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Heinrich Dorfmann

What would you do in this situation?

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Hello everyone. First, some background.

I live in Germany, I'm 25 years old and currently in the last year of my economics degree. I have never identified what most people refer to as “passion” and what people in this forum refer to as “CPL”. 

When I chose economics as a major, it wasn’t because I loved it, but rather because I was very curious about it and had no strong interest in other areas. I must say that I was also curious about writing, specially screenwriting, but ended up choosing economics because of the higher money upside.

Today, almost 4 years later, my interest in economics has not evolved into a passion. I still like it, but I wonder if I would be happier If I had pursued writing. I was thinking about getting a day job to pay the bills and start exploring/studying writing (and other things) on my free time to see if I really like it.

However, I was approached by some friends with an offer to partner up in a certain business venture. The investment would be within my means and the returns seems to be amazing. If everything goes well and I sell my share of the business 8-10 years from now, I would become a millionaire (I’m talking about 8 digits). However, it would require 8-10 years of intense, mostly boring, work. I would have little or no time to pursue other interests.

With the proceeds from this venture I would never have to worry about money in my life. I would have the freedom to explore my interests and maybe find a passion without having to work at a boring day job to pay the bills. Whatever I decide to do with my life, the money would make it 100x times easier to succeed. If I decide to become an investor I would have tens of millions to invest. If I decide to become a writter, I would be able to produce my own movie. 

I understand that if I had a passion and had been presented with this opportunity, it would be immoral to accept it, given that I would be unable to pursue my passion for 10 years. But I don’t have one. Writing is merely a hint, like economics was 4 years ago. 

I would love to know your opinions about this. If you were on my shoes, what would you do? Would you spend 10 years doing work that you don't particularly like? Is 34-36 years old too old to start pursuing interests, trying to find a passion? 

P.P.S. There is very little risk involved in the business. I am very confident by my own judgement, that the business will succeed.

 

 

Edited by Heinrich Dorfmann

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My own experience (I'm nearing 50 years old) is that who you work with is extremely important.  Very few jobs are non-stop kittens and rainbows.  I spent 13 years at a firm working on projects that were not particularly exciting or glamorous, but the team of people I worked with more than compensated for the grind that the work entailed.  Plus I met many clients and made extended contacts that resulted in job opportunities that would not otherwise have materialized.

Do you like the people that you would be working with?

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40 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

 

My own experience (I'm nearing 50 years old) is that who you work with is extremely important.  Very few jobs are non-stop kittens and rainbows.  I spent 13 years at a firm working on projects that were not particularly exciting or glamorous, but the team of people I worked with more than compensated for the grind that the work entailed.  Plus I met many clients and made extended contacts that resulted in job opportunities that would not otherwise have materialized.

Do you like the people that you would be working with?

 

Yes, they are good friends. Thanks for the advice!

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23 minutes ago, Heinrich Dorfmann said:

Yes, they are good friends. Thanks for the advice!

The only other advice I can think to give is to make sure that you are protected.  Don't rely too heavily on friendship.  If there is a business plan and a contract, it would be worth it to spend a few dollars and have a lawyer review anything you sign.  Going into business with friends has both pluses and minuses.

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What is the job anyway? What makes it boring? A lot of the time a person develops new passions when placed in new situations.

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Is that all you see the job as? You didn't mention any details or purpose to the job. It sounds like the only value in it is that it earns you money. Money is great when it represents work, effort, pride, productivity, and trade! Here though? It sounds like money is a necessary evil to you here and you are only taking the job for an extrinsic reward. You described the job as boring - and you didn't mention any intrinsic (-internal and personal-) reward. Compare that to a janitor who took their job to pay the bills, but still takes pride in their work. The job itself is boring. Yet, there is value to be found. No, it's not fun, but it helps you grow in time, perhaps helping find purpose in yourself as opposed to deriving purpose in only money.

On the other hand, you might be a little one-sided. Maybe it's not as bad as you say? After all, you seem to have business acuity, and business foresight. You mentioned investment, and producing movies. Not all people have that skill, to be business-smart. Take pride in that. I doubt the job is as simple as you say. Better yet, you can set aside 1 or  2 hours a day to your writing. In the long-run, growth is all around.

If it really is bland and boring... Realistically, you'll burn out in a few years. Or, you'll dive in deeper and feel spiritually dead. When jobs feel boring, people start to perform worse on the job. People are less creative. People get depressed. Some people might become a Patrick Bateman (or a Peter Keating)

https://youtu.be/46-WNPlCYsg?t=117

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Sounds like you don't have the passion required to become a writer.  Not at this time.  Howard Roark knew he had to be an architect, do you feel that way about writing?  I don't sense that you do, not even close.

So I'd steer you towards the business option.  Andrew Carnegie advised spending the first third of your life acquiring knowledge (education), the second accumulating wealth, and the last giving it away.  Leaving aside the last part, it's good advice.  Hopefully you'll find what turns you on later, and will look back on the 10 years you spent as well spent, not wasted.

