"What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been"

(Note: I’ve linked to the video although you may need to be tripping on acid to enjoy some of the special effects. Amazing opening to a show though - playing Truckin’ into Smokestack Lightning. I grew up listening to the Grateful Dead and heard some ridiculous stories of the shows they used to put on)

I attended the Yankees game this past Saturday, and on any give day at the Stadium you might witness history. It just so happened, Derek Sanderson Jeter went 5-5 recording his 3000th hit (and 3001, 3002, and 3003 as well). This was my view. By far, the most memorable and historic sporting event I have ever been to.

An amazing accomplishment by a truly deserving individual.

When I first entered the working world, I aspired to be just like Jeter, but that has all changed.

I envisioned my career path and went as far as telling colleagues about it — I wanted to be just like Jeter. Come up through the minors and spend my whole career with one team. I think that is such a classy / under-appreciated move, which is why I love this. I started as an intern and wanted to ascend to a very senior global head of blah blah blah for the international bank I was working for.

I learned a lot, got promoted constantly, made decent money, busted my ass, and was brought on to lead teams and fix very high profile and challenging projects (read: projects that were failing miserably and I had to figure out to how turn them around).

BUT…

The work environment was absolutely terrible. There were a few standout people who made it bearable, but they were the exception. Maybe it is just the large, international, non-US based corporation that I despised, but I think it was a lot more than that.

I eventually made the decision to leave and become a financial advisor and then start my own wealth management firm and now cofound a tech startup. I thank myself everyday for taking that leap of faith into the unknown. I realize now that a career path at a company that makes you miserable and treats its employees like dog shit on the bottom of their shoe does not translate to spending your entire career winning championships with the New York Yankees.

Four things I’ve learned..

1 - Corporate culture should never be underestimated

2 - How the hell was I supposed to know what to do with my next 40 years on this planet when I was a 22 year old punk whose biggest concern was recovering from a hangover

3 - I get why people hesitate to leave a shitty job especially in this economy but don’t ever feel like you have to stay because you owe something to the company. That’s bullshit. If it’s an awful environment and you just expect it to get magically better one day, you are the definition of insanity

4 - What a long strange trip it’s been

(Special Bonus: The next time you see me in person ask me why this line perfectly describes my experience at Mardi Gras 2005 “Busted, down on Bourbon Street / Set up, like a bowling pin / Knocked down” I promise you’ve never heard a story like this and you won’t be disappointed)