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My name is Tony, and I am a workaholic. I do not say this to brag; I say it rather to my shame. I want to change. I need to change. I must change.

THE BALANCING ACT

Avoiding Entanglement in the Web3 Workaholic Trap

Hello. My name is …, and I’m a ….

Many of us are familiar with these words that are used when people begin to speak at different addiction recovery programs across the world. Although I have never personally attended this type of meeting, I have some family members who have struggled with addiction, and I appreciate the help that they have received from places like this.

Addiction is a real problem faced by so many people. Whether the addiction is to alcohol, drugs, gambling, internet gaming, or one of many other compulsive behaviors that could be mentioned here, there is real damage done to the individual himself, family members, and others in the addict’s circle of influence. Addiction is certainly no joking matter.

I direct our attention today to a compulsion that many good people suffer from and that has become a highly “respectable” addiction. This addiction is one that we may be proud of and even highlight at a job interview. The addiction that I am referring to is that of being a workaholic.

I saw this post of a cover letter of someone looking for employment. “I’m a super passionate, workaholic, father of 3 with 20+ years of sales experience.” Can you imagine someone with an addiction to alcohol boasting about this in their resume? Yet, we view an obsession with work as a positive, something about which we should be proud, and fail to realize the damage our obsession can do to our family, our friends, and even to ourselves.

I love to work and definitely place a high premium on a good work ethic. I love working in Web3 for various projects and especially on the CRYPTO CREW NFT project. It is a privilege for me to be a part of this team, and I always wants to be the best me I can be in order to serve our community, our core team, and our partner projects and give them the best NFT project possible. It has been said that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. You will never reach your full potential apart from hard work. The issue is not whether to work hard or not but rather does a person’s quest for “success” lead to blurred priorities and improper life balance. One of the greatest tragedies of life is to be a public success but a private failure, earning the applause of the world but neglecting family and close friends.

Web3 is an arena that can be dangerous to enter, especially for those with a propensity to overcommit, overwork, and struggle with priorities. Jason Nunnelley’s tweet hit the proverbial nail on the head, “Web3 is for workaholics and insomniacs.” With its global audience scattered throughout numerous time zones and 24/7/365 schedule, Web3 is fertile ground for emotional, mental, and physical burnout. As I look at the Twitter Spaces I have been invited to in the next week, there are four engagements that will require me to speak when it is well past midnight in Beijing. It’s just the nature of the beast.

As I reflect over my life, sadly, I can see too many times when my love for work and desire to fulfill all my responsibilities at the workplace conflicted with my responsibilities to my family. This truth hit me hard 4 years ago while on “holiday” aboard a cruise ship. I spent so much of this “break” on the phone or sending WeChat messages trying to take care of work issues. While in Italy, my wife was able to snap a photo of us together and, you guessed it, I was on my phone dealing with work situations. I wonder how many memories I have missed out on making with my wife while my phone was attached to my ear, or I was sending yet another WeChat message.

My name is Tony, and I am a workaholic. I do not say this to brag; I say it rather to my shame. I want to change. I need to change. I must change.

When it’s time for work, we can, and we should work hard. I have never had a problem with that. The difficulty has been understanding that there are also times when I need to lay work aside and enjoy family and friends.

I am so thankful for Tyler. Although we have not yet met in person, he has become a trusted friend and has already taught me some valuable life lessons. He understands this issue in a way that I want to understand it. He tries to respect the boundaries between office and home. He realizes that there is a time for perspiration and a time for play. His family, especially his daughter Lily, who he refers to lovingly as “The Boss,” are the blessed beneficiaries of his proper perspective. I want to learn from him.

I was reminded again of the fact that Tyler “gets it” … that he understands what’s most important … during a Twitter Space that I recently hosted on Halloween. The Space had gone a little longer than anticipated, and Tyler was scheduled to end the meeting by speaking about his amazing project, Lost Hope Society. When it was almost time for him to take the mic, he spoke up and apologized that he would not be able to share about his project and needed to go. He had privately messaged one of his team leaders and had him prepared to discuss the project.

Why did Tyler suddenly have to leave the meeting? Lily came down to see him, dressed in her Halloween costume, ready for a night of fun Trick-or-Treating with her family. As his little girl stood before her father she so adores, Tyler had to make a decision: should I delay the night’s festivities, stay in the Space that had already gone longer than anticipated, and disappoint my daughter, or should I get that responsibility covered and make some memories with my daughter? Tyler made the right decision. There will be many more Spaces in the future, but this was his one and only opportunity for his daughter to be three years old and experience Halloween.

Carly Long wrote a post addressing her personal struggles with being a workaholic. “I’ll be the first to admit that I can hop into workaholic life real quick, 0 to 100, and forget that the people right in front of me deserve just as much attention. I get so excited about what I’m working on and fill all my time meeting new people, that there’s a big shift in focus on the people that have been, and always will, be there.”

I love the practical advice she offered to those like her and me who struggle with maintaining the proper work-life balance.

“From my podcast interviews, I know a lot of you can relate. So that’s exactly why I love having those conversations: The reminders. The resets.

  • To go call your Mom and tell her you love her.
  • To pass on your books or clothes or other goods to people who need them.
  • To stop by your Dad’s and drop off a beer – and actually sit for fifteen minutes to drink it with him. (Or in my Dad’s case, a Gordon’s gin martini).
  • To read your kiddo an extra book before bedtime.
  • To take a phone-free walk with your furry friend so you can tell them what a good boy they are over and over.
  • To bake some cookies and send them to a friend who got a promotion, quit their job… or heck just because cookies are delicious.
  • To put your people first.”

Every day, we face one of life’s tests. Will we focus on our family or our phone? Will we spend time with our spouse or on social media? When we have time to enjoy family, will it be memories or more of the same?

My name is Tony, and I am … thankful… for another chance to get this right.

Written By

The Matic Man

Nov 2, 2022