On turning 32 in the wtf year of all years

So it’s been quite a year. I’ve interspersed memes to keep it bright and cheerful.

My work changed:

I changed job, now I am the aptly titled “Head of Operations”. It basically means I make everything run smoothly — which has been the title of my LinkedIn profile anyway for like 6 years.

From a project manager to an actual manager

What I noticed is the challenge from being a project manager, to an actual manager. Budgets, hiring/firing, difficult complex no-win scenarios — it’s a full bag of stuff.

Delegation and why I can’t do everything

The delegation of easy tasks allowing you to do harder, more conceptual tasks was incredibly fucking hard. I am master of excel, I can code somewhat, but to stop myself doing those things was quite difficult.

Getting people onboard with a new idea

If you empower people, and get them onboard with a new idea, they will take it much further than you ever will.

Mentoring and Leading

I’m a bad teacher but a good mentor. It has been incredibly rewarding.

AND I was finally able to say my favourite phrase:

Thanks to all those in the ableneo team!

My family got stronger:

I got married! She thankfully said yes. She is not reneging out of it yet, so I guess I’m blessed.

For me, and I hope for my wife, being married is different than being just together. The trust and commitment brings safety and confidence to a level I didn’t experience before.

My daughter is now in second grade and speaks two languages, I am incredibly jealous of her. Thankfully she translates for me most of the time which is great, but when I speak German she doesn’t know what we are saying which is the cherry on top.

I became an academic again:

I started an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) degree through Central European University, 95% funded by our favourite friend George Soros.

What I’ve noticed is the amount of left-wing parts in the University, but also more importantly — the difference in people from the public sector or the private sector in the university when doing a group assignment.

Private Sector: Ok what do we need to do, by when, and who will do it?

Public Sector: Let’s talk about it before we make any rash decisions.

COVID situation:

So while I was partially leading our COVID response at work, I saw a few things interesting to me:

  • Governments really had no idea what to do,
  • People over a small period of time can’t deal with certain restrictions,
  • Americans are crazy,
  • And home office is a lonely place.

We really are a social race of people. We need to be around people in some form. And this crisis led a lot of people to divorce, to depression, suicide and the like. The effects of this crisis from a human perspective will last at least another 5 to 10 years.

However the biggest challenge governments had I think was of balancing the economy and balancing people dying.

  • One the one hand, you should save people,
  • On the other, if the economy tanks, people die anyway,

And people really underestimate the human loss due to economies tanking. The 2008 crisis created 260,000 extra deaths just due to unemployment in the USA alone.

I think the rapid testing is our best chance right now. Mass produce the antigen test and give it to people on very regular intervals. Then at least you can track the infection and isolate those infected accordingly.

With respect to the vaccine, it’s actually the only endgame I see. Herd immunity will take too long. But the vaccine, mass produced, would get to regular people let’s say in the July, August 2021 maybe. That’s why the mass testing is so important in the meantime.

You also have to deal with a portion of the population who won’t take the vaccine. This is one of the only situations I would suggest making it mandatory. However controversial it may be, if 20% of the population don’t take the vaccine, we will still be in a state of emergency.

Future, new ideas:

I created the first steps in making a private investment fund. Focusing mainly on value investing for the long term. If you’re interested, just write me on some platform. In my test run, averaging 2% return per month. No crypto, just dependable stocks.

Standup comedy was something I really wanted to try this year. People say I’m funny (or not) and I wanted to try it. However, again with this COVID situation, it’s nearly impossible to do so. Hopefully next year. I can really see I like making people laugh.

Why the hell do I do this?

I like writing, as I said before in similar blogs. This year, I didn’t get a chance to write anything, and the romantic novel I wrote I haven’t put enough effort into selling.

But writing about the whole year gives me and hopefully you the reader some ideas on how to design your life in some way.

Some lasting thoughts you probably won’t read, but food for thought:

I’ve figured out a few things this year:

1: Happiness is not the end game.

Making your life meaningful is the end game. Happiness is quite easy to get and quite cheap to get.

Meaning is hard to get and keep, it requires hard work, responsibility, and perseverance.

  • I had meaning in my life when I achieved a financial deal for my team in-spite of the COVID crisis.
  • I had meaning in my life when I taught my daughter how to ride a bicycle, or how to fly a kite, etc

2: Savings are incredibly important for disasters such as COVID

Having savings is essential. I know some people live paycheck to paycheck, but COVID should be the greatest example of why you should keep 3–6 months pay in your account just for a rainy day.

3: When you are in a position to make a big impact —remember it’s easy to make a big negative impact.

I made some mistakes this year (and learnt from them), which in my position, made a huge impact. To recover that impact, it took months and months of trust building with those involved. So as you get more and more responsibilities — remember the impact you make can matter extremely.

4: Family is the real deal.

I appreciated family more and more during this COVID period. Those you hold close are incredibly important to keep close in this period of time.

I know I may sound like the Godfather, but really, you are born alone and you die alone — and in the middle, surround yourself with family.

And last but not least:

Don’t forget to take a break, holiday, vacation, time off.

It’s easy to get into a situation you are working your ass off forever.

Don’t do it. Be healthy.

And on that happy note, thanks for reading.



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