Martin Koníček


Does it actually work for you? No, but it should!

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I encounter this quite often, everyone has an opinion on something, something to say that is supposed to have some value, the problem is, it almost never works out.

I recently addressed the issue of communication in IT on an online forum, and I slightly complained that among us "IT guys" it is often tragic, and I was immediately objected to, saying that others manage without this communication, and actually everything in IT is solved merely by a well-written wiki.

And to the question "does it actually work", the answer was: "No, in the whole company they bully me, no one appreciates my work, but this is how it should work! ". And I encounter this quite often in my surroundings, people often have an opinion on how they think things should work, it doesn't work for them, and they keep trying again and again, and they simply refuse to change it, because how they imagine it should work, surely.

Let me give you a few examples, a friend has a very clear idea of what the country deficit should look like, which politician does it well and which one does it poorly, and what needs to be changed. And he was very surprised when I asked him if he didn't mind that his own household budget doesn't work, that he is in debt, living from paycheck to paycheck, and if he thinks he is qualified to deal with the country budget?

The answer was: "so I can't have an opinion on the contry budget, when my own is in ruins?". Well, he probably can have an opinion, but I certainly have some doubts about its correctness.

Just like women who advise men on how to deal with them. There is always a simple answer to this: "how many women did you actually pick up?". And does it matter that it's none? Well, it kind of does matter.

The absolute best are the editors of newspapers in the economic sections, an editor, often one who doesn't even earn an average wage, has no economic education, has never invested in his life, and is advising on how to invest in the stock market, or predicting the movement of stocks tomorrow, that is a laugh.

Often we are blinded by our own ego

To avoid talking just about others, I sometimes judge wrong even myself. When I was buying a 3D printer, I thought to myself, I must have the one from "Prusa", they have spare parts for it and mainly support, and look, I ended up with a Chinese manufacturer Creality, who delivered me a better product for 50% of the price with zero support, which I found on the internet. And I thought to myself that I wouldn't be saving on that and I even told off to Prusa that he complains that he is being robbed by Chinese manufacturers and that people will buy this cheap stuff from China, and yes, when it came to a crunch, I didn't mind that I was ordering from a Chinese e-shop with a package sent from a German port by an unknown company, in the end, it was just so cheap that it was worth it for me.

We are often blinded by a beautiful and pleasing image of ourselves, what we are like, but when it comes to a crunch, we often don't behave that way.

Sometimes I read LinkedIn posts from Tomas Hajzler, who boasts of sustainability, ecology, and evil corporations. In one of his posts, he realized that evil corporations offer, for example, a refrigerator that breaks down in five years, or when buying a more expensive brand, that evil corporation will provide him a different spare part for quite a lot of money.

He discovered America, that ecology and sustainability is extra work and extra finances, that the cheapest is to wrap everything a hundred times in disposable plastic and then throw it from a cargo ship into the sea, and that sustainability costs something. He himself blames corporations, but actually it is he himself who doesn't want to pay for that sustainability, and when it comes to a crunch he gives his money to the cheapest manufacturer who doesn't worry about ecology. But he himself, through his ego, doesn't actually see his own support for the destruction of nature, and that's often the case with all of us, and of course, I am no exception.

Advising others is an art

In one thing, I have to pour ashes on my head, I advised a friend with finances (yes, the one I mentioned earlier), and I advised him wrongly. It was actually very good advice, but if I advised myself, not him, because I didn't take into account how he would interpret everything and how he would deal with it, and what the final result would be, well, I wouldn't make a financial adviser.

For example, when I listen to American financial advisor Dave Ramsey, a lot of people criticize him for not giving the best financial advice, and that is in a way true. What he advises is not the best, it's not the best for a finance expert, a thrifty and organized person, for such a person the advice is rather average, sometimes even subpar.

But they are great advice in case a person considers how the person involved will handle it and how it will probably turn out. Because Dave Ramsey is a professional financial adviser, he knows how it will eventually end up, what you will abide by and what not, and how you will handle his advice in the end, and how it will turn out. He knows your context!

Advising is an art form in its own way. When I listen to "Alex Hormozi", who built fitness studios, his advice on how to lose weight is pure gold. He will advise you how to lose weight by not spending a minute cooking every day and having ice cream in the evening.

Who would you rather want, such a realistic adviser – don't cook, have ice cream in the evening, or an expert who will give you a cookbook with ingredients from space food (my nickname for foods that are complicated to obtain from special nutrition shops), with you cooking at home every day for two hours, and bringing lunch boxes to work? Whom do you think people have a realistically greater chance of success with?

If you were interested in the principle of this diet, it's actually simple, just swallow the necessary dose of protein for the day (protein shake, chicken breast), and then complement your caloric expenditure with anything you want, even a bar of chocolate by the TV. Yes, it works, and yes it is that simple, but no one will tell you this - a nutrition specialist who enjoys cooking and studies complicated procedures won't, because he simply isn't practical, and also, it probably wouldn't be possible to charge for it.

What is the secret of my field?

I've outlined the secrets of other fields a bit here, but let me now tell mine, which you won't learn from many IT guys, and you won't believe it works, and for its implementation, I don't charge a low amount. Ready? "Follow through and communicate“. As I learned from several companies, I charge quite a lot for not being a walking encyclopedia (yes, that much), and they also don't see the point in competing for the toughest technical problems. But it doesn't work for them (other departments bully them), and it works for me, and that's what it's about.

So what's the secret? In IT, there's a huge problem, the "new shiny thing" syndrome, something new that you haven't tried yet, better than anything you've ever had. You always hire a new person, and they come up with thirty new projects, they work till midnight, and you feel like you've found the right one. But they keep the information to themselves, after a year they find a better offer, and leave you with thirty unfinished projects. Then another "star" comes (as recruiters say a "coding rockstar"), start another thirty projects, and now you have sixty unfinished things. This way, you only need to replace a few so-called superstars, and you're set.

What I can do, and I don't work until midnight, and not for free, is to communicate the project towards the company and push it maybe for a year or two, until it's really finished. I also do this with some kind of conscience towards the client, that is, as long as I work for them, I clearly communicate my expectations in the long term – that means I don't look for another job on the side, and only when I see that it's really not leading anywhere for maybe half a year and that we're parting ways, I say goodbye to the client and only after ending one professional relationship, I start to look for another - not like a monkey, who won't let go of one branch until it holds another.

This fair behavior with a conscience also works so that people who employed me would employ me again, and I have offers from people with whom I cooperated. This solid behavior also costs me a significant financial resources (periods of looking for another project, maintaining reserves), and therefore I also let myself be paid for it.

If I could go back in time, and my past self met my today's self, as a younger person I would think that I was "completely stupid“, so I'm not surprised that someone might think that I'm simply not doing well, and for me that's relatively ok. On the other hand, my present day long-term approach with some conscience works vastly better for me than it worked in the past, when I didn't take into account any wider connections, and I focused only on technical details, and that's just it.

And that works for you? Exactly, yes!

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