(1/16) Non-fungible by Nature
God. I hate the phrase ‘Non-Fungible’ (as in ‘Non Fungible Token’). It’s one of those phrases that will NEVER roll off the tongue no matter how many times you say it. Even though I’m into NFTs, I hate saying those words. I just hate ‘em. I like to refer to things as ‘1-of-1’s, but I think ‘non-fungible’ works better in this context. This…is the beginning of my non-fungible journey…
I know there are like 9 billion people in the world and for all of those 9 billion people there are like 900 trillion stories. I’m not totally sure what has compelled me to write about this particular part of my life, but a lot of people have been asking me about crypto lately and…I dunno…I kinda just wanted to give some context. I’m not some expert on crypto or anything - hell, I barely even hold any - but if you’ve been following any of these posts I’ve been making for the past few weeks, you might know that I consider myself a bit of a crypto maximalist (in theory)…meaning…I think this is the inevitable future of where society is headed. So I could sit here and talk about the benefits of this crypto and that crypto and…really, I don’t really know what makes one better than another…so talking specifically about some just seems pointless. And I’m no financial advisor, so…yea. If you’re curious as to how I got here…these next few blog posts are for you.
I guess you could say this started for me around 20 years ago…with college…first.
After switching my major like 3 times, I finally graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2002 with a degree in Business Management Economics. I didn’t consider myself particularly adept at any of the concepts presented, nor was I all that interested in any of them, but I did find that certain things made more sense to me inherently than they did friends and family. History, as a major, turned out to be a ton of reading things that weren’t all that interesting. And math, as a major, had me out of my league in no time. So I chose to roll with Business. I met a lot of cool people through that major - a handful of who I still talk with to this day (that’s my friend Gabe on the left, me on the right).
My first job out of college - I worked the front desk of a hotel in Santa Cruz for $11/hour. I did that for a few months before I realized that I didn’t go to college to help traveling corporate execs hide porn rentals on their expense reports. So I hatched a plan and started saving money. Over the next few months, I saved as much money as I could (about $2k) and bought myself a one-way plane ticket to New York. I flew out on August 15th, 2003, the day before the blackout.
When I touched down in New York, it took me a few weeks, but I somehow linked up with a recruiter who placed me in a temp position at The Associated Press (50 Rock Center) and somehow managed to send me on more than 30 accounting interviews…none of which worked out. Bless his heart, I really made this dude work for his commission. He coached me, though, and I was progressively getting better at interviewing and understanding what the ask actually was. They didn’t care much about what I knew or didn’t know. All that they seemed to care was whether or not I could display self-awareness and humility in a corporate environment. I interviewed at a modeling agency (I wasn’t ‘cool’ enough), a carpet company (I knowingly sabotaged the interview by telling them that I never take notes - what was I going to do? Call my parents and tell them ‘Hey I moved to New York and got a job at a carpeting company!’?), a book publisher (this one hurt - I liked them a lot but I was too immature and made a couple of mistakes by trying to go behind the recruiters back), an ad agency (one that represented Footlocker and specifically the Paul Pierce x Nike campaign), a handful of restaurants and construction companies, and finally a firm on Wall Street (GFI Group). (Side note: corporate interviews are pure bullshit.)
My first day on Wall Street was March 4th, 2004, where I began working as a Junior Accountant at a ‘small’ inter-dealer brokerage (‘small’ meaning <$1bn/yearly). Over the next 6-7 years, I jumped around and kinda climbed the corporate ladder up until I was just under my personal ‘point of no return’ (ie: the salary at which I knew I would never be able to leave). I bounced around in different positions until I got within a few thousand of that amount and then decided to quit. New York was fun, but I really couldn’t handle the corporate environment and didn’t know how to pivot. So I decided to move back to California.
Check out part 2 here.