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Is that all you see the job as? You didn't mention any details or purpose to the job. It sounds like the only value in it is that it earns you money. Money is great when it represents work, effort, pride, productivity, and trade! Here though?

I would represent work, effort, pride, productivity and trade. However, I am not personally interested in this business. You're right, the only value I would get would be the money - and pride for setting a goal and achieving it. Since I don't have a passion, I guess this option is better than getting a day job. 

 

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Not all people have that skill, to be business-smart. Take pride in that. I doubt the job is as simple as you say. Better yet, you can set aside 1 or  2 hours a day to your writing. In the long-run, growth is all around.

Thank you. I guess I can set aside at least 2 hours in the morning for writing and other interests. 

 

37 minutes ago, Ninth Doctor said:

Sounds like you don't have the passion required to become a writer.  Not at this time.  Howard Roark knew he had to be an architect, do you feel that way about writing?  I don't sense that you do, not even close.

Yeah, I never understood this aspect of Roark. What one likes in early adult life is often the result of associations one unconsciously formed as a child (most of the time arbitrary and chance associations). On "Principles of Efficient Thinking" by Barbara Branden, she warns about adopting unconsciously formed associations without thinking over and validating them. So how can one knows what one wants to do with one's life without considering all options, trying out as many things as possible? It seems a little mystic to say "I've always known I wanted to be an architect", don't you think? 

 

45 minutes ago, Ninth Doctor said:

So I'd steer you towards the business option.  Andrew Carnegie advised spending the first third of your life acquiring knowledge (education), the second accumulating wealth, and the last giving it away.  Leaving aside the last part, it's good advice.  Hopefully you'll find what turns you on later, and will look back on the 10 years you spent as well spent, not wasted.

Thanks for the advice ND. 

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On 2/16/2017 at 0:49 AM, Heinrich Dorfmann said:

However, I was approached by some friends with an offer to partner up in a certain business venture. The investment would be within my means and the returns seems to be amazing. If everything goes well and I sell my share of the business 8-10 years from now, I would become a millionaire (I’m talking about 8 digits). However, it would require 8-10 years of intense, mostly boring, work. I would have little or no time to pursue other interests.

 

The good news is, this venture will probably fail well before you spend 8-10 years on it. Most startups do. And when they're run by people with little or no previous experience, the odds get even worse.

So, rather than assuming a payday at the end of this, you should assume it will fail. Then, with that in mind, decide whether you still want to do it: would it still be worth it, if, instead of 8 digits, the only reward is the experience you will have gained from it?

If the answer to that question is no, then I would advise against taking it on.

P.S. It also seems like a bad idea to invest both your money (especially if the source of the money is a personal loan), and your time, into a startup. Contrary to popular belief, most rich people don't get rich by taking on wild risks and getting lucky. They do it by planning for failure (making sure failure doesn't ruin them), and being persistent through failure.

That means you should make sure that, if this venture fails, you land in a position that isn't worse than your current one, and you can start again, using the experience you gained to do better with your next project.

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10 hours ago, Nicky said:

The good news is, this venture will probably fail well before you spend 8-10 years on it. Most startups do. And when they're run by people with little or no previous experience, the odds get even worse.

Thank you for the advice Nicky. After objectively evaluating all variables involved (economy, niche market, competitors, expected cashflow, etc.) I believe the chances of success are somewhere around 60-70% or more on this one. Still, I need to prepare for every scenario. 

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On 2/15/2017 at 2:49 PM, Heinrich Dorfmann said:

If everything goes well and I sell my share of the business 8-10 years from now, I would become a millionaire (I’m talking about 8 digits).

With the proceeds from this venture I would never have to worry about money in my life.

There is very little risk involved in the business. I am very confident by my own judgement, that the business will succeed.

You write like someone who is absolutely naive about the realities of business, money, and life.

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6 hours ago, KevinD said:

You write like someone who is absolutely naive about the realities of business, money, and life.

Someone had to say it, I guess, breaking the social rule that you resist giving harsh advice unless the person s paying you for the wake up call :)

Anyone who speaks of making 10 million dollars by following some fairly guaranteed business model is deluded. Worse still, you may be a patsy in a scheme being spun by your "friends". It sounds almost like an Amway opening pitch.

 

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15 hours ago, KevinD said:

You write like someone who is absolutely naive about the realities of business, money, and life.

 

8 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Someone had to say it, I guess, breaking the social rule that you resist giving harsh advice unless the person s paying you for the wake up call :)

Anyone who speaks of making 10 million dollars by following some fairly guaranteed business model is deluded. Worse still, you may be a patsy in a scheme being spun by your "friends". It sounds almost like an Amway opening pitch.

I understand where this is coming from. Thank you for opening my eyes. However, I must point out that you have no knowledge of the particular nature of the business venture in question. If you did, you might understand my high expectations. 

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