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Lessons Learned in 2022

There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen - Lenin

I can’t think of a better quote to summarize 2022. There were so many significant events that took place. Here are some of the highlights:

⛪ Got married and moved to a new apartment.

🇨🇭 Moved to Zurich from Berlin and became a Swiss Resident.

🧳 Traveled to 20 cities in 9 countries.

👨🏻‍💼 Quit my job and started a new one.

📚 Published a book and successfully re-launched a course.

I am amazed by the sheer number of these milestones. However, I am not surprised. I have been working towards these goals for a while now, and they just happened to materialize in the same year. Here are some of the lessons I learned this year.

Be deliberate

I have been explicit about wanting to start a family, looking for other job opportunities, and moving to a different city. In fact, I have been thinking about these things for a few years now. It helps to be clear and deliberate about things that you want to have in your life. It is easier to reach your destination when you have an idea about the direction.

If you want something, you need to work for it

I spent a lot of years trying to find clarity on what I would like to do for a living. It took a lot of introspection, exploration, confusion, and effort to get me there. I had to put in the work. I believe this applies to many things in life, including relationships.

It always rubbed me the wrong way when people argued that you shouldn’t work toward relationships. They would say it is trying to force something that should come naturally. That is great-sounding advice that is also incredibly misleading. I don’t think anything comes easy, and you should be willing to put yourself out there and take action toward whatever you want in life.

Try to build and add value before monetization

Earlier this year, I launched Partnerly.co and an accompanying book on building smart contracts and web3 applications on the Ethereum blockchain. I'm glad I took a hands-on approach to learn web3. However, I was too quick to try to monetize my knowledge. I could have used what I learned by offering it up for free and trying to build an audience from there.

Don’t learn in abstract

I have spent a couple of weekends watching videos on Blockchains. However, I didn’t get their value proposition until I built an application on top of it. Theoretical learning can be useful but needs to be balanced by practice.

It is not too early to start teaching

People don’t always want to learn from experts. Sometimes people that are a few steps ahead have more to teach than those that are at the top. Additionally, the empathy for beginners diminishes with expertise. Don’t wait to master a subject before communicating your learnings.

Mentoring works both ways

I mentored a few people throughout the year. The thing that I enjoy the most about these experiences is noticing how much of your own knowledge you could be taking for granted. It also helps to distill and formalize some of your learnings that are important to remember. It clarifies your thinking and is beneficial to others.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck

The hype surrounding some of the trending technologies of 2022, like NFTs, seemed rightfully suspicious to many people. The valuations for these assets were perplexing, their utility wasn’t exactly clear, and the space was full of grifters. I think it was still a smart thing to pay attention to developments and make small and strategic investments, but it was also sensible not to over-index in the space.

Be mindful of the expert opinion

You probably did a better job in preserving your money than most investment firms if you just stayed away from the market throughout the year. It was an embarrassingly bad year for many financial experts out there, and you would have lost a lot of money if you just blindly followed their advice. There are domains like economics and finance where expert opinion is not something to be taken as truth but just an input to your model of the world.

Never take advice from a person that you don’t want to become

The title says it all.