/ feeling special

The Problem With Thinking That You're Special

Stitched Panorama

I’m delighted to announce that we’ve made our first full-time hire at Natural Stacks. Nick is a hacker, hustler, entrepreneur who’s currently based in Berlin, Germany. Somewhere he saw my presentation at Saigon Hub which eventually lead him to my blog and the job posting. It didn’t take long for us to make the hire as both Roy and I are very confident in Nick’s ability and drive. We hope he helps us build our empire and extend our influence in Europe. We’ll be flying him out to Seattle in the next month to grind for a bit before shipping him back to Germany. Originally it was planned to keep the employee in Austin, but plans change and as a startup we have to be flexible and use whatever is available for us to our advantage.

I posted the job on my facebook profile, facebook groups, public and private internet forums, reddit and even traditional outlets like Craigslist. As the intention was to hire someone locally, I sort of dreamt that I would be able to hire a local hacker and transform them into a badass internet entrepreneur killer similar to how my experience was built. Unfortunately that’s where I got the most resistance.

Commenters, posters and even people who responded by email practically berated me for the job description. “Good luck hiring a slave” and things of that nature were pretty regular. I intentionally embellished parts with certain language like “soldier” and “deployment” that made it sound overly aggressive. So in some ways this kind of feedback was expected and in other ways it was not. We didn’t even get any college level interns to apply, but that’s a good thing because a lot of college students aren’t ready / don’t know how to actually work.

The job description was the first test to really separate potential employees from the duds. After reading through you either decided that these guys are fucking crazy asking for everything and giving nothing away or you were confident in your abilities and thought that you could take advantage of the opportunity that was before you. So it was a test of aptitude, courage and confidence.

For those that did apply, a surprising number failed to follow the basic directions that included submitting a video along with your application. It was curious to me that someone who wants a job would fail to follow the instructions to get said job and then actually expect there to be mutual interest from our side. But then I realized that I’ve been guilty of this same thing many times before as we often rationalize things thinking we’re special and the outside laws and mysterious workings of the universe don’t apply to us.

I remember the last time I had been applying for jobs that I would read a description and feel like it was speaking to me. I had the background, skills and experience required. However anyone who’s actually had to apply for a job before knows that rarely does fit matter, equate into a call back or even polite email notifying you of the employer’s choice to decline your application. Often this experience would lead to a state of sadness, where one struggles to overcome dejection while simultaneously trying to get back on the horse and write a few more meaningless cover letters. But the only reason these feelings of disappointment, sadness and dejection exist are because you think you’re special. For all intents and purposes you may be, but the universe doesn’t care for your sense of entitlement.

When you or I approach any type of problem or situation feeling special, we miss out on the details that will ultimately lead to our success or failure. To rationalize the decision, we skew the facts one way or another so that in the end our decision feels good to us. I think a lot of people who applied for this job didn’t record a video because they thought their experience spoke for itself. We do this in all situations though, not just job interviews. One common choice is to drive home after too many drinks because it’s only backroads to get home or that it’s not too late yet and you’ll be fine.

Feeling special is impossible to avoid at all times and it’s not always bad. I’ve lost hundreds of dollars to the dreaded roulette wheel thinking I was the exception to the odds. In that setting though it was relatively harmless except to my checking account and gambling morale. However if the the decision before you is of significant magnitude, do your due diligence and stop thinking that the universe is on your side.

Notes –

I just started reading #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. It’s a wild story how she goes from homeless hipster to multi-millionaire fashion icon in less than decade. We were also both Subway sandwich artists at one time.

I’m just waiting for a podcast intro to get recorded before releasing the business show I’ve been working on for a while. It should provide awesome insight that many of you crave.

Photo via Unsplash.


I make money online through websites and business consulting. Everyday I'm challenging myself to learn and do more.

Read More