipient "save face"

3. Any Phrase About Sex, Politics, and Religion

Discussing sex, politics, and religion at work is foolish. If you discuss these topics, you could face harassment lawsuits.

Alternatives

Keep quiet about these contentious issues. Don't touch them.

4. I Know What I’m Talking About

Adding this won't persuade others. Research, facts, and topic mastery are key to persuasion. If you're knowledgeable, you don't need to say this.

Alternatives

Please don’t say it at all. Justify your knowledge.

5. Per Our Conversation

This phrase sounds like legal language. You seem to be documenting something legally. Cold, stern, and distant. "As discussed" sounds inauthentic.

Alternatives

It was great talking with you earlier; here's what I said.

6. Curse-Word Phrases

Swearing at work is unprofessional. You never know who's listening, so be careful. A child may be at work or on a Zoom or Teams call. Workplace cursing is unacceptable.

Alternatives

Avoid adult-only words.

7. I Hope This Email Finds You Well

This is a unique way to wish someone well. This phrase isn't as sincere as the traditional one. When you talk about the email, you're impersonal.

Alternatives

Genuinely care for others.

8. I Am Really Stressed

Happy, strong, stress-managing coworkers are valued. Manage your own stress. Exercise, sleep, and eat better.

Alternatives

Everyone has stress, so manage it. Don't talk about your stress.

9. I Have Too Much to Do

You seem incompetent. People think you can't say "no" or have poor time management. If you use this phrase, you're telling others you may need to change careers.

Alternatives

Don't complain about your workload; just manage it.

10. Bad Closing Salutations

"Warmly," "best," "regards," and "warm wishes" are common email closings. This conclusion sounds impersonal. Why use "warmly" for finance's payment status?

Alternatives

Personalize the closing greeting to the message and recipient. Use "see you tomorrow" or "talk soon" as closings.

Bringing It All Together

These 10 phrases are unprofessional at work. That meeting sucked, not sure if you saw my last email, and sex, politics, and religion phrases.

Also, "I know what I'm talking about" and any curse words. Also, avoid phrases like I hope this email finds you well, I'm stressed, and I have too much to do.

Successful workers communicate positively and foster professionalism. Don't waste chances to build strong work relationships by being unprofessional.

“Unprofessionalism damages the business reputation and tarnishes the trust of society.” — Pearl Zhu, an American author


This post is a summary. Read full article here

Khyati Jain

Khyati Jain

1 year ago

By Engaging in these 5 Duplicitous Daily Activities, You Rapidly Kill Your Brain Cells

No, it’s not smartphones, overeating, or sugar.

Freepik

Everyday practices affect brain health. Good brain practices increase memory and cognition.

Bad behaviors increase stress, which destroys brain cells.

Bad behaviors can reverse evolution and diminish the brain. So, avoid these practices for brain health.

1. The silent assassin

Introverts appreciated quarantine.

Before the pandemic, they needed excuses to remain home; thereafter, they had enough.

I am an introvert, and I didn’t hate quarantine. There are billions of people like me who avoid people.

Social relationships are important for brain health. Social anxiety harms your brain.

Antisocial behavior changes brains. It lowers IQ and increases drug abuse risk.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Make a daily commitment to engage in conversation with a stranger. Who knows, you might turn out to be your lone mate.

  • Get outside for at least 30 minutes each day.

  • Shop for food locally rather than online.

  • Make a call to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while.

2. Try not to rush things.

People love hustle culture. This economy requires a side gig to save money.

Long hours reduce brain health. A side gig is great until you burn out.

Work ages your wallet and intellect. Overworked brains age faster and lose cognitive function.

Working longer hours can help you make extra money, but it can harm your brain.

Side hustle but don't overwork.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Decide what hour you are not permitted to work after.

  • Three hours prior to night, turn off your laptop.

  • Put down your phone and work.

  • Assign due dates to each task.

3. Location is everything!

The environment may cause brain fog. High pollution can cause brain damage.

Air pollution raises Alzheimer's risk. Air pollution causes cognitive and behavioral abnormalities.

Polluted air can trigger early development of incurable brain illnesses, not simply lung harm.

Your city's air quality is uncontrollable. You may take steps to improve air quality.

In Delhi, schools and colleges are closed to protect pupils from polluted air. So I've adapted.

