What if You Could Securitize Yourself?


Years ago, I read a Sci-Fi book called The Unincorporated Man. It was only so-so as a work of fiction, but it had a core idea that I am super interested in. Trade-able shares of individual people.

I love markets in everything. Well, the truth is that everything already is a market if you broaden the definition, it's just that most are very bogged down with bad information, bad incentives, and inefficiency. Institutional monopoly interventions and prohibitions cause lots of really clumsy markets, where they could be orders of magnitude better. Allowing exchange of everything, even money instruments, in markets we don't associate with money, just allows better ways to express and attain desires and allocate resources.

So shares of you. What's the idea?

You are "Me, Inc." You will produce and create a ton of value in your life. And you'll capture as much of it as you can. But you might have a cashflow problem. When you produce it may not line up with when you need or want to capture it. What if you could access the value you produce on your entire life timeline at different times?

What if you could securitize your future value as a tradeable asset?

I started thinking about this about a decade ago with small businesses. There are so many successful small businesses with great revenue and profit margins whose owners are getting older and have no clear succession or exit plan. SMB's are hard to exit, and furthermore, most owners don't want to exit entirely yet, but they'd love to be able to take a chunk of the value they've built off the top and buy a vacation home and spend a little less time at the office. But there's no large market for selling shares of an SMB. In other words, their value is not liquid.

When I launched Praxis in 2013, my original idea for tuition was a $5K downpayment then 5% of starting salary for 5 years. I didn't go with it because it seemed complicated and there weren't many instruments that helped make it easy. I also found it hard enough to sell the idea of skipping college, and selling a new funding mechanism was also confusing the early customers I asked. Now the world has come a long way and everyone knows you don't need college. Now the payment structure including a cut of future earnings is in use with many code shools and has investors set up to make it work. They're called Income Share Agreements (ISAs).

ISAs so far are tied to specific services. You get accepted to a code school, then sign an agreement to pay a percentage of future earnings to the holder of the agreement. The school sells that agreement to a pool of investors to get the money to serve you, and the investor collects later when you're hired.

But what if it didn't have to be tied to a specific school or program? What if we could individualize it, and free it entirely from intermediaries?

What if you could go directly to investors and show them evidence of your future earning potential and sell some shares in it and get the money directly to use for whatever you want?

What if you could IPO?

There are many ways to trade future value for current, over many different lengths of time with different risk factors and upside. It could be a share of your income for length of time. Or it could be a percentage of your will upon death. (An aside: I know a guy who used to buy life insurance policies then sell them to others so they'd pay the annual premiums but collect the payout when he died. He's an old guy and jokes about all the people who want him dead. Strange, but not a bad idea!) People could own a chunk of the equity in your home. It could be any number of things. You could sell your shares, and buy them back. A true liquid market in your individual value.

But don't just think about it from the seller standpoint.

Imagine being able to invest in up and coming YouTube star? Imagine a fund of 100 AAU baketball players?

My mind gets going on this and the possibilities are endlessly exciting. The entire structure of life and career could open up with so much more flexibility. And of course, no one would have to sell any shares. But true self-ownership means ability to exchange your value, services, and property. Expand the scope and make it easier!

Of course, this would require a way to show your value and prove why your shares are worth buying and your current market price. A dynamic profile to showcase what you've done, your ability, interests, skills, connections, etc. (Oh, hello!:-)

This is how you ‘Crash your career’!


I love seeing what creative stuff job-seekers come up with on their job hunt. We built Crash to reframe the whole concept of discovering great roles, building a skill profile to signal your ability, and pitching yourself to companies through both the "Shotgun" and "Sniper" approach to your job hunt campaign.

The Shotgun is a loud, public campaign to let the world know you're on the job hunt, rally your network for upvotes, shares, comments, and job recs on your profile, and broadcast your signal. It's how you find out about roles you never knew existed and get in front of more hiring managers.

The Sniper is a targeted approach where you find your favorite 10 companies, research them, and make them a tailored pitch. Nothing stands out like coming to me with something that shows you know and love my company/role, and you took the time to pitch me specifically, not "Dear Sir or Madam at [Insert Company Name]. 10 of these beats 100 applications in ROI hands down.

You've got to read this breakdown of how one Crasher is running her job hunt campaign. It is awesome. It's clear she's getting results, and it's also clear the process itself is both fun and a valuable learning experience building her skills and network!

Read it. Share it with a job-seeking friend or relative. There are opportunities all around if you're hungry enough to win them!

http://amandajones.site/3-tips-to-market-yourself-on-social-media-and-land-interviews/

 

Some Goals I Can Get Behind


I'm not a fan of goals. I've written about this before, but the TLDR is goals don't inspire me much and mostly seem like baggage, distraction, and stress creators.

