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12/4/14

Mod Note: Throwback Thursday: this post originally went up 4/25/12

Like a majority of people who are on this website, I used to come on here and write bullshit about a life partly my own, partly fantasy. I'm now going to uncloak the anonymous man and tell you my story.

My name is Stephen Ridley. I graduated from a top tier British University with a First Class Honours Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 2010 and went straight into IBD at a top tier European Investment Bank, after interning there in 2009. I worked in the top team (on a revenue basis) for 16 months, before quitting in October 2011. I want to tell you about that experience, and about what has happened since then, about how I left the green to chase my dream. This will be blunt and honest. I do not mean to offend, quite the opposite, I hope to inspire! Again, this isn't an attack on those who choose to be bankers, it's just me sharing my experience together with the lessons I've learnt, and hopefully it speaks to a few people. If you look at the picture above you'll see a picture of what I do now. It's a little different from where I was 6 months ago!

Banking is fucking brutal

I knew this after my internship, but I didn't care. I wanted money. I wanted respect. I wanted to be a somebody in the eyes of myself and others. But most of all, I wanted money. Why? Because money is freedom. Money means I can wear what I want, live where I want, go where I want, eat what I want, be who I want. Money would make me happy. Right? Well... not exactly I'm afraid. In fact, money didn't seem to make any of the bankers happy. Not one person in the roughly 200 I got to know in banking were happy. Yet all earned multiples of the national average salary.

The reality of banking is this. Like everyone there, I worked my ass to the bone, working mind numbingly boring work. My life was emails, excel, powerpoint, meetings, endless drafts and markups about shit I couldn't give less of a fuck about, edits, drafts, edits, drafts, edits, send to printers, pick up, courier, meetings, more work, multitasking, boredom, boredom, tired, boredom, avoiding the staffer on a friday, more work, depression, tired, tired, tired, fucking miserable. 15 hour days were a minimum, 16-17 were normal, 20+ were frequent and once or twice a month there would be the dreaded all nighter. I worked around 2 out of every 4 weekends in some form. I was never free, I always had my blackberry with me, and thus I could never truly dettach myself from the job. These are the objective facts, contrary to what any 'baller' wants to tell you. The only models were excel models, the only bottles were coca cola, which I drank a lot of to stay awake.

Though I managed to maintain relationships with certain friends (testament to how good these friends were), I never was really 'there' and never really relaxed to enjoy their company, I was either pre-occupied, exhausted, or too self-centred to really have a 2 way conversation. I was constantly tired, constantly stressed, and I had this constant reoccurring thought. The thought went like this. I'm not happy. These are my golden years, my 20s, the years I want to look back on and talk about with fondness and pride. I should be making interesting stories, having the time of my life whilst I have no dependents. I'm richer than I've ever been, yet I'm not as happy as I was backpacking around South America on a shoestring. This is bullshit.

The work isn't interesting

That placed me in the 95% majority. Your not golfing with CEOs, talking about strategy, then driving your lambo home at 3.30pm to have sex with your hot girlfriend. No, your sat at your computer, haven't spent more than 5 minutes in the sun in weeks, your out of shape, bad skin, tired, overworked, and your facing yet another office dinner before calling yourself a cab somewhere between 1am and 5am to take your lonely ass to your empty bed. In those rare moments you do get out your tie to go talk to a client, you're not having a nice interesting chat with an interesting person, you talking finance to some other depressed office drone in some corporate office, who either pretends to give a shit or, more often than not, doesn't pretend. Of course, every now and then, I did meet that rare breed who got their kicks from debt-restructuring or endless levels of back-solved pseudoscientific analysis, but this only depressed me as it reminded me how little I cared about this nonsense, and thus made me further question why I was spending every waking moment - and half the ones I should have been asleep - devoted to it.

You're never going to get as rich as the superstars you admire on the TV and watch in films

Even though I got paid well, I wasn't going out buying a different coloured helicopters every weekend, rolling in designer threads, splashing PS30k on a night out and holidaying every other week in some exotic location whenever I can be bothered to charter my private jet. You'll be above average, but still pretty average. Sure, you can buy an macbook air without really thinking about it, and you can take taxis instead of the bus. But that's it. I was amazed how modestly people lived in banking given all the hype that surrounds it. They were just sad middle class bland people, with unexciting lives, and unexciting prospects. A bunch of nerds who got caught up in a cage made of money and dreams and greed, and never got out. There had to be more to life than this.

Eventually, I thought fuck this

I got to the point where I wasn't buying myself nice things anymore because doing so only reinforced my dependency on a job which I hated, a job which was taking over every aspect of my shortening life. I had worked hard at university to have a good life, a happy life, a 'successful' life. And I wasn't finding it in IBD. And nobody above me was either. Even the 'baller' MDs were really just miserable, uninteresting, and often pathetic old farts. I didn't want to be them. I wanted to be a colourful, shinny person with love in my heart. Someone with passion, happiness, laughter lines, someone who has taken life by the horns and lived on the edge, taken risks, had love and loss and seen the world.

I made my plan to leave in baby steps

First I started interviewing at other city jobs - everything from hedge fund analyst to private equity analyst to inter dealer broker to insurance to wealth management to sales to trading and even equity research. These all looked boring, these all involved wasting away the majority of my life at a desk. These all involved long working hours, even if a little better. None of these lit the fire I once had before being crushed by banking. So I looked at jobs in corporates, in their M&A team, their finance team. Again, I went to a few interviews, got offers, but it was just the same shit. I didn't want to be a drone in a suit and tie. Fuck that Stephen, fuck that!

Eventually I snapped

Despite being staffed up to my eye balls, I left the office at 7pm to prepare for an interview I had the next morning at 8.30am. The AD I was working with (5 years my senior) consequently had to work until 5am. The next morning, I wasn't at my desk at 8am as I should have been. I was at my interview. Just another mind numbing 'opportunity' to work in debt refinancing team at Tesco's head office. Fuck that. I'd had enough. There was nothing for me in any spectrum of finance. I'd had enough. I walked into work at 11am, and by 11.01, the AD had dragged me into a side room to rip me a new asshole (she'd got a little cranky after 90 minutes sleep and a lot of stress). She said that she was going to go and talk to our team head about this and stood up. I told her to sit her ass down, I'd do it for her. I walked over to his desk, and I respectfully told him I'd had enough. I thanked him for his time, he did the same, we shook hands, and I packed my shit together and sent my bye bye email around the team.

