• Steve SchoeffelSteve Schoeffel, over 3 years ago

    I think one thing that’s somewhat missing from this thread is the merits of disconnecting your input from your output (i.e. working on something with leverage). One path for designers is to find something that scales. A downside to agency jobs or IC/manager roles is that you are renting your time. You work “X” number of hours a week, you get paid “X” number of dollars. There’s a quote from Warren Buffett:

    “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” — Warren Buffet.

    I love design. I literally get excited to start a new work week. But I also don’t want to have to be putting in the same number of hours when I’m in my 60s or whatever. One way to give yourself more options is to work on something where you are not paid based on the amount of time you work. To do this, you basically need to have an ownership stake in something. And it can really be anything. You can start a company. Or maybe you create a digital class that you sell. Or you create digital assets. Or even t-shirts. Find something where you have upside that is not tied to your hours worked. Get paid for your ideas, not your time.

    I’m 32. I’ve designed in an agency setting and at a SaaS company. I co-founded a company last year in part because of these reasons (leverage, higher upside, etc.).

    Everyone has their own path due to different priorities, giftings, interests, etc. Some people may be genuinely most fulfilled by designing or managing till a very old age and I think that’s 100% cool. But I’m also picking up on some feelings of discouragement that retirement, even if it’s desired, won’t be a viable option. Or that the safest path is to shift toward management. That’s where I think these ideas of leverage can be helpful because they can allow more freedom to choose for yourself, not out of necessity.

    Some inspiring threads related to this:

    3 points