I prefer to just stick to some simple heuristics (don't do stuff you hate, don't do stuff you suck at, create value for people, make yourself/company more valuable every day than the day before, etc.) and let the wins compound over time to whatever heights, instead of defining a specific height and date.

I also don't go much for concrete personal goals in terms of wealth or lifestyle.

Still, here are a few life goals I can get behind:

  • Never step foot in a car dealership
  • Never get on the phone with a utility company
  • Never wake up to an alarm clock
  • Never fly commercial
  • Never spend an entire day inside
  • Never have to enter a login or password on any device
  • Never go clothes shopping

I may or may not achieve all of these (though I have achieved some already), but they're the kind of goals that seem fun.

Why Me?


I was talking to my Crash colleague Dave last night about the questions investors ask of companies.

They want to know what the problem is, how big the market is, why the time is now, and why you are the team to do it. That last one is my favorite because it's the easiest for me to answer.

There are several ways to answer 'Why you'? One is to demonstrate that no one in the world has more expertise in the area. You can show your unique skills and experience that make you the obvious choice to solve the problem. That's not my approach because it's not what I believe.

There's someone out there better than me at everything I'm sure. There's someone with a more impressive skill list or set of experiences or markers of expertise.

But there's no one in the world with the calling I have.

I answer with the truth. Why me? Because I was born to do this, have been relentlessly pursuing it my whole life, and will do it until the day I die and neither you nor anyone else can stop me. And I will succeed one way or another. That's why me.

My purpose in life is to help make people free. And the loss of freedom usually takes its first biggest step at that point when people are trying to figure out their careers. It's the easiest time to get scared, give in to social status pressure, and take a passive posture where you set the tone for a life dictated by others instead of you. It's too easy to do stuff you hate or float downstream just to get by because you don't feel in control of the process of finding and getting a job.

But you are in the driver's seat. Always. You don't need anyone else's bullshit credentials or status or approval. You are "Me, Inc." and you can take control and learn what you want on your own terms, and create value in the market by boldly selling your skills, and craft a career one meaningful step at a time.

That's why Crash exists. To help people discover and do what makes them come alive so they can live a little more free.

I've spent my whole life on this calling. It's taken many forms as I've learned and tested and tried everything. And it will never stop.

I often feel like Frodo Baggins. All these powerful Wizards and Soldiers and Kings and Elves know there's a big problem. I'm just a dude from the Shire with no particular expertise or weaponry, but I'm the one who's gonna carry that effing ring into the fire.

That's why me.

Be Your Own Credential


I will never stop beating this horse even when it's dead.

Now is not the time to buy a third party stamp of approval. Now is the time to build a body of work that shows your skills and broadcast that signal to the world.

Proof of work > proof of paper. Build a better signal. Create value and find a way to prove it. Learn outloud. Work outloud. Build a campaign around your job hunt.

You are your own company so start taking charge and acting like it.

Here's a bunch of stuff I've written on this:

https://medium.com/careercrashers/your-own-personal-iron-man-suit-f4eb7d080cc

 

https://medium.com/the-mission/want-to-do-cool-stuff-build-a-better-signal-4a20f526122f

https://medium.com/the-mission/why-the-degree-is-dying-and-being-replaced-by-something-better-1fb94b5f4bc1

https://medium.com/the-mission/your-college-degree-is-worthless-504d6f9e394c

https://medium.com/careercrashers/its-not-a-job-hunt-it-s-a-campaign-62a00d54251d

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qGBICsVeXQ

The Order of What Matters


I was talking to my brother today about all kinds of crazy startup stuff, and how things can get stressful. He said he has a list he comes back to in this order:

Family
Health
Customers
Team
Investors
Other stuff

He said he does a mental rundown of this list to see if things are going OK. If the first few items are off, nothing else will really matter much anyway. If you've got the first few in a good spot, then move down to the next one, then the next. Don't worry about the bottom as much as the top, and move from most to least important. On rare occasions, the list might click all the way down. Most of the time it won't, but if you can keep those top three in a good spot, the rest is manageable.

I'm going to use this.

Three Phases of Personal Progress


  1. Discovery
  2. Building
  3. Launching

We use these as a framework for career launch at Crash, but it applies much more broadly. In fact, I think this is the best pattern for pretty much any kind of leveling up.

Discovery is the exploration phase. This is where judgement is a killer, competition and FOMO are unhelpful, and social status seeking will mess you up. This should be a raw, honest, fun, optimistic phase where you say 'yes' to everything that's not a 'hell no!'. You're getting feedback from the world, not just by reflection, but my practice, more practice, then maybe a little reflection on your practice, then more practice. This is a narrowing process. You don't start with a tight target, you test stuff until you whittle down to a small enough direction to take action on.

