subtitle: "I think there are a few black boxes in my professional life as well."

Current problem: my finances are a little tight these days.

How I imagine personal finances is kind of like a stream. I need as much water coming in as going out. I'd like to create more value for others than I consume [0]. Thing is, when you're starting out; "how the hell do you create value for random strangers?" I get the feel I'm lacking in models.

The standard template seems to be convince some large company you're worth their salt then figure out how to tolerate it. Eg “get a job” [1]

A slight aside, I've run a meetup for two years. It was mostly hanging out with rationally-inclined uni friends & eating college funded food.

I've found myself in the position sometimes when talking to someone else about how they might also run a meetup. They say words to the effect of "I'm not pro enough to do that" or "I don't think I can do it". This can sometimes lead into self-doubt, but from my perspective it's feels like: "you're great, you just don't know how"

It's been said before [2] that "running a meet-up" is too big a task. And instead: *I’m going to hang out at this place with some food & people can come chill if they want

But maybe also, observe someone else running a thing & ask questions.

I’ve watched my father start multiple small businesses, an ea friend get uni funding and other people writing lesswrong comments & posts. Being nearby someone allows me to gradually acquire their models until: "hey maybe I could do that”. [3]

So given this is how some humans react to the unknown, what are the things that I think I cannot do?

I'm pretty sure I've got similar thinking around "I couldn't run a business". The boxes are more, "how do I find some users & notice a problem they need fixing", "how do I find out if this is a valuable thing for people without wasting their time / attention", "how do I get clients" which I guess becomes "how do I build trust" [4] and so on.

And how might I gently try on the hypothesis of “maybe I'm missing some models here" instead of either "I'm not allowed / not capable enough to run a business" [5][6]

Now to figure out how I can bump into / and acquire these models.

[0] And capture some of it! :)

[1] On not getting a job as an option

[2] how to run a lesswrong meetup handbook

[3] And here we are.

[4] Critch: deserving of trust

[5] Nate’s: confidence thoughts; He's not sure what do “Things that seem defensible to [MIRI’s] board of directors?” even looks like

[6] Kaj writes about how confidence doesn’t feel like anything in particular. I’ve got the models of how showering works, I don’t worry about whether I’m able to shower.


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