Being an entrepreneur changed my life as an employee

The idea

The experience

  • I could change company, technology and product whenever I felt like it, no strings attached
  • I could focus on the interesting subproblems without having to worry too much about all the other aspects because there are other experts on the job
  • I had all the standard benefits (most importantly stress-free vacation) without all the drawbacks of overall business responsibility

Employee FTW

The spin off story

I was bolder, took more responsibilities and wasn’t limited by my title.

  1. I stopped optimizing my career for money and started focusing on my personal branding and growth. Being through the startup journey helped me recognize my priorities. My first prio was to learn and the second was to use what I’ve learned.
  2. I stopped working for others and started doing what I though was right. I didn’t do things “because the boss said so”. I did it because it was the right thing. I was confident that if things stop to make sense, I can walk out without having to worry about shares and loans!
  3. I stopped focusing on money and started focusing on the business model and end user needs. This is a very empowering perspective. Turns out the more you care about the customer satistaction and ensure that the core of the business model is executed well, the more you get praise and promotion!
  4. I stopped solving large problems individually and started taking the lead and motivating others to work together. I love programming but for anything significant a team goes further. Equipped with this perspective I invested a lot into learning to work with people and leadership. It took a few years to get where I am today and I’m still learning but looking back and reflecting where I am coming from, the difference is huge.
  5. I stopped focusing on being rich and started focusing on being happy. I can’t emphasize this enough: there money and happiness loose relationship after a certain level. When you earn enough to live a comfortable life other things start to take priority.
  6. I stopped overworking and started improving my work/life balance. I still have a vulnerability to overwork when there’s something very interesting. But that risk is way lower and the stakes are much smaller when I’m just an employee. This reduced stress has really improve my quality of life.
  7. I stopped taking shit from others because at the end of the day, they were just another employee. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an employee too, but as a mental exercise I think about how I would treat or react to that person in a non-professional setting like in the streets or at a party. If that person is interesting out of context, they have my respect.

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Sr. Staff Engineer, Knowledge Worker, MSc Systems Engineering, Tech Lead, Web Developer

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Alex Ewerlöf

Alex Ewerlöf

Sr. Staff Engineer, Knowledge Worker, MSc Systems Engineering, Tech Lead, Web Developer

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