Building is where you go all-in on what you discovered. Don't worry about it being perfect, just dive in and build the skills you need and a way to convey and communicate those skills with the people who are the best to work with. This is also a hands-on process, and one where you turn your interests and ideas into tangible artifacts that can be seen and shared. In this phase competition and gamification and specific challenges or progress tracking become valuable tools.

Launch is the operationalization of those specific skills you built. Once you've sold your ability to the right people, you win opportunities to put them into practice. Here's the focus phase. Here is where you should tighten up and say 'no' unless it's a 'hell yes!'. This is where you get narrow and specialize and tune out the rest of the world.

Bed Rest Haiku


I dream of reading

All day without distraction

When it comes it sucks

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the CEO of Crash, the career launch platform, and the founder of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

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What if You Could Securitize Yourself?


Years ago, I read a Sci-Fi book called The Unincorporated Man. It was only so-so as a work of fiction, but it had a core idea that I am super interested in. Trade-able shares of individual people.

I love markets in everything. Well, the truth is that everything already is a market if you broaden the definition, it's just that most are very bogged down with bad information, bad incentives, and inefficiency. Institutional monopoly interventions and prohibitions cause lots of really clumsy markets, where they could be orders of magnitude better. Allowing exchange of everything, even money instruments, in markets we don't associate with money, just allows better ways to express and attain desires and allocate resources.

So shares of you. What's the idea?

You are "Me, Inc." You will produce and create a ton of value in your life. And you'll capture as much of it as you can. But you might have a cashflow problem. When you produce it may not line up with when you need or want to capture it. What if you could access the value you produce on your entire life timeline at different times?

What if you could securitize your future value as a tradeable asset?

I started thinking about this about a decade ago with small businesses. There are so many successful small businesses with great revenue and profit margins whose owners are getting older and have no clear succession or exit plan. SMB's are hard to exit, and furthermore, most owners don't want to exit entirely yet, but they'd love to be able to take a chunk of the value they've built off the top and buy a vacation home and spend a little less time at the office. But there's no large market for selling shares of an SMB. In other words, their value is not liquid.

When I launched Praxis in 2013, my original idea for tuition was a $5K downpayment then 5% of starting salary for 5 years. I didn't go with it because it seemed complicated and there weren't many instruments that helped make it easy. I also found it hard enough to sell the idea of skipping college, and selling a new funding mechanism was also confusing the early customers I asked. Now the world has come a long way and everyone knows you don't need college. Now the payment structure including a cut of future earnings is in use with many code shools and has investors set up to make it work. They're called Income Share Agreements (ISAs).

ISAs so far are tied to specific services. You get accepted to a code school, then sign an agreement to pay a percentage of future earnings to the holder of the agreement. The school sells that agreement to a pool of investors to get the money to serve you, and the investor collects later when you're hired.

But what if it didn't have to be tied to a specific school or program? What if we could individualize it, and free it entirely from intermediaries?

What if you could go directly to investors and show them evidence of your future earning potential and sell some shares in it and get the money directly to use for whatever you want?

What if you could IPO?

There are many ways to trade future value for current, over many different lengths of time with different risk factors and upside. It could be a share of your income for length of time. Or it could be a percentage of your will upon death. (An aside: I know a guy who used to buy life insurance policies then sell them to others so they'd pay the annual premiums but collect the payout when he died. He's an old guy and jokes about all the people who want him dead. Strange, but not a bad idea!) People could own a chunk of the equity in your home. It could be any number of things. You could sell your shares, and buy them back. A true liquid market in your individual value.

But don't just think about it from the seller standpoint.

Imagine being able to invest in up and coming YouTube star? Imagine a fund of 100 AAU baketball players?

My mind gets going on this and the possibilities are endlessly exciting. The entire structure of life and career could open up with so much more flexibility. And of course, no one would have to sell any shares. But true self-ownership means ability to exchange your value, services, and property. Expand the scope and make it easier!

Of course, this would require a way to show your value and prove why your shares are worth buying and your current market price. A dynamic profile to showcase what you've done, your ability, interests, skills, connections, etc. (Oh, hello!:-)

This is how you ‘Crash your career’!


I love seeing what creative stuff job-seekers come up with on their job hunt. We built Crash to reframe the whole concept of discovering great roles, building a skill profile to signal your ability, and pitching yourself to companies through both the "Shotgun" and "Sniper" approach to your job hunt campaign.