What you can do is as follows:

  • To keep your mind healthy and young, make an investment in a high-quality air purifier.

  • Enclose your windows during the day.

  • Use a N95 mask every day.

4. Don't skip this meal.

Fasting intermittently is trendy. Delaying breakfast to finish fasting is frequent.

Some skip breakfast and have a hefty lunch instead.

Skipping breakfast might affect memory and focus. Skipping breakfast causes low cognition, delayed responsiveness, and irritation.

Breakfast affects mood and productivity.

Intermittent fasting doesn't prevent healthy breakfasts.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Try to fast for 14 hours, then break it with a nutritious breakfast.

  • So that you can have breakfast in the morning, eat dinner early.

  • Make sure your breakfast is heavy in fiber and protein.

5. The quickest way to damage the health of your brain

Brain health requires water. 1% dehydration can reduce cognitive ability by 5%.

Cerebral fog and mental clarity might result from 2% brain dehydration. Dehydration shrinks brain cells.

Dehydration causes midday slumps and unproductivity. Water improves work performance.

Dehydration can harm your brain, so drink water throughout the day.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Always keep a water bottle at your desk.

  • Enjoy some tasty herbal teas.

  • With a big glass of water, begin your day.

  • Bring your own water bottle when you travel.

Conclusion

Bad habits can harm brain health. Low cognition reduces focus and productivity.

Unproductive work leads to procrastination, failure, and low self-esteem.

Avoid these harmful habits to optimize brain health and function.

Glorin Santhosh

Glorin Santhosh

1 year ago

In his final days, Steve Jobs sent an email to himself. What It Said Was This

An email capturing Steve Jobs's philosophy.

Photo by Konsepta Studio on Unsplash

Steve Jobs may have been the most inspired and driven entrepreneur.

He worked on projects because he wanted to leave a legacy.

Steve Jobs' final email to himself encapsulated his philosophy.

After his death from pancreatic cancer in October 2011, Laurene Powell Jobs released the email. He was 56.

Read: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (#BestSeller)

The Email:

September 2010 Steve Jobs email:

“I grow little of the food I eat, and of the little I do grow, I do not breed or perfect the seeds.” “I do not make my own clothing. I speak a language I did not invent or refine,” he continued. “I did not discover the mathematics I use… I am moved by music I did not create myself.”

Jobs ended his email by reflecting on how others created everything he uses.

He wrote:

“When I needed medical attention, I was helpless to help myself survive.”

From the Steve Jobs Archive

The Apple co-founder concluded by praising humanity.

“I did not invent the transistor, the microprocessor, object-oriented programming, or most of the technology I work with. I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well-being,” he concluded.

The email was made public as a part of the Steve Jobs Archive, a website that was launched in tribute to his legacy.

Steve Jobs' widow founded the internet archive. Apple CEO Tim Cook and former design leader Jony Ive were prominent guests.

Steve Jobs has always inspired because he shows how even the best can be improved.

High expectations were always there, and they were consistently met.

We miss him because he was one of the few with lifelong enthusiasm and persona.

You might also like

William Brucee

William Brucee

1 year ago

This person is probably Satoshi Nakamoto.

illustration by Cryptotactic.io

Who founded bitcoin is the biggest mystery in technology today, not how it works.

On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto posted a whitepaper to a cryptography email list. Still confused by the mastermind who changed monetary history.

Journalists and bloggers have tried in vain to uncover bitcoin's creator. Some candidates self-nominated. We're still looking for the mystery's perpetrator because none of them have provided proof.

One person. I'm confident he invented bitcoin. Let's assess Satoshi Nakamoto before I reveal my pick. Or what he wants us to know.

Satoshi's P2P Foundation biography says he was born in 1975. He doesn't sound or look Japanese. First, he wrote the whitepaper and subsequent articles in flawless English. His sleeping habits are unusual for a Japanese person.

Stefan Thomas, a Bitcoin Forum member, displayed Satoshi's posting timestamps. Satoshi Nakamoto didn't publish between 2 and 8 p.m., Japanese time. Satoshi's identity may not be real.

Why would he disguise himself?

There is a legitimate explanation for this

Phil Zimmermann created PGP to give dissidents an open channel of communication, like Pretty Good Privacy. US government seized this technology after realizing its potential. Police investigate PGP and Zimmermann.

This technology let only two people speak privately. Bitcoin technology makes it possible to send money for free without a bank or other intermediary, removing it from government control.