Within 20 minutes of quitting, I was out of the front door. Bye bye blackberry, bye bye security pass, bye bye banking. The sun has never shone so bright, the air has never tasted so sweet, I have never felt lighter, than that moment. I was free. I was free. I was so fucking free I could taste it!

Now, oddly, I chose this moment to go to a shopping centre (long story) with a friend. Upon walking around in a slight state of shock I saw a piano in a suit shop, and this was exactly what I needed. To play a little tune and unwind. I didn't even ask if I could play, I just went in and started playing. A man quickly came up to me, paid me a compliment and then asked me what I did. I responded 'I'm a musician' (why not?!). He asked how much? I said PS100 for 2 hours. He hired me 5 days a week. Just like that I'd become a musician, working around a ninth of the hours for about the same money.

Now I'm going to speed up the story a little. I quit this in a couple of weeks because I realised I didn't want to be a background musician in a shop, I wanted to be in the limelight. I wanted to entertain the world. I wanted to try and make it in music. I rolled a piano onto one of the busiest streets in London, and I started playing. Within 1 month I had 9 management contract offers and had started recording my first album. It's now been 6 months. I've travelled around the world, I've got an album on iTunes, named 'Butterfly In A Hurricane'. I've played to literally tens of thousands of people. I've felt all the love and beauty of the world. I've laughed until I've cried. I've enjoyed more female attention than I thought a guy with my face could get! This is the most alive I've ever felt.

I used to do something I hated all day everyday, I used to hate myself for doing that. I was bad company around people and nobody really liked me. Now I do something that I love, that makes me bubble with excitement daily. In return for doing the thing I love the most, people are made happy, people are overhwelmingly kind to me, people open their hearts to me, and I do the same to them. I roll my piano around the world sharing this love which grows inside in the soil of my happiness and fulfilment. I never ever thought I'd be this happy.

Okay, I can't afford the Prada suit right now, but I can't wait to wake up tomorrow, I've got a singing lesson in the morning and I'm meeting Coca Cola in the afternoon to talk about being in an advert for them. My future is unpredictable (which I love), but I know that it will be fine because I'm the one in control. I spent 23 years developing my brain, and now I'm using it.

I just wanted to reach out to all those people who are in banking and miserable but too scared to leave, I want to reach out to all the nerdy kids with the great CVs who want to go into banking, I want to reach out to everyone who has got this far reading and I'm telling you to take a leap and do something you love. You might not know what that is, but you sure as hell aren't going to find it sat unhappily at your desk trying to multitask all day long. You only progress by taking a leap of faith, not in God necessarily, but in yourself. Know that you have all the tools within you already. You can do and be whoever you want to be, and you deserve to be so much more than a tired suit in an office. Of course if that's where you get real happiness, then that's fantastic. I'm just saying that wasn't my experience, nor was it for the majority of those I met.

Life is short - you're young, you're old, you're dead. React to that knowledge. You have nothing to lose!

With all my love,
Stephen Ridley

In the interests of proof (and self promotion), here are the links to some YouTube videos and my Facebook/twitter.

www.facebook.com/stephenridley.official
https://twitter.com/ThisIsRidley
http://youtu.be/gEeu2oNS2uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikMKtok0pm8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nnYgVPy7gA

Comments (292)

5/21/12

So a philosophy grad gets a job in IB, quits after 1 1/2 years because he doesn't like it and then goes on to be a musician.

Is there more to this I don't follow?

Not sure why it's so important and people are reacting the way they do - i.e. getting "inspired".

Surely within 1 1/2 years you can't really talk about your seasoned experience in IB or something, you just got a taste at the bottom rung of the ladder, hated it because it's all donkey work, and quit. Fair enough and good for you. So do '000s of others every year who find IB is not for them - or not what they expected. I don't see them coming around relevant forums and telling all about it though, what exactly is the point?

Is it that you want to share some newfound wisdom about life, money, time and happiness? Your age, lack of work experience and overall tone altogether make for a condenscending post to anyone who is either in the profession or has tried hard to get in and failed. I fear you came here to post in order to get praise rather than due to any altruistic motives.

I wonder if you would have done the same had you no music talent and got a 20k p.a admin job somewhere. I guess that wouldn't "inspire" anyone.

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5/21/12

justanother is correct when asking:

"Is there more to this I don't follow?"

Your story is neither difficult to understand nor particularly inspiring. Rather, it is evidence that some well-educated professionals fall into the narcissistic trap of being too preoccupied with themselves and their work. That narcissism will poison your art.

"I realised I didn't want to be a background musician in a shop, I wanted to be in the limelight. I wanted to entertain the world. I wanted to try and make it in music. I rolled a piano onto one of the busiest streets in London, and I started playing. Within 1 month I had 9 management contract offers and had started recording my first album. It's now been 6 months. I've travelled around the world, I've got an album on iTunes, named 'Butterfly In A Hurricane'. I've played to literally tens of thousands of people."

What should be frustrating you as a musician is that your music is not gaining attention from its inherent message and qualities. It is gaining attention because you were a disgruntled investment banker and it's hip to trash the profession now. Your own language seems to reveal that IB didn't provide a big enough stage or fast enough track for your lavish expectations and self-estimation.

5/22/12

Well written. Makes you wonder...

5/22/12

Sometimes you lose the passion, recognise that there is more to life, or the nature of the game changes so that it's not worth while anymore...

Casy Stoner (MotoGP Champion) has announced his retirement while leading the Championship at 26 years old... This is after being offered double his pay (in the millions) to stay in MotoGP for an additional year. Money can't always buy servitude or take you away from what's important to you in life. Also, people want to be valued for more than just how much money they make... even highly paid people don't want to be commoditised.

Even if you're not into motorcycle racing you can appreciate how much passion matters and spending your finite time in a way that matters to you and with people you value.

"It's not the championship I fell in love with, it's not the championship I always wanted to race in, and except for my competitors around me, they're the only ones who give respect to each other, nobody else has enough respect out there for the people that do their jobs, work in the teams, work on the trucks, and put this show on every week, it's not easy, you know. There's many many reasons, but it's basically me losing my passion for the racing and my enjoyment of this sport. Sure I'm going to enjoy this year, but I think if I continue, then it would only be a mistake on my behalf, it wouldn't be correct to Honda, and my team, everybody if I didn't give 110%."

