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How Much is a Year of Your Life?

Published on August 29, 2022

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It must be priceless, right? So thought I, until I realised I've been putting money first for over a decade.

In 2022, a year of my life is $200k. It was about $110k in 2021, $175k in 2020, $90k in 2019.

Here's a brief story of my life 👇

Everything starts with the family

I am from a poor one. When I was young, we had troubles buying clothes, I never had a nice computer to play latest games. We had enough food but god knows what my parents did for that!

I don't blame them. But it's certainly shaped my perception.

I started earning at 14 as a "computer master".

I helped people with hardware and software issues, advertising my services in a local free newspaper.

Not because I loved it but because I wanted to escape poverty.

I did not. But I kept trying.

I started climbing the company ladder.

As a web developer, I worked for an outsourcing firm, a game company, finally Yandex.

I don't call it "career" ladder because I wasn't actually pursuing a career. I was pursuing money.

Then Klarna, Toptal, Facebook, Hook, now Sourcegraph.

Each year or two, my income had increased

And it became very natural to expect it to keep growing.

But after 3 years at Yandex, I quit my job. And went to study in the US for 6 months!

Even though I rationalised this decision, it was partly emotional too.

I decided to go to the US to improve my English so that I could continue my career abroad.

That's on the conscious level. But I also felt that something wasn't right.

I didn't necessarily want more of what I already had. I wanted something different.

But I kept chasing money

I had already solved the most pressing problems. I had enough food, a nice flat, a car. I could afford traveling.

But the momentum of the habit was so high that I couldn't stop.

This was 5 years ago. But only this year I realised this was a habit.

A habit that grew in my childhood

When I didn't have enough essentials. I was poor and I was embarassed.

What the habit of chasing money was supposed to solve, had been already solved long ago!

And I began thinking about my life in general. I started looking into the future.

  • What do I want?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • With whom?

Lots of questions like that. And I don't have most of the answers yet.

But I know for sure that time is more valuable than money once the existential threats are figured out.

It's still valuable, of course, and can buy me lots of freedoms.

But I no longer can go only on money

I want to use my life wisely. Explore, have fun, try things on my own. Have an adventure. Decide what's the next turn.

Having a career and building a business used to seem incompatible to me. But juxtaposing them doesn't make any sense!

There's plenty of happy people that are employed.

There must be even more entrepreneurs who struggle.

And even though I had my first business idea probably around 15 years ago, the shape of what I do just cannot be the answer.

What is the answer then?

Well, I don't know. But I am setting off to find out.

What I definitely know that once you've solved your physiological and safety needs, time becomes infinitely more valuable than money.

This is probably the most personal thing I have ever posted on internet. Thank you for reading! 🤩

And what's your take on the money vs time problem?

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