How much do we know about the person who invented bitcoin?

Here's what we know about Satoshi Nakamoto now that I've covered my doubts about his personality.

Satoshi Nakamoto first appeared with a whitepaper on metzdowd.com. On Halloween 2008, he presented a nine-page paper on a new peer-to-peer electronic monetary system.

Using the nickname satoshi, he created the bitcointalk forum. He kept developing bitcoin and created bitcoin.org. Satoshi mined the genesis block on January 3, 2009.

Satoshi Nakamoto worked with programmers in 2010 to change bitcoin's protocol. He engaged with the bitcoin community. Then he gave Gavin Andresen the keys and codes and transferred community domains. By 2010, he'd abandoned the project.

The bitcoin creator posted his goodbye on April 23, 2011. Mike Hearn asked Satoshi if he planned to rejoin the group.

“I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.”

Nakamoto Satoshi

The man who broke the banking system vanished. Why?

illustration by Cryptotactic.io

Satoshi's wallets held 1,000,000 BTC. In December 2017, when the price peaked, he had over US$19 billion. Nakamoto had the 44th-highest net worth then. He's never cashed a bitcoin.

This data suggests something happened to bitcoin's creator. I think Hal Finney is Satoshi Nakamoto .

Hal Finney had ALS and died in 2014. I suppose he created the future of money, then he died, leaving us with only rumors about his identity.

Hal Finney, who was he?

Hal Finney graduated from Caltech in 1979. Student peers voted him the smartest. He took a doctoral-level gravitational field theory course as a freshman. Finney's intelligence meets the first requirement for becoming Satoshi Nakamoto.

Students remember Finney holding an Ayn Rand book. If he'd read this, he may have developed libertarian views.

His beliefs led him to a small group of freethinking programmers. In the 1990s, he joined Cypherpunks. This action promoted the use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies for social and political change. Finney helped them achieve a crypto-anarchist perspective as self-proclaimed privacy defenders.

Zimmermann knew Finney well.

Hal replied to a Cypherpunk message about Phil Zimmermann and PGP. He contacted Phil and became PGP Corporation's first member, retiring in 2011. Satoshi Nakamoto quit bitcoin in 2011.

Finney improved the new PGP protocol, but he had to do so secretly. He knew about Phil's PGP issues. I understand why he wanted to hide his identity while creating bitcoin.

Why did he pretend to be from Japan?

His envisioned persona was spot-on. He resided near scientist Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. Finney could've assumed Nakamoto's identity to hide his. Temple City has 36,000 people, so what are the chances they both lived there? A cryptographic genius with the same name as Bitcoin's creator: coincidence?

Things went differently, I think.

I think Hal Finney sent himself Satoshis messages. I know it's odd. If you want to conceal your involvement, do as follows. He faked messages and transferred the first bitcoins to himself to test the transaction mechanism, so he never returned their money.

Hal Finney created the first reusable proof-of-work system. The bitcoin protocol. In the 1990s, Finney was intrigued by digital money. He invented CRypto cASH in 1993.

Legacy

Hal Finney's contributions should not be forgotten. Even if I'm wrong and he's not Satoshi Nakamoto, we shouldn't forget his bitcoin contribution. He helped us achieve a better future.

Mircea Iosif

Mircea Iosif

1 year ago

How To Start An Online Business That Will Be Profitable Without Investing A Lot Of Time

Don't know how to start an online business? Here's a guide. By following these recommendations, you can build a lucrative and profitable online business.

What Are Online Businesses Used For?

Most online businesses are websites. A self-created, self-managed website. You may sell things and services online.

To establish an internet business, you must locate a host and set up accounts with numerous companies. Once your accounts are set up, you may start publishing content and selling products or services.

How to Make Money from Your Online Business

Advertising and marketing are the best ways to make money online. You must develop strategies to contact new customers and generate leads. Make sure your website is search engine optimized so people can find you online.

Top 5 Online Business Tips for Startups:

1. Know your target audience's needs.

2. Make your website as appealing as possible.

3. Generate leads and sales with marketing.

4. Track your progress and learn from your mistakes to improve.

5. Be prepared to expand into new markets or regions.

How to Launch a Successful Online Business Without Putting in a Lot of Work

Build with a solid business model to start a profitable online business. By using these tips, you can start your online business without paying much.

