Every time I hear about how the lottery is up to so and so millions of dollars, my mind starts to wander. It starts mapping out scenarios of what I would do with all of that money. There are even nights where that thought starts running around in my head right before I go to sleep. It’s so embedded in my thoughts for the night that the resulting dreams are unbelievably realistic. I wake up, and am brought right back down to earth. Bummer.
Winning the lottery also makes me think about what would I do with myself if I did not have to worry about money anymore. What would I do with my days? How would I handle the fact that I tend to find and seek out things to do when I honestly have nothing else to do? How would I satisfy my insatiable need to matter? I get restless. As much as I’d like to, I would be unable to sit around doing nothing. I’d go crazy.
5by5 is an internet radio network that produces some of the podcasts that l listen to almost every single day. In fact, I currently listen to 11 of the 15 active shows. From the About page:
“5by5 is an Internet broadcasting network, home to broadcasts like The Talk Show, Back to Work, The Big Web Show, The Pipeline, and more, with hosts including Dan Benjamin, John Gruber, Merlin Mann, and Jeffrey Zeldman.”
Now, those names may not mean anything to you, but those names are luminaries in the realm of the Apple universe and the web design community. These are the people I listen to, learn from, and admire. These are the people that make 5by5 like NPR for geeks.
Recently, Dan Benjamin, founder and chief operator of 5by5, announced that he was moving to Austin, Texas from his current home in Orlando, Florida. With this move, he’ll be leaving his current producer/assistant/right-hand man (actually a woman), Candy. Unfortunately, with the current landscape of internet radio network, there’s not much profit to go around. It makes only enough money to employ a few people to run and manage the operation. Hence, money for relocating the entire 5by5 staff (and by entire, I mean Candy) was not possible.
That leaves Dan with the task of finding a new Candy when he arrives in Austin. Announced on several of his recent shows, he’s formally looking for an “executive assistant”. What he’s been stressing, though, is he’s not looking for a web designer, a veteran programmer, or any other established professional who’s looking to change careers. What he’s looking for is a person who’s got only a few years experience under their belt, a person who’s into geek news and production, and someone who’s looking to be a producer/assistant in the realm of internet radio broadcasting. Sounds okay enough, right? But, ultimately, all of that is code for someone who’s not looking to make a lot of money, because there’s just not much to go around. Plain and simple.
Now, as you may have guessed by now, this is exactly the kind of thing I would LOVE to do. Everything about this job appeals to me. I would get to meet with, interact with, and socialize with some of the most fascinating people in my industry. I would get to hang out and (most likely) become friends with Dan, which sounds like a blast in and of itself. But most of all, I would get to essentially geek out on an everyday basis and just enjoy it. It would be learning for curiosity’s sake. Not learning because you had to, or needed to. Just taking it all in, for fun. Because I can.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and where I am in my life. I look forward to work unlike some people I know. I don’t wake up every morning with a sense of dread. I enjoy being with my co-workers, debating the business and how our creations can help the business grow and flourish. It’s fun. It’s enriching. But, it’s also a job. A job that I need to be paid for. A source of income to pay for our house, the kids’ schools, the cars we have, the activities we participate in, the fun we have. Ultimately, it’s money. When you strip everything else away, you’re left with the cold fact that money keeps me on the career path that I am currently on.
If money were no object, I think I’d go work with Dan. For me.