[...]

"But no, to be honest, this is ... difficult to explain... Maybe I am the first one, the young one with a good career ahead of them to retire so early, [...] you know, every rider here says always the same, "When I stop feeling the passion for this sport I will retire," but I don't think there's many riders out there that can say that this is actually the truth. Because there's always something holding them here, whether it's money, or the fame, or whatever it is, there are other aspect that keep them here. I think I've seen other riders lose their passion for the sport, lose their fun in the sport, and still continue to race.

The full Q&A session is worth reading...
http://motomatters.com/interview/2012/05/17/casey_...

5/23/12

Great stuff. This was very informative, especially for a young man like my self who is working his way up in that field. It definitely makes me think about what the future holds for me. Keep up the good work!

MarketGrind- revealing the unsung helpful tip to help you in your everyday life.

5/25/12

Great story and voice, too! Glad that you are doing what you love now.

Do you think you will appreciate and enjoy the musician venture as much as you do now without spending prior time in banking?

6/4/12

Just follow your heart~

6/9/12

For all of those who are in the same shoes and thinking about life after investment banking or what to do with their life, the below posted speech by Prof Deepak Malhotra to 2012 HBS graduates gives a lot of perspective:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D73mm29XXAw

6/11/12

Great story man. I am glad to hear that you found your passion. I am still in college and am doing an I-banking internship at a leader boutique firm in Latin America and want to work for this same firm, but in Texas. I know that hours are not as bad as they are for BBs, but still. That is what worries me, but to be honest, I could use this as a stepping stone into a HF or PE. I will play it by ear and let it be whatever life has for me.
Good job once again,
Best,
AFV

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

6/26/12

Thank you very much for the excellent thread. Hopefully people will take it to heart. I have a question for you: how do you travel without money? I would love to take a month or two and backpack through Europe but I'm a Junior in college and can't imagine financing it myself (my parents can't either).

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." - IlliniProgrammer

7/10/12

thanks for being real...

7/17/12

Great story!
Tbh - until you try banking - there is this urge to do it. You got an internship, a FT offer etc. You were one of the few that got to try it. You want the money, you think things will be great! Sometimes without having the experience, you are not going to learn life lessons.
A lot of us want to do it to exit (if not all). e.g. i may want to work for google long term but without IB experience you cannot even apply for some of their roles! haha
But yea - what you said - confuses me as to whether I even want to get into IBD!

7/26/12

You get a silver banana for being brave.

8/17/12

I think your story is great. I totally understand since I hated my internship at an IB firm as well and thus decided to pursue a degree in arts instead. But I am facing a lot of pressure from my family because they consider it as a great "waste" to abandon my business degree which I have studied for years and they suggest me to pursue both business and arts. When you have made your decision, did you face any objections from your family or close friends?

9/6/12

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for posting this inspiring post. It is nice to see someone within the industry who reveals the truth about what the lifestyle is like in this sector- working 15+ hours, depression etc.

Pay no attention to some of the miserable goats on this forum who cannot take the fact that the finance corporate sector is one of the most soul destroying industries in the world. I used to work in the corporate sector and believe me, it was one of the most miserable and most horrific moments of my life. You are nothing but a number and are treated like a criminal if something goes wrong.

What is honestly the point of earning so much money if you do not have the time to spend it? Seriously so many idiots on this forum and in society do not understand this concept. In reality, the money means jack s*** if you do not have the time and freedom to spend it. Put simply, the money is your ticket, but it is not your passport. Freedom is what is equivalent of a passport, and without it, you are trapped. That is what the financial industry does to one- traps you and does not give you freedom.

The fact is from a very young age, you are socially conditioned and brainwashed to be a part of the global enslavement machine. You are taught by your teachers that you must be a doctor, lawyer, banker in society to be productive and happy, when in reality, you are being taught to become a narcissist and and product of the class warfare society we live in as well as a cog in the big machine.

That is what the education system as well as the global media, politicians and corporations like to do- create and put fear in your heart by turning you into an insecure individual who is afraid to break out from the establishment known as the workplace (in this case the banking corporate sector) and that if you choose not to conform, you will die.

I am glad you broke out of this and are really following your dreams. And yes, I agree with what you said about being old and young and you die. My uncle was a rich hard working business man but suddenly one day he died of a heart attack. I always wondered if he was really happy with his life...

Keep following your dreams and do not let these pessimists and cynical degenerate bankers and banker wannabes on this forum stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Is it really a surprise that bankers are the most hated people on the planet?

9/9/12

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

9/9/12
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

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9/9/12
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

9/9/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

Makes you think , doesn't it?

9/9/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

I can see how some might consider this not very inspiring, considering how many similar threads popped up right after this one. But it's asking a fundamental question that everyone has to hear: What do you really want?

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

9/9/12
In The Flesh:
Virginia Tech 4ever:
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

I can see how some might consider this not very inspiring, considering how many similar threads popped up right after this one. But it's asking a fundamental question that everyone has to hear: What do you really want?

I have no issue with that question at all. But the OP clearly used this thread for self promotion, and if a person can't hear the underlying scorn that the person holds for people working in financial services in the original post then it makes me wonder how so many people on this site could have even gotten into college with such poor ability at reading comprehension.

9/9/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
In The Flesh:
Virginia Tech 4ever:
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

I can see how some might consider this not very inspiring, considering how many similar threads popped up right after this one. But it's asking a fundamental question that everyone has to hear: What do you really want?

I have no issue with that question at all. But the OP clearly used this thread for self promotion, and if a person can't hear the underlying scorn that the person holds for people working in financial services in the original post then it makes me wonder how so many people on this site could have even gotten into college with such poor ability at reading comprehension.

I don't think he's scornful, just highly emotional at the time he wrote this; I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He also disclaimed it: "Of course if that's where you get real happiness, then that's fantastic. I'm just saying that wasn't my experience, nor was it for the majority of those I met."

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

9/9/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:
In The Flesh:
Virginia Tech 4ever:
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

I can see how some might consider this not very inspiring, considering how many similar threads popped up right after this one. But it's asking a fundamental question that everyone has to hear: What do you really want?

I have no issue with that question at all. But the OP clearly used this thread for self promotion, and if a person can't hear the underlying scorn that the person holds for people working in financial services in the original post then it makes me wonder how so many people on this site could have even gotten into college with such poor ability at reading comprehension.

