Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo quotes on work

Building a portfolio of small bets. Quarter-time with Gumroad. Building userbase.com. Creator on dvassallo.gumroad.com. Ask me anything at daniel@hey.com.

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1

The idea that anything is possible if you work hard enough is unfortunately a very dangerous delusion. Life is more random than it seems, and favorable outcomes are more often attributable to making good bets rather than a good work ethic. Don’t sacrifice more than it’s worth.

2

Working less than you possibly could is not laziness. Laziness is enduring an existence you dislike and never try to do anything about it.

3

A barbell strategy for working on your own things: 1. Find a low-stress gig that pays the bills and leaves you with some spare time & energy. 2. Use your spare time & energy to do whatever you want, w/o being beholden to anyone and w/o risking anything consequential.

4

A barbell strategy for starting an indie business: 1. Find a low-stress job that pays the bills and leaves you with some spare time & energy. 2. Use your spare time & energy to do whatever you want, without being beholden to anyone, and without risking anything consequential.

5

Thinking about working for yourself? Forget about failing fast. Go for the low hanging fruit first. Then take more aggressive risks once your independence is sustainable. Why? Because this approach almost never fails.

6

I want my work to help me design my preferred lifestyle, not my work to dictate what my lifestyle can be.

7

You can tell that your employer is an abusive coward when your employment contract restricts you from working wherever you want after you leave your job. The wealthiest person on earth is one such wimp.

8

Being a parent is a very good reason to trade a high-paying grueling job for a flexible work arrangement that pays less. I made this switch, and I highly recommend it.

9

You still get to do some unpleasant work when you’re self-employed. What you don’t do is purposeless work.

10

There’s something else between the extremes of living paycheck to paycheck and deferring all your life to the future. I’m trying a Barbell approach: Work and invest the minimum possible to have long-term peace of mind; then live fully in the present. No medium-term strategies.

11

Sustainable productivity is about working when you’re most effective, and conserving energy when you’re not.

12

The Artisan Manifesto 1. Do the best work you can, for its own sake. 2. Be creative. Don’t follow others. 3. Make your work a business. 4. Don’t cut corners for efficiency. 5. Say no to things you’d rather not do. 6. Never sell something you know is defective.

13

Having lots to do should feel like a long list of options, not a long list of obligations.

14

If you’re working from home in a creative profession, here’s a little secret your boss will never tell you: Results are decoupled from effort in your profession. You have to opportunity to work a lot less than 8 hours a day, and not upset anyone.

15

How to become an artisan: - Do the best work you can, for its own sake. - Be creative. Don’t follow others. - Make your work a business. - Don’t cut corners for efficiency. - Never sell something you know is defective. - Say no to things you’d rather not do.

16

Something imperfect that works has the potential of working better when perfected. But perfecting something that won't work will never make it work.

17

Not every itch is worth scratching. Not every opportunity is worth taking. If you want to stack the odds in your favor, you're better off avoiding low probability bets. You only have one lifetime, and there's a limit on how many attempts you can try.

18

Got some boring (but important) work coming up? Concentrate it all together! Don’t spread it out over time. We seem to have a pain threshold (can’t get more bored than some level). So, minimize total boredom via short high-intensity spikes instead of low-intensity stretches.

19

An obsession with maximizing our potential is probably our biggest fear of missing out. And it makes us fragile. We start seeing only one option (maximization), at the cost of a simpler lifestyle that benefits from serendipity and is more resilient to unfavorable events.

20

Wanting to spend more time with my kids was a big motivator for me to leave full-time employment. Many people in tech (but not only) have this option, yet few realize it.

21

Want to work for yourself, but you don't know what to do? How about, improving your lifestyle? Start with that, and the ideas will follow.

22

One of the benefits of self-employment is the liberty to think without having to justify the lack of visible progress.

23

Starting a new software project requires dozens of consequential choices from thousands of options. You have to choose a programming language, a framework, a database, a cloud vendor, dependencies, etc.

24

Very big difference between choosing to work for yourself vs trying to realize an idea at all costs.

25

When you work for yourself, you don’t get your performance review from your peers. You get it from your accountant. In fact, not even from the accountant you have today, but from the one you’ll have 10 years from now. When we’re independent, it is time that becomes our judge.

26

When you work for yourself, a small mistake is information. It helps you adapt your approach, which increases your odds of future success. When you’re employed, a small mistake might go in your performance record, which increases your odds of getting fired.

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