Disruptive thoughts about making a living
- Diane and all, I received a thoughtful reply from Dave Gray
http://www.davegrayinfo.com , an entrepreneur I'd love to work for, who is
a creator of Gamestorming http://www.gogamestorm.com and thinker about the
Connected Company. I share my letter to him which continues my thoughts
on "making a living". I share with Janet Feldman's Holistic Helping and
John Roger's Cyfranogi. The latter group is where I first shared my
stories on the "money mind". I appreciate answers to my questions at the
end! Andrius Kulikauskas, ms@...
Thank you for your letter. What a wonderful person-to-person essay. I'm
glad you think of me.
Jay likewise noted that I should be able to apply my own methods of
"figuring thing out" to my challenge of making a living. As they say, eat
my own dog food.
I've put up a new section at my website:
with 79 ways extracted from anecdotes that I wrote down in 2006 about my
"money mind". I was able to populate all 24 "rooms" in my "house of
Here's a summary of how they come together for me. We can start with:
* Working. Don't be idle, unproductive or destructive.
Then there are two independent threads, Giving and Taking.
* Giving: Give everything that I have. Appreciate what others have to
give. Learn what is fair in giving. Invest in a culture of giving.
* Taking: Accept what I am given. Maximize what I can take. Learn my
limits. Steward what I am given.
(In business, especially corporations, there is a similar dichotomy
between investors and managers). Such full-fledged giving and taking feed
each other. In my experience, they are only loosely coupled, however, by
Working-in-Parallel based on a three-cycle of Aligning our principles,
Pursuing them, and Taking Stock. ("Common knowledge" sometimes assumes
that giving and taking are tightly coupled, but that goes counter to some
of my personal experience.)
Giving and Taking are in sync when we Live As If We Were All One Person.
We can then substitute for ourselves with Valuation. Such a substitution
(much like a model substituting for reality) takes place on four levels:
* Peace of mind (A decision substitutes for the decision maker.)
* Motivation (External motivation substitutes for internal motivation.)
* Money (Compensation substitutes for disparity in contributions.)
* Humility (Autonomy substitutes for morality)
In the case of "peace of mind", we conflate ourselves with our avatar,
which is to say, as decision maker we are one with our decisions.
Whereas, in "humility", we divorce ourselves from our avatar. If people
truly want to hang themselves, or be fat, drunk, stupid, mean, sick, ugly,
filthy, destructive, uptight, hurtful, if they truly want that, then we'll
sell them the rope in whatever color they want. (Yes, I get stuck at that
point. Perhaps I doubt if they are truly free.)
Humility (or Service) then takes six concrete forms that pair the four
levels of Servant and Served. They consider what can be done "within the
system" (the market, the firm) (whereas Giving and Taking take place
"outside the system", among family, friends, neighbors). The mindsets are
given by the following questions:
* How does it seem to me? Appraise. The calm Servant provides the
motivated Served with an appraisal, judgment, price.
* What else should I be doing? Audit. The calm Servant provides the rich
Served with a budget, alternatives, substitutions.
* Would it make any difference? Negotiate. The motivated Servant provides
the rich Served with choices, priorities, contracts.
* What do I have control over? Sell. The rich Servant provides the humble
Served with possibilities, favors, exceptions.
* Am I able to consider the question? Cut one's losses. The motivated
Servant provides the humble Served with closure, clarity.
* Is this the way things should be? Consult. The calm Servant provides the
humble Served with overview, advice.
The gap between Servant and Served, expressed in the six ways above, comes
together, in general, as Conscientiousness.
Dave, I've much more to write. I put in "disruptive truths" in the title
because I'll want to share my notes from talking with Kenneth Taylor.
Some of my "disruptive truths" are, I suppose, learning to live as family
(Giving and Taking), not just Serving (although maybe I'm wrong), and
especially, "meeting each other half-way" (rather than Servant and
Served). But maybe there's something wrong with how I've been thinking.
Jay got me to think, What is my general method, if any? And I would boil
it down to this:
1) *Obey* the teacher.
2) If you can't obey the teacher, then *believe* the good student, follow
3) If you can't believe any student, then simply *care* about the subject.
4) If you don't care much, then *be honest* so that you don't get stuck,
and you keep trying in new ways.
5) If you are honest, then you will start to care, you will appreciate
those who are believable, and you will find the Teacher (that is, God) who
you can obey.
In my case of "making a living", I suppose the teacher is "common
knowledge", but my experience has gone counter to that. My thoughts above
lead me to think that the relevant God for me here is Conscientiousness's
God, perhaps my Conscience. I'm also realizing that there's a rift
between me and society where I don't feel that "we're living as if we're
one person". I generally don't see any place for me, for the kinds of
thoughts that I get to share in this letter. So then I resist playing
along with such a system.
Dave, your and Jay's letters affect how I thought through my thoughts
above, with special emphasis on Humility and Service.
I'll think what this means for me, practically. I should focus especially
on Conscientiousness (thus, Obeying), which helps me be thorough in going
through possible steps to avoid bankruptcy, and to find a way to make a
living and not be a burden on other people. Included in that, and after
that, is focusing on my Giving (Believing), and after that, Taking
In terms of Conscientiousness, within the next two months I need to either
find a long term income of $5,000 per month (so that I can pay off my
debts of $140,000 in four or five years), find a short term income of
$2,500 that would relate to applying myself, or go bankrupt. Given my
abnormal resume, I'm not likely to even be considered for a job from
somebody who doesn't know me. And given my moral sensitivity, I don't
think I would be wanted for most types of work in today's world that pay
$3,000 or upwards. More importantly, God doesn't want me to look for
typical work, but wants me to apply myself creatively. God has a lot
invested in me.
So I think that what I should do is what I am doing, which is to develop
that directory of "ways of figuring things out". It makes "good" use of
my creative talents. "Good" for God and perhaps "good" for people who
aren't even born yet. I think it's as likely of a way of developing a
business as anything else I know.
Dave, I believe in you as an entrepreneur. You're creative and your
clients are happy.
I'm building the directory regardless, even if it means that I'll live as
a mooch, like Jesus did.
What are services that I could offer as I build the directory?
* Why would a client or sponsor pay me to document and share ways, in the
Public Domain, for specific domains that interest them, such as medicine,
law, agriculture, finance, insurance, arts, sports, etc.? What could I
deliver for them? I can write blog posts; do video or audio interviews;
do summaries - diagrams, reports, videos. I can promote my clients or
sponsors by engaging online groups to gather such ways, highlight such
thinkers and thank my sponsors. My lab did such work for Leon Benjamin
http://www.winningbysharing.net on behalf of Mornflake cereal and he was
very happy and would like to give me more such work.
We were considered extremely "authentic" and I think I can reach
I can work for companies like Monsanto, Exxon, Microsoft etc. that many
* Why might people contribute money to crowdfund my work? I could just do
what I'm doing, or I could relate it to creating learning materials,
especially games, for self learning in areas like basic math.
Dave, thank you again for thinking of me!
Thank you to all who think along.