The Shotgun is a loud, public campaign to let the world know you're on the job hunt, rally your network for upvotes, shares, comments, and job recs on your profile, and broadcast your signal. It's how you find out about roles you never knew existed and get in front of more hiring managers.

The Sniper is a targeted approach where you find your favorite 10 companies, research them, and make them a tailored pitch. Nothing stands out like coming to me with something that shows you know and love my company/role, and you took the time to pitch me specifically, not "Dear Sir or Madam at [Insert Company Name]. 10 of these beats 100 applications in ROI hands down.

You've got to read this breakdown of how one Crasher is running her job hunt campaign. It is awesome. It's clear she's getting results, and it's also clear the process itself is both fun and a valuable learning experience building her skills and network!

Read it. Share it with a job-seeking friend or relative. There are opportunities all around if you're hungry enough to win them!

http://amandajones.site/3-tips-to-market-yourself-on-social-media-and-land-interviews/

 

Some Goals I Can Get Behind


I'm not a fan of goals. I've written about this before, but the TLDR is goals don't inspire me much and mostly seem like baggage, distraction, and stress creators.

I prefer to just stick to some simple heuristics (don't do stuff you hate, don't do stuff you suck at, create value for people, make yourself/company more valuable every day than the day before, etc.) and let the wins compound over time to whatever heights, instead of defining a specific height and date.

I also don't go much for concrete personal goals in terms of wealth or lifestyle.

Still, here are a few life goals I can get behind:

  • Never step foot in a car dealership
  • Never get on the phone with a utility company
  • Never wake up to an alarm clock
  • Never fly commercial
  • Never spend an entire day inside
  • Never have to enter a login or password on any device
  • Never go clothes shopping

I may or may not achieve all of these (though I have achieved some already), but they're the kind of goals that seem fun.

Why Me?


I was talking to my Crash colleague Dave last night about the questions investors ask of companies.

They want to know what the problem is, how big the market is, why the time is now, and why you are the team to do it. That last one is my favorite because it's the easiest for me to answer.

There are several ways to answer 'Why you'? One is to demonstrate that no one in the world has more expertise in the area. You can show your unique skills and experience that make you the obvious choice to solve the problem. That's not my approach because it's not what I believe.

There's someone out there better than me at everything I'm sure. There's someone with a more impressive skill list or set of experiences or markers of expertise.

But there's no one in the world with the calling I have.

I answer with the truth. Why me? Because I was born to do this, have been relentlessly pursuing it my whole life, and will do it until the day I die and neither you nor anyone else can stop me. And I will succeed one way or another. That's why me.

My purpose in life is to help make people free. And the loss of freedom usually takes its first biggest step at that point when people are trying to figure out their careers. It's the easiest time to get scared, give in to social status pressure, and take a passive posture where you set the tone for a life dictated by others instead of you. It's too easy to do stuff you hate or float downstream just to get by because you don't feel in control of the process of finding and getting a job.

But you are in the driver's seat. Always. You don't need anyone else's bullshit credentials or status or approval. You are "Me, Inc." and you can take control and learn what you want on your own terms, and create value in the market by boldly selling your skills, and craft a career one meaningful step at a time.

That's why Crash exists. To help people discover and do what makes them come alive so they can live a little more free.

I've spent my whole life on this calling. It's taken many forms as I've learned and tested and tried everything. And it will never stop.

I often feel like Frodo Baggins. All these powerful Wizards and Soldiers and Kings and Elves know there's a big problem. I'm just a dude from the Shire with no particular expertise or weaponry, but I'm the one who's gonna carry that effing ring into the fire.

That's why me.

Be Your Own Credential


I will never stop beating this horse even when it's dead.

Now is not the time to buy a third party stamp of approval. Now is the time to build a body of work that shows your skills and broadcast that signal to the world.

Proof of work > proof of paper. Build a better signal. Create value and find a way to prove it. Learn outloud. Work outloud. Build a campaign around your job hunt.

You are your own company so start taking charge and acting like it.

Here's a bunch of stuff I've written on this:

https://medium.com/careercrashers/your-own-personal-iron-man-suit-f4eb7d080cc

 

https://medium.com/the-mission/want-to-do-cool-stuff-build-a-better-signal-4a20f526122f

https://medium.com/the-mission/why-the-degree-is-dying-and-being-replaced-by-something-better-1fb94b5f4bc1

https://medium.com/the-mission/your-college-degree-is-worthless-504d6f9e394c

https://medium.com/careercrashers/its-not-a-job-hunt-it-s-a-campaign-62a00d54251d

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qGBICsVeXQ

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program making degrees irrelevant for careers. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

Featured on -

Occasional Email Updates

Looking for something?


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