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Failing to Plan and A Boys Club - Issue 55

A reactionary tale

One of the things I learnt about myself whilst I was away was a need to have a strategy. That doesn't mean I need a specific and detailed plan, but not having a strategy has it's problems. On an output, results and emotional basis. And is this whole industry still a boys club? Who you know, not what you know? Very much so IMO, but that's something I am desperate to help change!

The River Tor, with Barnstaple in the background. At the end of the walk that delayed this blog even longer than me forgetting to send it!

Ever since I have started in Web3 I have had an end game or a larger goal/vision. That still exists and has always existed. The goal/vision may chance over time, and definitely has (not by a huge amount since October 2021), but there is always a long term outlook with everything I do. That vision is as big and expansive as providing a place that allows for equality of opportunity and doing it with the values that I believe are better for society.

What can happen, especially if your life becomes hectic, is that there is no short-medium term strategy from that bigger goal. Then day to day tasks turn into reactions. That could be with teams you are on, teams you run, your social media or it could go as far as your real life. And there are many reasons this can happen.

I spent a long time breaking habits that led to a lot of reactive behaviours. My relationship was definitely toxic, I wasn't 'allowed' to have feelings and everything became reactionary. What do I mean by not allowed to have feelings? They weren't relevant in any discussion. How I felt either wasn't how it was, or it wasn't important. Once the shoe was on the other foot, work or home life, how I made others feel (no matter what I meant) was the important factor.

I allowed the above to happen. That was a tough lesson to learn. Maybe the hardest of all of the lessons I have learnt in the last 5-6 years.

I was adamant I wouldn't allow myself to fall into the same traps again, but here we are, over halfway through 2023 and I am in a very reactionary cycle. I know why I am here. Some of it is my fault, I don't believe most of it is, but I could have had a more positive response to most of this. I could have controlled how those outcomes made me feel a lot better, because we choose how we feel. Mindset matters.

I ask questions, a lot. I think it's vitally important, even if it annoys all of the adults when you are growing up "For the love of god, stop asking why", was a common sentence when I was younger! Either because it was annoying or they didn't know the answer... and that's an important point. It's very easy to get frustrated and reactionary when you don't know the answer.

If you are looking for an answer and you don't know the question, you're in even bigger trouble. This is my Twitter this year. The changes have come thick and fast. I don't know what works in alignment with my values right now and this is something I am currently experimenting with. One thing I have noticed, the algorithm is so much more responsive to you. Want more of your friends in your timeline, interact with them more. It's that simple!

The pond outside the hotel I stayed at in Bury last week.

Where am I going with all of this. I am not sure I am completely sure. One thing I do now know, after FCancer I felt a little lost. I had cleared my decks and was left a little adrift. The patterns of behaviour within our industry got to me, as did the patterns of behaviour among people I would call colleagues or friends. Being lied to over and over gain, deliberately or accidentally, the lack of transparency, accountability and honesty was very apparent.

Across all of the Web3 Space, not my circle. I mean did you see the last meme coin season (that devolved to buying editions of colours)? We have all heard about the commotion with Mario and bots, right? And that's before we dive into the attacks on people on socials, no matter how hard you try to stay away from it. We have seen Sandeep moaning (or getting frustrated) about Polygon being Eth's ugly step brother essentially (maybe there is a Cinderella story there, I doubt it but that's another story!). And there are many more examples.

Is it the deepest darkest pits of the bear? Is it just that all we have left in this space are the true builders/believers and the takers, the liquidators? If that is the case then this doesn't change until the next bull, likely a year away before we see the start of it. What does that mean? It means finding people who's values you align with just became even more important. It means that survival has to be the goal for people like me.

That's when it comes down to a strategy, without a strategy your goals aren't achievable, even when they are as simple as surviving. And whilst I say I haven't had a strategy. I primarily mean in regards to time management and social media. For me personally and Polygon Alliance. How am I fixing that? Or implementing a new strategy?

One of my first fixes needs to be where I dedicate my time and what reward I am getting for that. Do the values of the people I am working with and the potential of the outcomes make it worth my effort, energy and time? This is not an easy equation to work out. I am keen to give people opportunities, but there is a limit. I have spent a little time this month getting the thoughts in motion, then I will let my subconscious work on it at some point (that will involve a long walk) and after that I will make some key decisions on where I invest my most valuable resources. The things I can't get back.

The other thing that I have mostly implemented is an up to date calendar strategy. I have cleared the non recurring things and booked in regular time for me. Moving forward, if it isn't in my calendar, it doesn't happen. Unless I just happen to pick up (you know who you are!).

John Daly at The Open Championship. It's an incredible pair of trousers but maybe a better beard!

Is this industry still all just who you know? Without a shadow of a doubt, but isn't all the world. Maybe the technology can help that change but that can't be our first direction. We have to build trust first. We don't do that with the behaviours of the leaders we look up to and support at the moment. And it is across all of crypto, led by the liquidation mindset of some large investors and leaders.

And it feels more and more like the the leadership team at Polygon buys into and supports the values that promote these behaviours. We have seen it played out repeatedly in the last 7 months. The projects supported on the NFT ecosystem, the whitelists given, the bags held. There is a lot to see if you go looking. Polygon does still allow the ability to build the platforms and tooling that can solve some of these problems.

I will point to one example, one I know for sure. I was asked on an individual and a Polygon Alliance basis to be a mentor for Polygon Village. I haven't had time to address my whole team, but I think I know where I stand individually. I wasn't offered anything, other than supporting people Polygon are unable to or don't want to, and maybe some website space. There was no budget for Polygon Village. Two weeks later, the new CEO of Polygon Labs tweets the below (and don't forget Β£3M for y00ts to not deliver anything but volume...). Why is this relevant? If you want to build your community, you invest in it and you promote growth in areas you want it. And all of that comes from the top.

I wanted to write less about strategy and more about the 'boys club', however here we are. Planning, strategy, goals. They all interlink. We need them daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and longer, well I do. I enjoyed writing this, I feel that Polygon are a small part of a bigger problem with in web3, however it's where a lot of us play!

Thank you as ever for reading, for supporting and being there for me. To have close to 150 people open a personal blog weekly means a huge amount and I will have some updates for you about me soon. Enjoy your week, I will catch you next Friday.

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