Do your homework.
In the work-life parallel system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups—the poor bastards who wish they could quit working jobs they hate, and those brave few who actually do it in pursuit of lives they really want. These are their stories.
Remember when weekends were made for Michelob? Mine seem to be made for chores these days. Anthony Pusteri’s weekends are made for studying. So are his weekdays. Because he quit his programming job to pursue a dream of becoming an attorney and went back to school full-time.
Let’s flashback about 10 years or so.
I met Anthony very early in my work-life parallel pursuit, while working at Toolbox.com. (IT Toolbox in those days.) Back then, I was pretty good at doing two things—playing with cars, and hanging out on forums. I’d left a job slinging parts for Harry (because Harry wasn’t paying his suppliers) and was trying my hand at the whole, professional online community development thing. It seemed a good fit at the time.
Unfortunately, shortly after I was hired, new management came in that didn’t think community developers should actually participate in their communities, so they fired me.
Lest anyone think the road to parallel is easy.
Anyway, enough about me. Recorded live in a Phoenix garage after the kid went to bed, this is The Gearhead Project—the podcast for and about people looking for clues, running down leads, and interrogating witnesses on their journeys to work-life parallel.
Welcome to The Gearhead Project.
While TGP is largely automotive gearheads, we’ve all got friends and co-workers who aren’t gearheads like us—but they still make a difference in our lives. They share insights and ideas and whatnot from their own work-life parallel journeys.
That’s why you might have noticed I tend to say gearheads—and friends—lately.
Just as we know drag racers can learn from rallyists, who can learn from the stance crowd, who can learn from rock-crawlers—we can all learn a thing or two from each other if we’re willing to find common ground.
Case in point, Anthony was interested in video games. So he taught himself how to code. Just like many of us were interested in racing/cruising/crawling and taught ourselves how to turn our own wrenches.
Anthony pursued his dream, only to discover he didn’t enjoy building games as much as he did playing them, so he pivoted to use his programming skills in other ways—much like I left an automotive aftermarket gig to try working for a social network.
And yet, after a strong decade in tech, Anthony’s interest in the law grew stronger and stronger, until he had to do something about it. His wife—a legit partner—told him to drop everything and get it done.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be in a position to quit their job and go back to school full time for a few years in pursuit of the dream—but as easy as it can be to lock onto that “obstacle” we shouldn’t.
A lot of us aren’t exactly where we thought we’d be at this point in our lives. The important thing here is to think about what we CAN do right now to start steering our ships in the directions we want to go.
As we’ve discussed several times now, the future rewards clarity—but punishes certainty.
If you’re certain your life sucks. It will suck so hard.
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. If you’re not happy where you are—and you can’t think of a simple, first step question to google—try googling something like “first steps to X” and start chasing rabbit holes.
Treat your life like a project vehicle. Start a build thread. Start.
Listen to the conversation here, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE
- Why & how Anthony got into programming
- Why he decided to pursue his legal dream when he did
- How he spends his working days now & what law school is like
- How sunk costs fallacy is a fallacy and wow, did THAT one open my eyes
- Work-life parallel potential where his tech background intersects legal theory
- And the $10,000,000 question: How do we make sure we don’t find ourselves in the same place 10 years from now? How do we know we’re on the right path? How do we make sure we don’t make the same mistakes twice?
PS: If you know someone who might benefit from hearing this message, please do the a favor and share this episode with them. Likes and reviews might help us, but we’re trying to help others.