Hard Truths #1–This World Owes You Nothing

So the other day I made a comment about our IT industry.

It did not go down well in certain quarters.

And so I did the only rational thing – I decided to expound further. In great detail

This series, based on my experience is the result of that.

So last year, after 12 years of what I fondly believe to be sterling service, I left the company that had employed me to start my own company.

I enjoyed myself very much in that company, and held a number of positions as I rose through the ranks in various capacities. I would be the first one to acknowledge the company took a number of risks believing in my … unique … way of getting things done, and all things considered I like to think the risks paid off.

So after the traditional send off lunch, and speeches I later asked the HR what token the company would give me from my decade of service.

She seemed surprised and puzzled by my question. "But we got you the lunch last week?!"


I must confess I had a momentary flash of intense outrage.

And then I thought about it some more. It’s been a pleasant run. I worked with amazing folks. I found unique and revolutionary ways to solve problems. I trained some of the best guys in the industry, many of whom have gone on to do great things. The company (daringly) mostly left me to my whims and did not question my unconventional methods of getting results. It let me indulge my numerous pet interests like www.mzalendo.com.

Plus it paid my salary.

By many measures I’m not exactly sure between myself and the company which got the better deal out of the arrangement.

And so it dawned on me perhaps my sense of expectancy was mightily misplaced.

Perhaps I did not make as big an impact as I fondly believe.

That, I confess, was a difficult pill to swallow.

So it dawned on me that perhaps, in fact I was the one that got a better deal out of the arrangement.

"Never mind," I told her finally. “Forget I asked.”

This world owes you nothing. In fact you might actually owe the world. You don’t live in a war torn country. You have three square meals a day. You have a roof over your head. You are of sound mind. You are healthy. You can walk. You can see. You can hear. You have family and friends who love you.

What more do you want?

4 thoughts on “Hard Truths #1–This World Owes You Nothing”

  1. Well said Captain. It is all too often that we forget to stop and be grateful for what we have. Bon Voyage as you sail off in your new adventure and in keeping with the maritime theme – may the wind always blow on your back. Thank you…..

  2. I am not from your industry but a few times we have spoken have always affirmed that yours is one of the few sober minds around town. Been itching with a similar post, in different context. This motivates. For now, go on, be and do even greater things. You owe yourself everything.

  3. Welcome (belatedly) to the real world.:-D Hard truths? For those you have left behind on soft, small cushion salaries, it will soon be gold nuggets. Those are what I’ll want from you.

    Now you owe me. ;-)

  4. Classic innovation lives here…. all said and done, gratitude is not a common trait shared by the powers that be…… Unless you are the one exhibiting such stated trait……

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