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Employment with a fat-tailed side-dish.

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Paul tweeted the other day, “Real risk managers are not trying to manage risk, they really trying to figure out how not to take a risk. It’s my sense – real risk managers don’t like risk.”

And it echoes in my skull even a day later, reminding me – when it comes to my relationship with entrepreneurship – something that I’ve always wanted to do in the back of my head, but never really got around to it seriously – I may have been stuck at a similar thing. An entrepreneur takes risks, a smart entrepreneur takes risks with unlimited upside and a clipped left tail.

In a sense I have been thinking about it the wrong way, too – I was hoping to find some opportunity to make business without having to take a risk. But do not misunderstand me – not in the sense that someone else would take the risk for me, or that I would sneak the risk on the customer or some generous patreon – but for a different reason:

I never had the capital to start any business. And for a long time I also never was in a position to take a loan to make that into a capital (my salary has been so low that no bank would even consider me!).

So, what my brain has been trying to figure out is – how to make do with what I’ve got?

Suppose that could be the condition that makes someone do “art” – because creating images, stories, music – it’s low cost, unlimited upside, no risk (apart from terribl publicity due to questionable private life – in many cases – but even then – that’s not “bad” publicity, they say).

When it comes to creating those kinds of things, it also seems that it is easier to find support – someone gives you their old guitar, you find a book about writing a better book (I mean stuff like story principles – tried and tested, arhetypes – tried and tested, myths – tried and tested – trick like that) – these things can somewhat be done next to a day job – and in some cases with your salary you can even support your tools, instruments, lectures, workshops – whatever you need to get better at the craft.

I’ve also been lucky to have met people who give this kind of support (one of them was a coworker – he gave me his old, perfectly working midi keyboard and a Reason liscence! And I can do everything I want with those!), somehow these small gifts come and help. That’s the life of a little creator.

When I was a little younger and my salary was so low that it didn’t even last for a month (and I didn’t pay any rent, some dude did! XD) – I felt about all this very differently. I thought I should get some money each month for nothing so I could do the personal “art stuff” full-time.

Later – experience has showed me it doesn’t really work out that way. There have been short periods in my life where I had more time – and I really didn’t start creating more stuff, neither learning or doing anything related to that. I started playing 🙂

So, in that sense – sometimes when some of my twitter friends are very antagonistic against a monthly salary – I want to protest. While I don’t ever fool myself into thinking the job is “steady” (I have lost a job twice, because the business was withering and my services were no longer needed) – even in my current industry there’s a good chance any day I will get a call and hear the news, “we’re wrapping things up and your teams will be suspended.”

Even so, I’m confident that I won’t remain out of a job should it come to that.

But for now – neither freelancing or starting a business – these are out of my reach and interest. I just don’t have the capital to be able to afford myself the kind of work where I won’t start making too desperate moves (taking on clients who treat me like trash, or whatever desperate moves there are to do in business (scamming clients, scamming employees)).

Employment is fine for me – at least for now – it leaves me enough spare time for me to deal with my cute fat-tailed pursuits.

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