Being Content

Recently, I was helping my friend assess what a good compensation package was for an early stage startup. My friend hadn't really had any startup experience, and I joined an early stage startup a few years back, so I guess I was qualified to judge how good the compensation package was. I said it was “pretty reasonable”, but my friend also talked to a few other folks. They all collectively said that it's “a bit low”.

This entire conversation was pretty eye-opening for me. I definitely learned a few things about myself.

  1. My perspective of what good compensation looks like in my industry is out of date. It's mind boggling hearing how much people are making and contrasting that to what I make.
  2. I'm probably not getting compensated as well as I could be. The market is honestly nuts.
  3. If I had stayed at my old job, I think my financial situation would probably be better. Time will tell about this one, but just from rough calculations, I probably would be making 2-3x. That means I essentially could retire twice as fast.

Despite all of this comparing and constrasting and feeling like I should be optimizing the returns from my time spent doing something, the major thought running through my head at the end of this was “oh well”. And that honestly felt pretty good. I felt what it feels like to be content.

My past self would probably be somewhat angry or stressed about not making the most use of my time, but my current self feels okay. I'm at a point in my life where my actions are not really driven by money. I've come to the realization that there are a lot of more important things in my life than money. I know I'm not optimizing my financial situation, and I feel perfectly fine not doing anything about it.

How did this come to be? I'm not really sure. I think it's just me and my travels lately, talking to people across all walks of life. Or it's me attempting to figure out where and how I want to live and putting some offers on some houses that could've been my home for the next 5-10 years. Whatever it is, it's new to me 1.

  1. To be clear, one of the reasons why I feel this way is because my financial situation is already pretty good I feel. I am privileged to not have to really worry too much about anything financial related. I might not be able to buy a super nice house in the most expensive real estate market, but I don't have to worry about the day-to-day spending. I have more than enough to be comfortable. ↩︎