First, develop a user-friendly website. You can use an internet marketing platform or create your own website. Once your website is live, optimize it for search engines and add relevant content.

Second, sell online. This can be done through ads or direct sales to website visitors. Finally, use social media to advertise your internet business. By accomplishing these things, you'll draw visitors to your website and make money.

When launching a business, invest long-term. This involves knowing your goals and how you'll pay for them. Volatility can have several effects on your business. If you offer things online, you may need to examine if the market is ready for them.

Invest wisely

Investing all your money in one endeavor can lead to too much risk and little ROI. Diversify your investments to take advantage of all available chances. So, your investments won't encounter unexpected price swings and you'll be immune to economic upheavals.

Financial news updates

When launching or running a thriving online business, financial news is crucial. By knowing current trends and upcoming developments, you can keep your business lucrative.

Keeping up with financial news can also help you avoid potential traps that could harm your bottom line. If you don't know about new legislation that could affect your industry, potential customers may choose another store when they learn about your business's problems.

Volatility ahead

You should expect volatility in the financial sector. Without a plan for coping with volatility, you could run into difficulty. If your organization relies on client input, you may not be able to exploit customer behavior shifts.

Your company could go bankrupt if you don't understand how fickle the stock market can be. By preparing for volatility, you can ensure your organization survives difficult times and market crashes.

Conclusion

Many internet businesses can be profitable. Start quickly with a few straightforward steps. Diversify your investments, follow financial news, and be prepared for volatility to develop a successful business.

Thanks for reading!

Steve QJ

Steve QJ

2 years ago

Putin's War On Reality

The dictator's playbook.

Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, delivered a speech titled "On The Cult Of Personality And Its Consequences" in 1956, three years after Stalin’s death.

It was Stalin's grave abuse of power that caused untold harm to our party.
Stalin acted not by persuasion, explanation, or patient cooperation, but by imposing his ideas and demanding absolute obedience. […]
See where Stalin's mania for greatness led? He had lost all sense of reality.

The speech, which was never made public, shook the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. After Stalin's "cult of personality" was exposed as a lie, only reality remained.

As I've watched the nightmare unfold in Ukraine, I'm reminded of that question. Primarily by Putin's repeated denials.

His odd claim that Ukraine is run by drug addicts and Nazis (especially strange given that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, is Jewish). Others attempt to portray Russia as liberators rather than occupiers. For example, he portrays Luhansk and Donetsk as plucky, newly independent states when they have been totalitarian statelets for 8 years.

Putin seemed to have lost all sense of reality.

Maybe that's why his remarks to an oligarchs' gathering stood out:

Everything is a desperate measure. They gave us no choice. We couldn't do anything about their security risks. […] They could have put the country in jeopardy.

This is almost certainly true from Putin's perspective. Even for Putin, a military invasion seems unlikely. So, what exactly is putting Russia's security in jeopardy? How could Ukraine's independence endanger Russia's existence?

The truth is the only thing that truly terrifies leaders like these.

Trump, the president of “alternative facts,” "and “fake news” praised Putin's fabricated justifications for the Ukraine invasion. Russia tightened news censorship as news of their losses came in. It's no accident that modern dictatorships like Russia (and China and North Korea) restrict citizens' access to information.

Controlling what people see, hear, and think is the simplest method. And Ukraine's recent efforts to join the European Union showed a country whose thoughts Putin couldn't control. With the Russian and Ukrainian peoples so close, he could not control their reality.
He appears to think this is a threat worth fighting NATO over.

It's easy to disown history's great dictators. By the magnitude of their harm. But the strategy they used is still in use today, albeit not to the same devastating effect.

The Kim dynasty in North Korea has ruled for 74 years, Putin has ruled Russia for 19 years (using loopholes and even rewriting the constitution).

“Politicians and diapers must be changed frequently,” said Mark Twain. "And for the same reason.”

When their egos are threatened, they sabre-rattle, as in Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump's famous spat about the size of their...ahem, “nuclear buttons”." Or Putin's threats of mutual destruction this weekend.

Most importantly, they have cult-like control over their followers.

When a leader whose power is built on lies feels he is losing control of the narrative, things like Trump's Jan. 6 meltdown and Putin's current actions in Ukraine are unavoidable.

Leaders who try to control their people's reality will have to die to keep the illusion alive.

Long version of this post available here