I don't see how one can be in the finance sector without being critical of it! I mean who knows it better than we do?

I'm surprised finance professionals (if you can call it a profession) aren't more critical of it online where they have anonymity. Off-line most finance people I know are critical of the industry.

I think this thread is important for two main reasons:
1 - It makes clear the adversarial relationship between one and one's employer.
2 - It challenges the careerist ideology or ethos that most of us in finance have, whether we admit it to ourselves or not.

I think its the second part that has caused the most controversy as it brings up the moral and ethical issues in "doing god's work".

9/10/12
Relinquis:
Virginia Tech 4ever:
In The Flesh:
Virginia Tech 4ever:
AndyLouis:
In The Flesh:

Thread of the year, methinks? Still getting responses after all this time.

yeah very likely to be

So a thread bashing our profession is the thread of the year on Wall Street Oasis? Twilight zone...

I can see how some might consider this not very inspiring, considering how many similar threads popped up right after this one. But it's asking a fundamental question that everyone has to hear: What do you really want?

I have no issue with that question at all. But the OP clearly used this thread for self promotion, and if a person can't hear the underlying scorn that the person holds for people working in financial services in the original post then it makes me wonder how so many people on this site could have even gotten into college with such poor ability at reading comprehension.

I don't see how one can be in the finance sector without being critical of it! I mean who knows it better than we do?

I'm surprised finance professionals (if you can call it a profession) aren't more critical of it online where they have anonymity. Off-line most finance people I know are critical of the industry.

I think this thread is important for two main reasons:
1 - It makes clear the adversarial relationship between one and one's employer.
2 - It challenges the careerist ideology or ethos that most of us in finance have, whether we admit it to ourselves or not.

I think its the second part that has caused the most controversy as it brings up the moral and ethical issues in "doing god's work".

If you break it down to its parts this is what the OP said--I knew NOTHING about finance going into my post college career, and I went into this job solely for the money. When I realized that I wasn't passionate about the job that I believe is meaningless and of little value to society I left it to do something that I am passionate about--music.

Ok, more power to him. The real takeaway should be that you shouldn't do something for the money alone--if that is your only motivation then you will fail. There are very few people in the financial services sector who are successful when their sole motivation is money. To be great you have to be passionate about what you are doing. The only point I was making, which garnered 42+ monkey shits, is that there are a ton of people who ARE passionate about finance and that it's not meaningless to society--in fact, modern finance is the foundation for the world that we live in, not piano. This is a truth that is indisputable.

9/10/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

[...] The only point I was making, which garnered 42+ monkey shits, is that there are a ton of people who ARE passionate about finance and that it's not meaningless to society--in fact, modern finance is the foundation for the world that we live in, not piano. This is a truth that is indisputable.

I agree with you on finance being the dominant force of our contemporary world, but I think that that is precisely what is vulgar about it... I think this is an issue for another thread.

9/9/12

^ response in my username

9/9/12

I've been waking up at 6am every morning to work out, i've blocked all porn sites from my computer, i've blocked facebook, I have no cable, I'am sick of all this bull** in our society, the media, pop culture, everyone's lust for the flesh. It is a shame that in this society we've been taught to judge a man's worth by what he owns instead of who he is. A man will sell his soul, he will lie, cheat and steal, for money and sex. If he has it, he can buy respect. drive the right car, have the right friends, that's all that matters. Our lives are consumed in a selfish, self absorbed quest for possessions and sex. We have all forgotten the things that really matter. We lose the magic of what life should be. I believe in being the badest man possible. Its not about the money and women, its about making a difference. I believe in the way of the Samurai, the values and beliefs they had were very honorable, and i plan to follow them, i will give my life for a noble cause, I will be a world champion MMA fighter in the UFC where i can speak and people will listen. I don't get along with many people, i belong isolated behind closed doors where i can train and be the man that i speak of.

Disclaimer for the Kids: Any forward-looking statements are solely for informational purposes and cannot be taken as investment advice. Consult your moms before deciding where to invest.

9/10/12
captainkoolaid:

I've been waking up at 6am every morning to work out, i've blocked all porn sites from my computer, i've blocked facebook, I have no cable, I'am sick of all this bull** in our society, the media, pop culture, everyone's lust for the flesh. It is a shame that in this society we've been taught to judge a man's worth by what he owns instead of who he is. A man will sell his soul, he will lie, cheat and steal, for money and sex. If he has it, he can buy respect. drive the right car, have the right friends, that's all that matters. Our lives are consumed in a selfish, self absorbed quest for possessions and sex. We have all forgotten the things that really matter. We lose the magic of what life should be. I believe in being the badest man possible. Its not about the money and women, its about making a difference. I believe in the way of the Samurai, the values and beliefs they had were very honorable, and i plan to follow them, i will give my life for a noble cause, I will be a world champion MMA fighter in the UFC where i can speak and people will listen. I don't get along with many people, i belong isolated behind closed doors where i can train and be the man that i speak of.

Did you just watch the movie "Warrior" or something?

9/10/12
captainkoolaid:

I've been waking up at 6am every morning to work out, i've blocked all porn sites from my computer, i've blocked facebook, I have no cable, I'am sick of all this bull** in our society, the media, pop culture, everyone's lust for the flesh. It is a shame that in this society we've been taught to judge a man's worth by what he owns instead of who he is. A man will sell his soul, he will lie, cheat and steal, for money and sex. If he has it, he can buy respect. drive the right car, have the right friends, that's all that matters. Our lives are consumed in a selfish, self absorbed quest for possessions and sex. We have all forgotten the things that really matter. We lose the magic of what life should be. I believe in being the badest man possible. Its not about the money and women, its about making a difference. I believe in the way of the Samurai, the values and beliefs they had were very honorable, and i plan to follow them, i will give my life for a noble cause, I will be a world champion MMA fighter in the UFC where i can speak and people will listen. I don't get along with many people, i belong isolated behind closed doors where i can train and be the man that i speak of.

