I used to think that I can survive and excel in any environment with persistence, strong work ethics and mental toughness.
I cannot say I was wrong but my thinking has evolved.
A fish needs to the right water to thrive.
Each individual needs the right environment to maximize his or her talent.
I’ve been giving this topic a lot of thoughts.
I want to create the best possible environment for myself.
We’re all different so the environment that is right for me might not be right for you.
The environment I’m cultivating for myself have the following characteristics:
- Work for someone who I really respect. Or work with someone (in the case of an entrepreneurial venture) who I really respect. Having really smart and capable people at the top is really important for the business, and for my career and personal happiness.
- Stay away from the high pressure rat race of New York or Silicon Valley. That means I will intentionally live in a smaller city with a more balanced lifestyle. I’m living in Seattle and I like Seattle. The only downside of living here is the rainy days from late October to mid Feb.
- Let me focus on creating values and allow me to do what I’m good at. I like consumer focused business because I want to touch people’s lives, I like online direct marketing and analytic, and I admire and appreciate the mentality of a value investor.
- Minimal amount of office politics and bureaucracy. There will always be politics. But it’s more tolerable in some companies than others. I prefer smaller environment that is focused in getting things done. I want to stay away from environment that functions like working for the government.
- Location agnostic: I don’t mind work long hours on something I really enjoy. But, because I have families in different parts of the worlds, I want to have the flexibility of working in any place in the world. With internet and my line of work (e-commerce), this is becoming increasingly doable.
What is the optimal environment for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.