Discover more from Aaron Kardell's Blog
Enjoy the Season You're In
Hello! I’m Aaron Kardell. In this Sunday newsletter, I pick one random topic weekly to go deep on and have some disparate quick hits at the end.
I’m enjoying the season I’m in. That’s the simple phrase I find myself conveying to others lately.
I have 21 years of post-college professional experience. Except for a handful of short-term consulting gigs, all of that has been working on something I founded or for the acquirer of the thing I founded post-acquisition. This puts me in a unique position of never having applied for a job.
I really enjoy creating new things and expressing that through starting new businesses. Even my current boss identifies me as an entrepreneur in conversations with others.
And yet, I’m an employee. And I’m enjoying the season I’m in.
Most people who know me would assume that I’m still employed with our acquirer because I signed an employment contract or that there were stay bonuses that kept me around for a specific period. Neither of those happened.
Some aspects of the sale incentivized all of us as HomeSpotter shareholders if the business performed post-acquisition. But those milestones are now behind me. And I’m still here.
Why? You guessed it. I’m enjoying the season I’m in.
Earlier this week, I had an internal meeting at work that I got super frustrated about. I knew we could collectively do better at something. And I’m competitive and want us to win as an organization.
The following morning I was still a little salty. But then I just continued my day and tackled my priorities. And that frustrating meeting was a distant memory by the next day.
I just spent over 11 years building a single business before selling it. There wasn’t a time during that journey I wasn’t 100% all in. I couldn’t brush off anything that bothered me about the business within 24 hours.
I still work hard. It’s not in me to not. But it’s different.
I do ~35% of school drop-offs and pick-ups now. I’m figuring out how to run a short-term rental business 2,400 miles away. I traveled more last year than any other – hardly any of that was for work. And Kate and I just decided to build a new house, and we’re starting that process.
I’m finding ways to level up my management skills in a larger corporate environment. I’m making an impact on the industry that gave me so much. I’m expanding my product management capacity. And I love working with one of the best teams I’ve assembled.
But at the end of the day, the buck doesn’t stop with me. And for this season, I’m ok with that. I don’t spend my non-existent off hours thinking about cash flow and keeping employees paid. I don’t feel the weight of the organization on me at all times. Not getting to make the final decision on all matters feels like more than a fair exchange in that trade.
It wasn’t long ago that I assumed I’d have put in my notice by now. I’m an entrepreneur! I have to start the next thing!
And it is inevitable – I will start other businesses. Eventually. The best repeat entrepreneurs are forgetful. Like mothers who decide to have another kid – they forget about the pain.
But for now, I’m enjoying the season I’m in.
Honestly, it took a bit of a mental shift for me to get there. It takes actively adopting an abundance mindset. I hope you can also find reasons to embrace whatever season you’re in.
This Week’s Quick Hits
This is a twofer. Marc Andreesen, renowned creator of Netscape, prominent venture capitalist, and at-times prolific writer has just launched a daily Substack. He’s less than a week in, but based on his past prolific writings, I’d encourage you to go subscribe right now. His recent posts: “On Pausing Alcohol” and “Followup on Pausing Alcohol” echo how I’ve been thinking about alcohol as of late. While I haven’t become a teetotaler like Marc, I have cut back dramatically. I can’t say emphatically enough how good that’s been.
I’ll ask one more time. Does anyone have any tips for things to check out in Japan? We’re going to Tokyo and Kyoto in 10 days, and I can’t wait.
Thanks for reading Aaron Kardell's Blog! Subscribe to receive new posts every Sunday.