I literally laughed out loud at this.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

9/9/12

Great post. Just for that, I am going to buy that album. I cringe every time I read a brainwashed poster on here about how to get into IBD and an M7. They are like robots, only following orders, not what they love to do. There is not just one route to success and you are a prime example. The problem is most on here don't have the nuts to walk away from it all because of pressures elsewhere (popularity, money, image, maintaining a lifestyle, etc). I did the same thing. I hated where I worked and literally just packed up and left just like you. That's when I found out I just love Real Estate and Architecture after I spent all of my savings on a trip to London to congratulate myself for leaving. Once I got back, all I did was apply for RE positions and not just at "name brand" places as I call them. I wanted the experience, to get my hands dirty. Landed a great job and now I'm back on the grind. Yes, unlike your story, I'm still in an office and a suit, but I love wearing suits and the office environment is great. I actually work in 3 groups so it's not like I'm doing the same thing at the same computer and the same desk everyday. Also, I'm out earlier, which gives me time to get back in shape, study for the GMAT and learn a new language (yes, THAT much more time).

I fully agree with you. Don't fall into just being a drone that thinks IBD is the answer to everything. I only know 1 person from my class that was cut for IBD. About 30 went up to NYC to do it, he is the only one there after a year. It isn't for everybody. Follow what you want to do. We all want financial freedom but IBD isn't the only way it happens. Once you understand that and that Rome wasn't built in a day (also, don't let the pressure of comparing yourself to your peers kill you), you won't hesitate to break out the mold and do what you truly enjoy and not have to suffer to get paid.

9/10/12

I wonder how many struggling pianists would gladly take the OP's job, even if only for the money.

9/10/12
anonymousman:

Like a majority of people who are on this website, I used to come on here and write bullshit about a life partly my own, partly fantasy. I'm now going to uncloak the anonymous man and tell you my story...

The "We Found Love" cover was fucking phenomenal. With skills like that, why didn't you quit sooner?

9/10/12

Fabolous story Stephen. You do what you gotta do playa !

Death is certain; Life aint.

9/10/12

All the best and good luck ! Takes balls to leave and follow your dream...congrats

9/10/12

It is very, very important to remember that you should be working to live, not living to work, which unfortunately most industries, will emphasise including medicine, law and banking.

Here are some famous examples of people who broke away from the"status driven" working industries to pursue their dreams and got it:

Dexter Holland: Gave up academic career and formed the band The Offspring
Matthew Fox: Gave up Wall Street aims to become the famous actor he is today
Gerard Butler: Gave up prestigious lawyer career to become the actor he is today
Nick Santora: Graduate of Columbia Law School but absolutely hated his job. Now screenwriter and worked on shows like the Sopranos and Prison Break

Don't give up on pursuing your dreams, and don't let the pressures of the status driven society we live in get to you. Money and status means jack shit when you die. All that matters is if you lived your life to the fullest. Remember that.

9/10/12
followyourheart:

It is very, very important to remember that you should be working to live, not living to work, which unfortunately most industries, will emphasise including medicine, law and banking.

Here are some famous examples of people who broke away from the"status driven" working industries to pursue their dreams and got it:

Dexter Holland: Gave up academic career and formed the band The Offspring
Matthew Fox: Gave up Wall Street aims to become the famous actor he is today
Gerard Butler: Gave up prestigious lawyer career to become the actor he is today
Nick Santora: Graduate of Columbia Law School but absolutely hated his job. Now screenwriter and worked on shows like the Sopranos and Prison Break

Don't give up on pursuing your dreams, and don't let the pressures of the status driven society we live in get to you. Money and status means jack shit when you die. All that matters is if you lived your life to the fullest. Remember that.

As an upper middle class, white conservative Republican, even I have to say that this is an incredibly rich, white conservative way at looking at things. Do we have any idea how many people around the world--and in the U.S. for that matter--have the dream of going to college, becoming a lawyer, businessman, banker, doctor, etc. and making something of themselves one day? What makes these dreams any less valid than those of a musician?

This is exactly the point I'm making--why denigrate someone else's career choice (academic, banker, lawyer) to prop up another chosen career path? What makes being an actor morally superior to being a professor? Any honest living is honorable--if an investment banking analyst is working hard, ethically, legally and carries himself with class and honor and treats others right then why is this something to be denigrated? The same goes for any job--if a janitor is doing his job to the best of his ability, he's doing his job ethically, with integrity and with his employer's interest at heart then why laugh at him or put him down? Is not an honest living honorable?

Why is a music career something to be lauded while someone else's career is something to be scorned? Why can't we just say, "Good for you! You're pursuing YOUR dreams! Go for it! And everyone else should pursue their passions as well if financially possible!"?

9/10/12
followyourheart:

It is very, very important to remember that you should be working to live, not living to work.

This is your value system, dont push it onto other people.

The greeks work (or dont in their case) to live, germans live to work. see how that is working out for them.

9/10/12

Virginia Tech 4ever,

There are 3 points that I am trying to highlight:

Firstly, the investment banking sector is one which takes away one's freedom and potentially, one's right to breath (aka: a life) There is no life in the white collar sector (the price one has to pay to adhere to these type of industries.) Also, one other characteristic that I have noticed while working in this sector is the amount of corporate backstabbing, office politics that exists and also the fact that if mistakes are made, the blame game is played rather defending each other. This problem also exists in other white collar professions as I mentioned in my earlier post, but in relation to Stephen's thread and the fact that I have worked in the corporate sector, I will stick to the corporate financial sector.

The second point which I mentioned in my first post on this thread is that there is a narrow minded mentality which exists in the education establishment which predominantly emphasises on the young to chase up careers in the white collar sector such as law, medicine and banking, thereby negating the opportunities and credibility of other professions such as writing, cooking and blue collar trades such as plumbing. Do you honestly believe that all people really dream about being lawyers, doctors and accountants? Put it this way, there are too many people going to college without even realising why they are going in the first place. They are going because they were told to do so by their teachers and parents and that if they go, everything will be alright. The reality is that we are a nation of "sheep" and are constantly in self denial. I think George Carlin (rest his soul in peace) mentioned this in one of his comedy routines.

The third point, which can be linked to the previous problem is the fact that the few famous examples I mentioned are few of the people who actually had what it took to break out of the vicious cycle of fear which is constantly emphasised by the media, education establishments and the politicians. The schooling system as well as the other establishments that I have mentioned have a high degree of planting too much practicality and fear into an person that this creates one to eventually become an insecure individual who is afraid to take risks in other ventures of life, and thus reinforcing the global enslavement ideology. Afterall, let's get the kids while their still young and easy to manipulate and not really allow them to decide what they want in life.

