[ExI] More mailing lists of this calibre?

efc at swisscows.email efc at swisscows.email
Fri Apr 7 21:20:14 UTC 2023

On Fri, 7 Apr 2023, Gadersd via extropy-chat wrote:

>> Lesswrong I know. I'm curious given the reviews of the Eliezer guy on this list, what the opinion of this project is? I also had a look at his 1000+ page book, and just the size of it and the introduction kind of put me off.
> I highly recommend Eliezer’s book. It is absolutely brilliant once one gets deep into it. He does tend to be very verbose but if you can get past that it is a true treasure.

Ahh... thank you for the push. I'll give it another go then to see how
it goes. But yes, it sure is very verbose. ;)

> I am interested in hearing about your transition from an employee to a business owner and your travels. I am looking to get into business myself and have always wondered what it is like to travel and live in different countries. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Well, transitioning from employee to business owner... I don't know if
it is possible to give a formula, but some reflectons are:

I've always had side hustles since I was about 12 years old I've
always done consulting work. When I was 12 I earned extra money helping
old people install computers and peripherals. Many years later I
discovered when I was living in the US that that idea was actually solid
enough to build a serious company on, but did not realize that when I
was 12. ;)

While helping older people and neighbours people got to know me and
that landed me a side job as a system administrator from age 17 to 21.
The good thing was that the educational system that was "en vogue" at
that time allowed me to only take the final exams, so I did not have to
bother with classes so I could actually work instead during a lot of my
time in high school.

Lessons learned: Networks matter immensely.

So fast forwarding many years (and I still did occasional side jobs and
I've been a passionate investor in the stock market since age 16)... I
was considered for a position as regional manager at a software company,
and in the end they choose some guy who did not even know what a
computer was, so that's when I made up my mind to prove to myself that I
am capable and I can succeed on my own.

Lessons learned: Starting your own business to prove yourself can be a
powerful motivation.

And there I was. So what did I do? To be honest I had no plan besides at
first doing some one man consulting jobs to be able to control my own
time and lower my taxes. So I called my network (see lessons learned)
and since I have a good reputation it was easy to find a first customer.
Since I had my own company they paid less than if they would have had me
as an employee so win/win.

Lessons learned: Ideally call around and have your first job before you
start your own company. Makes it easier to push the "go" button.

And after about 10 months, I made sure to keep in touch with former
business partners, and one of them turned down a consulting gig about
teaching Linux at a vocational school, and passed the job on to me. At
that time, I changed main customer and negotiated a flexible arrangement
so I could take on other work as well. Fortunately for me, since the 2
jobs would take 175% of my time, my accountants son was very skilled at
Linux _and_ at teaching, so I hired him 75% and paid him 2x the local
market rate (the teaching is done remote in western europe, while I'm
based in eastern europe).

Lessons learned: Use regions, countries, laws to your advantage.
Outsource yourself. Be open to trying new things and push your limits.
If you have good people working for you be open, honest and pay them
well. Don't be cheap. That builds loyalty and a good work environment.

And the last couple of years, I added more teachers, I met a
PR/marketing specialist who helps me with PR/marketing jobs in the
technology sector, and I have my second flexible customer still, where
I've built up their support team from scratch and now help them develop
their company.

Lessons learned: Try many things and if something works out and you find
your niche, keep adding customers. Another thing I'd like to add is, if
possible, to build several sources of income.

Well, enough of that. Hope you find it valuable and I really do
encourage you to take that leap and start. Worst thing, you'll be an
experience richer, and best thing, you'll become a rich and powerful
man. ;)

This became longer than I thought, so in order not to drown you in
detail, is there anything specific around my travels around the world
you would like to know?

Best regards, 

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