What’s your retirement job?


This week, I’m sharing a tweet from my internet friend, Carl. Carl used to be a restauranteur and is now building a food ordering/delivery platform.

Fun fact: I actually went to Carl’s restaurant, The Garden Slug, over a decade ago. I remember liking the food and thinking it had a real homey vibe.

This tweet made me realise I’m just like Carl in that I think of Newsletter Glue as a retirement job of sorts. Since I just made up the term, let me quickly define it for you: I think of a retirement job as a job you get to do on your own terms.

In 2015, I set out to learn how to make money for myself so that I would never again have to get a job. In 2019, I finally built a successful agency making upwards of $200k with over 60% profit. I worked almost every day and reached a breaking point – Either I scale it up and hire full-timers or scale it down to something more manageable.

In the end, I shut everything down because I realised I got what I was looking for – assurance that I could do it if I wanted to.

With that reassuring fact, I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about making a living again, and instead decided to focus on building something fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I push myself daily with Newsletter Glue. But also, I feel grateful that I have the security to do something entirely of my own choosing.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably be publishing in depth primers on topics like tragedy of the commons, web3, crypto, and climate change for fellow nerds who don’t have the time to research everything for themselves but still want to stay up to date and keep their position as “resident nerd at dinner parties”.

Something like A Book Apart for the big questions in life.

Big caveat: I’m not super special or particularly ballsy. The reason I had the guts to shut everything down is that my parents are fairly well to do. We live in a bungalow, which puts us well in the top 10% of household income in Singapore.

I loathe to mention this, but feel like it would be disingenuous not to. There are a lot of envy-inducing stories online about people living the life or taking seemingly huge risks. When the reality is that they come from financially secure family backgrounds that allow them to do such things.

Personally, I can’t afford not to work. I’m not that rich. But I’m definitely in a position where I can choose what I want to work on; I’m grateful for it and feel it would be silly of me to let that opportunity go.

Seeya next Monday,

Lesley

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