I have no political affiliation with either left or right wing politics. All politics are dirty afterall. Furthermore, I have never stated or even implied or suggested that a music or acting career is better than banking. I only referenced those examples of famous people to show that there are those who are willing to break out from the chains of high paying "wonderful" jobs in order to pursue what their hearts desire. Maybe you should go after those famous people and ask them why they think their chosen professions are better than banking or any other white collar profession.

I'm sorry you cannot accept the fact that there will be a segment of people who absolutely hate investment banking and the corporate finance sector and choose to leave. But since you appear to enjoy it, good for you. But I absolutely HATED it, and what a better thread to choose like Stephen's one where we can all enjoy venting out our anger.

I applaud Stephen for having the courage to pursue his heart and take the risk of breaking away from everyday practicality.

9/10/12
followyourheart:

Virginia Tech 4ever,

There are 3 points that I am trying to highlight:

Firstly, the investment banking sector is one which takes away one's freedom and potentially, one's right to breath (aka: a life) There is no life in the white collar sector (the price one has to pay to adhere to these type of industries.) Also, one other characteristic that I have noticed while working in this sector is the amount of corporate backstabbing, office politics that exists and also the fact that if mistakes are made, the blame game is played rather defending each other. This problem also exists in other white collar professions as I mentioned in my earlier post, but in relation to Stephen's thread and the fact that I have worked in the corporate sector, I will stick to the corporate financial sector.

The second point which I mentioned in my first post on this thread is that there is a narrow minded mentality which exists in the education establishment which predominantly emphasises on the young to chase up careers in the white collar sector such as law, medicine and banking, thereby negating the opportunities and credibility of other professions such as writing, cooking and blue collar trades such as plumbing. Do you honestly believe that all people really dream about being lawyers, doctors and accountants? Put it this way, there are too many people going to college without even realising why they are going in the first place. They are going because they were told to do so by their teachers and parents and that if they go, everything will be alright. The reality is that we are a nation of "sheep" and are constantly in self denial. I think George Carlin (rest his soul in peace) mentioned this in one of his comedy routines.

The third point, which can be linked to the previous problem is the fact that the few famous examples I mentioned are few of the people who actually had what it took to break out of the vicious cycle of fear which is constantly emphasised by the media, education establishments and the politicians. The schooling system as well as the other establishments that I have mentioned have a high degree of planting too much practicality and fear into an person that this creates one to eventually become an insecure individual who is afraid to take risks in other ventures of life, and thus reinforcing the global enslavement ideology. Afterall, let's get the kids while their still young and easy to manipulate and not really allow them to decide what they want in life.

I have no political affiliation with either left or right wing politics. All politics are dirty afterall. Furthermore, I have never stated or even implied or suggested that a music or acting career is better than banking. I only referenced those examples of famous people to show that there are those who are willing to break out from the chains of high paying "wonderful" jobs in order to pursue what their hearts desire. Maybe you should go after those famous people and ask them why they think their chosen professions are better than banking or any other white collar profession.

I'm sorry you cannot accept the fact that there will be a segment of people who absolutely hate investment banking and the corporate finance sector and choose to leave. But since you appear to enjoy it, good for you. But I absolutely HATED it, and what a better thread to choose like Stephen's one where we can all enjoy venting out our anger.

I applaud Stephen for having the courage to pursue his heart and take the risk of breaking away from everyday practicality.

First of all, investment banking swallows your life only for a few year as you pay your dues to the industry. You think a 29-year-old associate is putting in 100 hours? Second of all, successful musicians' lives are completely and utterly dominated by their profession--they have less of a life than a surgeon. A successful musician will travel all around the nation or around the globe, will live out of a van (or tour bus) and will basically have no life. I'm not sure why playing the same song for the 5th time this week to a crowd is considered to be a more honorable pursuit than investment banking in your mind.

Let me add that I don't work in investment banking anymore (only a brief stint). I'm more or less an entrepreneur at this point. I love my job--and my life is dominated by my job. Do you think a successful actor or producer or writer or entrepreneur's life is dominated by leisure or by work? If they're successful then you'd damn well better believe it's not because they spend their lives lounging on a tropical island. It's because they are dedicated to their craft and work very, very, very hard.

I don't disagree with your point about there being too many people attending college. I'm not sure what the point is in even arguing that point. It's an irrelevant point in the discussion. We conservatives have argued against liberal liquidity for useless degrees for decades to no avail.

Let me conclude by saying that I know there are people who hate financial services, and that's their right. But to belittle someone else's chosen profession is counterproductive and classless, whether it's subtle or overt.

9/10/12

"Your not golfing with CEOs, talking about strategy, then driving your lambo home at 3.30pm to have sex with your hot girlfriend. No, your sat at your computer, haven't spent more than 5 minutes in the sun in weeks, your out of shape, bad skin, tired, overworked, and your facing yet another office dinner before calling yourself a cab somewhere between 1am and 5am to take your lonely ass to your empty bed."

Love that line(s). Sounds like some 21st century Joyce.

9/10/12

Nice post, I made a similar decision but the contrary. I am a pianist, I was serious about going to go to music school and being in a rock band but realized that I want to peruse a career in finance. I'm in my third year, undergrad, president of my university's investment club and basically spend my time in front of bloomberg doing homework, trading and reading books on valuation, trading strategies etc. because I love it. Am I screwed?

zsme

9/10/12

This post really hit home, and I don't even currently work in finance. I can tell you from experience that software engineering is just as boring.

It seems the key to professional happiness is to enjoy what you are doing, or to at least find a facet of a profession you are good at that you enjoy and maximize that as much as possible.

9/10/12

.

9/10/12

Point well taken, but I'll take my chances in IB. Personally I find that 'We found love' sounds better when surrounded by hot women and other bankers than it does on piano.

Life is what you make of it...

9/10/12

awesome insight. thanks very much for this.

9/11/12

To the OP. Normally I'd dismiss this sort of a post as spam, but I took some time to listen, and you're music really made my commute to work. I love what I'm doing (well, most of it), so I don't relate so much to your story, but I'm glad you found what makes you happy, and you make beautiful music. Good work.

9/14/12

This story confirmed my professional decision to not do I-banking.

I'm a consultant I work 50-70 hours a week, but I party every thurs, friday and saturday night in my home city with my friends & gf, or I fly her out to where I'm at and we adventure/party. Plus, my work is always changing and I love it. And I play guitar in a band and play a few shows around Chicago every season.

People! there are shades of gray in between 100-hour-working-week Investment Banker and street musician, if you're not currently satisfied, drastic measures aren't necessary!

