Up or out!

It took me two days to find a t-shirt with a meaningful message so I can wear it during one of the latest conferences I had the opportunity to speak at. Usually, I buy 80% of my clothes from New Yorker, the rest is split between Primark and other brands. New Yorker speaks my language, I can choose what I want in minutes, I feel great wearing their stuff. Maybe I will pitch them one day to become one of their influencers. I use to look at Sauvage commercials in shops and think that one day I will be able to be part of commercials like Johnny Deep is doing. I love the shopping experience at Primark, especially when I am in Uk on Oxford Street.

Usually, I buy stuff for my wife and three daughters for the same reason, it speaks my language when shopping for my girls, and other family dresses, so occasionally I purchase also stuff for myself. One month ago I took the weird decision to start a newsletter on Linkedin, and also a more in-depth version on Substack (feel free to subscribe on both) called Inside My Head: The New Entrepreneurship in The Digital assets Era.

Adrian Niculescu speaking at Agora’s Global Blockchain Congress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Besides a very hectic professional schedule, I am constantly contributing with articles to a few magazines, and being the beginning of a new year, I’ve included into my goals to restart writing on my personal blog so I wanted to use these newsletters as a reason to get out of my comfort zone. Then, what has happened, the imposter syndrome came to the surface so I started to have second thoughts like … why anybody would care about what’s in my head? I had a very good angle I wanted to build on – the new entrepreneurship and I thought that personal touch would be great. After like 1 month (one month!!!) going back-and-forth, while arranging the rhythm for the new year I have really started this.

While entrepreneurship is seen as a very sexy thing, in reality, it becomes sexy usually when you start reaching some milestones and have some good results. Everywhere around us, there are stories about wealthy VCs, unicorns, large exits, scale success stories, and very few ones about the entrepreneurs struggling to survive. During my entrepreneurship journey, I had many moments when I was not able to afford basic things like a tank full of gas or a fancy, not a basic sandwich, but they were great experiments and teachings about the future, even if I found them unfair back then. All these bad experiences screamed for one thing: I was living a lot in the old entrepreneurship paradigm, and very little in the new entrepreneurship one. Slowly, but surely, I started to make this shift, which became a continuous unfolding, and this is what this initiative is about.

Don’t expect me to praise Bitcoin, and say that all is digital now, and we have to live 100% in the Metaverse. And the main reason is that if you crash a car killing the occupants in the Metaverse, well, nothing major happens, but if you do it in the real world, this can have severe consequences. I am a sales, marketing, and business development guy, with formal education until MBA level, and a lot of non-formal education acquired from people like Anthony Robbins, Bob Proctor, and other teachers. By the way, Bob Proctor has passed away a few days ago, but his legacy will live for many years. I had his teachings, and meditations in my ears thousands of times, both in good, and bad times, so even if I didn’t have the opportunity to meet him personally, I’ve learned a lot from him.

Over the last 10 years, I have worked a lot also from home to accommodate working with Europe during the day, very early with Asia, and late in the night with US, switching timezones, and working to become a producer, a contributor, and not just a consumer. I grew up in communism, Saturday was a working day for my parents, so I have stuck to the habit of keeping it the same. I remember now a Saturday when I have visited another entrepreneur in London’s Canary Wharf, and the guy was disappointed that even his high paid employees don’t come to work on Saturdays not even as an exception. The Covid pandemic didn’t change much, except the fact that people who used to make fun of me because I have transformed one of the rooms of my main residence into an office stopped this attitude.

We tend to see work as a bad thing, and as a result, we crave for the weekends, and that one holiday a year, maybe two, when we can disconnect from everything, and binge all day long. I find this to be a mistake, a big mistake. The work we do which takes a lot of our time, should not be transformed just into a career, but into a mission, so we should find ways to always mix the work with some pleasure. Because in many professions we can do a lot of work if not all remote we can spend time in other countries combining the usual work with holiday-like activities. This requires a mindset change and going out of the comfort zone.

You may wonder why I have named this first newsletter “Up or Out!”, and also when I will reveal why I did this? You see, both in our life overall, and the professional life stagnation doesn’t exist. Everything around us happens on our Planet Earth, which is evolving every second. That’s why you, me, we must grow with the planet and evolve. If we stagnate while the planet evolves, in reality, we go backward, and the involution is triggered. It is a myth that after you have some success and as a result a certain amount in the bank/ crypto wallets 🙂 you are done. The most successful people I know tend to work even harder than before but they have more options, they work mostly on the things they love, doing it in a smart way, and including more, and more holiday-like activities during regular days.

We are living in very interesting times when you can start with a few hundred dollars (or less), start investing like the Wall Street pros, and also be part of the new Wall Street which is the crypto market. In the classical Venture Capital world, the investments are usually not liquid for a few years, and the entry barrier is not low, except for the raises conducted by crowdfunding platforms. In the crypto market, any startup can create very easy a token using one of the popular blockchains, and start raising money right away, anybody can participate to purchase these tokens, except the territories where regulations are restricting these activities, and even resell with a profit sometimes in days, hours, or even minutes. It is a reality of our times, and the market for these new digital assets is just at the beginning, we are just scratching the surface.

My newsletter will help you prepare for this new entrepreneurship and also support you in maintaining the momentum needed to keep evolving. Because, if you remember, there is no stagnation. You either evolve, you are up, or out because sooner or later the market will kick you out. And to thrive in this new world, you need to unlearn very fast what doesn’t help you anymore and be able to absorb new knowledge. In many activities we become hybrids, we are entrepreneurs, because we own or co-own it, investors through stock options, or token allocations, employees, because we are rolling sleeves, and freelancers because we do things outside of the job description. That’s why a newcomer can be better than you even if you have like 20 years of experience. Your old knowledge, if you don’t unlearn it, and embrace something new, and useful may sabotage you. Is it easy to adapt? Of course not! Does age matter? Not really. You just need to decide on what you want – Up or out! and act accordingly. Please post your feedback in the comments, share this with your network if you find it valuable, and don’t forget to subscribe to my Linkedin newsletter and the more in-depth one on Substack.

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