Not shitting on you Stephen, but your story may have hit home for some people here and I'm just reinforcing the idea that Work Hard Play Hard is the right way to go, the only way to balance this bifurcated life strategy is to make sure the FUN is existent!

If you don't love your life, what the fuck are you doing?

9/15/12

Stephen, what impressed me about your article is your level of maturity at age 23. It took me 10 years longer - and waking up in a rehab/mental clinic! - to get to the same point you did in a couple of years. I think I lasted longer for a number of reasons. Firstly, my primary driver for going into IB wasn't to make money. I wanted to learn about finance and business in general, with the idea of applying those skills/knowledge to my chosen field (government) at a later stage. The problem is that it started becoming about money once I'd stopped learning new and interesting things at the rate I initially did. Now the problem with money as a goal in itself is that it's empty in the sense that you never "achieve" it. There's always the peer who got a bigger bonus, higher promotion, more share options etc. Make no mistake, if you stay in the game for good while, and you push yourself to live below your means, there are few other sectors where you can accumulate as much capital to set you up for a long period of financial freedom (i.e. you can take one massive holiday and do what you please without worrying about feeding the family). If you're lucky - like I was - and you identify some bit of uncharted territory or small developing geographic or product unit in the bank that gives you the freedom to work on a variety of different deals in different roles and products, then it can be pretty exciting. But if you get stuck (like you and most bankers do) in the "factory line" of a large product & sector unit where you perform the same narrow functions for years it can be really soul destroying. What you realized early on (and many investment bankers don't) is that if you are only tolerating your current job conditions because you believe there's something better down the line, then you should get out asap because there's just more of the same! You've got a good voice and I'm sure your female fans are glad you've got some time to spare for real models now!

9/16/12

"with all my love"

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

9/17/12

Awesome! I deem it that it was damn intelligence on his part.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

9/18/12

Let's all be actors and musicians.

9/18/12
Genesis:

Let's all be actors and musicians.

No lets just earn all the billions while doing banking and just hv fun listening to all those musicians and seeing various actors films. What say?!

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

10/24/12

Awe inspiring story. Best of luck and may you achieve success

10/24/12

.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

10/24/12

.

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

11/8/12

I saw you playing on Brick Lane (London) last year, it was amazing. It's a good surprise to find your story here (you see I didn't forget this pianist I saw 1 year ago) ! Maybe you wouldn't have found your way without going through that job you hated. Good luck

  • observer
  •  11/12/12

u seem poor

  • observer
  •  11/12/12

u seem poor

11/24/12

seriously out of words for you mate... I was aspiring to be a banker, an investment banker and have been studying ACCA to finish my accountancy qualification. I was in London for 2 years and to be honest did nothing but only STUDIES, didn't at all even enjoy the sights, the places, the beauty or anything at all in London and was just running behind someway getting ahead to earn hundreds of thousands of PSs asap. but now, at this stage, when I am in India and about to appear for my final ACCA exams in Dec (within 10 days from now), I have started realising this is not really something I ever wanted to do, I want to follow my passion, I want to get entertained and entertain others. I want to do good for someone in a way that makes me feel smiling and feel good.

I don't go what I am going to do as I am in somewhat financially disturbed at the moment and so I have pressure to finish my exams and start working next day onwards as an accountant or something similar to that to make some good money, but I really want to breakthrough this life and do something that I really wish to do.

Its tough to fight with my fear now, is there anything you could suggest I could do to fight my own fear first before having to face others.
To be honest I am even scared to face my own parents as they spent a fortune for my overseas education (in the UK) and now when they need me financially to be earning and make a healthy living, I feel as if I am going to ditch them or ditch myself. For some reason I prefer ditching myself and stay put for my family to start earning a living and then later on whenever possible go ahead and pursue my passion.
And on the other side, my heart says, "Its either now or never", but I don't even know exactly what my passion is, but its certainly not finance / banking / investment banking etc. My passion is something to do with athletics, something to do with music, something to do with creativity, something to help others (I have always wanted to impart education to those who are not able to get it for various reasons).

I am really unknown to what I want to do, but I do know that I want to do something that is not in line with what I am doing at present.

I am confused and worried and scared and in fear!

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12/8/12

There have been many great posts on here so far. All just displaying the differences in perception and ideas people have and how everyone is different. Everyone has different goals in life, so there is no one definitive path. Some people enjoy challenge, others want stability, some want love, others want power, some want just mindless sex & parting lol.

To me It sounded like you were expecting more from IB, but when these didn't happen you were let down, now you're looking elsewhere for perhaps other exciting things. Anyways I have a story of my own you might want to hear.

One thing I couldn't help but wonder was if this is your first job out of Uni? I remember my first full-time job was a finance office job, and I hated it aswell, went through the whole "I'm wasting my youth / This is soul crushing" phase and I ended up quitting. After quitting I then ended up going the whole 'music' route myself haha. I love music, still do and always will, but I realised after a while that making music, especially when you get into the really technical aspects of it ended up feeling exactly the same as my finance job. It was just me sitting in my room by myself 14 hours a day designing algorithmic patches and composing songs and scrutinising over minute details etc. Lets not even bother mentioning how extremely flawed the entire music industry in itself is haha. It was at that point that I realised that you can rarely ever have it all. There'll always be aspects in a job you like, and aspects you dislike. You just have to accept it. The 'grass isn't always greener' on the other side. Luckily for me when I was making music I loved the details of it, learning about DSP / signals & electronics etc. So much so that I'm now studying engineering & that interest in engineering has stemmed to other areas of science and mathematics etc, and I'm still making music as a hobby. I've realised the key to my happiness is to continually learn new things & challenge myself. Perhaps I am a jack of all trades but I don't care, I'm happy because of it and I've found what makes me tick! :-)

12/31/12

This guy's music is incredible, I'm just glad he's doing what makes him happy.

12/31/12

Wow what a great story.

1/8/13

Your voice reminds me of Tom Waits. It is a subtle thing, and it's delicious. Again, love that new music video "To Be Alone With You", which I caught earlier today.

On IB, you gentlemen have your phones, we have/had our pagers. I only worked as an analyst for half a year (don't ask), but I can sympathise. I moved on to health care and, believe me, there are many here to feel your pain. I just had dinner the other night with a friend who worked in IB, quit and just finished his surgical fellowship. There are a large number of ex finance (and ex everything) peeps in medicine. Those hours can go on long sometimes, though, whether you are IB or doctor. Punishing. Late, bleary-eyed all nighters, weekends, calls, presentations, being constantly yelled at for no good reason (hierarchical hazing process), unreasonable (but understandable) expectations from patients and their families. Then there are your patients who don't make it.... It's not easy, but at least one is able to feel that medicine is an interesting learning experience more often than not, at least that has been my experience. Please don't take offense, I'm not out to denigrate IBers either. I'm sure some of what you gentlemen do is fascinating. I have family and friends who work in finance all over the globe, and some enjoy their jobs, or at least say as much. It just wasn't personally interesting to me. I think being a woman in a mostly male environment might have a little to do with this initially, but, overall, I enjoy the "action" my expertise in specialised medicine provides me. Finance and health care are completely different animals anyway.

idently then many doctors graduate to practise and realise they haven't managed the business aspect of partnerships where it's kill what you eat. Medicine practitioners are, as a group, fundamentally clueless about most business issues. Like investment bankers, we have extensive in-depth knowledge of narrow/specific areas, with scant time to figure out much else including our personal relationships. It is unfortunate. Having a profitable job during uni allowed me pay my way, so I lucked out in terms of school loans and all that. So after exiting fellowship, many friends have loans averaging 300k USD; I had none. Overall well being: anxiety and depression remain rampant in medicine circles, but many doctors are unwilling to seek psychological help for fear of reprisal, labels, disability concerns. A friend had a private breakdown and after seeking help, she was forced to change specialities because she was "no longer allowed" to practise in her specialty. As a doctor, you worry about any stigma attached to your name, but we're all human. With cadres of intellectually brilliant, privately depressed yet high functioning workaholic medical professionals running around, you can imagine our family dysfunction and divorce rates are high. Still, medicine can still be a gratifying field for those who are aware of what they are getting into. If one is in it for the money/easy money, look elsewhere. SO many easier ways to turn a a hunny. There IS better job security in medicine than finance, but it's a hard road, with smaller tangible payout. Despite longer hours, the heyday of private practise partners pulling "very high" compensation has been on the decline in the U.S. for a long time, not that those "high" numbers were ever close to touching the ballpark of real baller Wall Streeters. Clinics, surgery, and close ones keep me gratified most days, though, and on the really the bad ones, I remind myself that saving another person's vital organ/life is not a shabby accomplishment. ;P

On a serious note (no pun intended), Stephen, you are genuinely talented and your stories are a pleasure to read. Keep them coming. I read a few more of your past posts and appreciate your cadence and flow.... You are reflective, self aware, well spoken. I quit the piano after primary school because I didn't have that thing. Talent. If I had that, your voice (the girl version of it anyway) and your gift for composition, I would have gone the musical way instead health care. We each have our journeys and nothing seems ever completely easy. But you know what I think is real? Your obvious passion. That is visceral. Try to keep that. Take it with you, no matter where you go, what you do. I'll be ordering your album from you or itunes when my mental faculties return from this punishing flu I have.

1/27/13

1) Most jobs suck. You aren't a janitor, or a coal miner who has black lung, or a single mom struggling paycheck to paycheck working 3 jobs worrying about how she is going to pay for her kid's education and healthcare. You're not coming home from a war to your young wife and kids missing your legs. There are plenty of people worse off than you that don't FUCKING COMPLAIN LIKE A LITTLE BITCH, or moan about how "unhappy" they are all the time. Cry me a fucking river about working long hours and being "bored".

2) There aren't enough jobs out there for people to just "follow their dreams". How many street piano players do we need? Sure, I'd love to be an undersea explorer, or a writer, or a movie star, or any number of things. But, in the real world we get the best jobs we can that pay well and allow for the best options for future employment down the road. If we're lucky we can eventually get to a point in life where we are a little more comfortable, work a little less, and have the financial flexibility to pursue some of our passions. But certainly no one is "entitled" to a life like that.

3) That said, sounds like you are pretty lucky. If you hit the jackpot and are able to hang out all day doing something you like, I guess that's cool. But I'm certainly not going to feel sorry for myself because I have to work.

1/28/13

scottmuck:
1) Most jobs suck. You aren't a janitor, or a coal miner who has black lung, or a single mom struggling paycheck to paycheck working 3 jobs worrying about how she is going to pay for her kid's education and healthcare. You're not coming home from a war to your young wife and kids missing your legs. There are plenty of people worse off than you that don't FUCKING COMPLAIN LIKE A LITTLE BITCH, or moan about how "unhappy" they are all the time. Cry me a fucking river about working long hours and being "bored".

2) There aren't enough jobs out there for people to just "follow their dreams". How many street piano players do we need? Sure, I'd love to be an undersea explorer, or a writer, or a movie star, or any number of things. But, in the real world we get the best jobs we can that pay well and allow for the best options for future employment down the road. If we're lucky we can eventually get to a point in life where we are a little more comfortable, work a little less, and have the financial flexibility to pursue some of our passions. But certainly no one is "entitled" to a life like that.

3) That said, sounds like you are pretty lucky. If you hit the jackpot and are able to hang out all day doing something you like, I guess that's cool. But I'm certainly not going to feel sorry for myself because I have to work.


Strong first post. Welcome to WSO.
1/30/13

Powerful post. The controversial topic of Money VS. Happiness.

Happiness is subjective for all of us.

2/5/13

Very well written sir, congratulations on finding the life you wanted!

3/6/13

Great story man, lot of respect and keep up what you are doing

Jose Blanc

3/12/13

Can I hire you to play music in my office?

5/24/13

Funny, I quit music to go into finance. I work fewer hours, get more attention from girls, have a lot more money than I used to, and get to wear a suit.

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.

8/17/13

Wow. At a loss for words. Wish I could be that impulsive.

Read my blog: Bateman Begins

7/6/14

love the story, good job man

7/8/14

Wow, this was almost two years ago? How time flies...

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

10/28/14

thanks

12/4/14

cool! Hats off!

12/4/14

The story is truly inspirational! I'm really glad you were able to finally realize what you truly wanted for yourself and took the leap of faith to do something you are passionate about.

For the 99% of people on this planet, they don't have much choice other than being stuck with a "job" (whether it's IBD, consulting, corporate or w/e, all the same shit) and they are all miserable everyday because they have a "job" they have to do! For the lucky 1% who are either rich because they've finished accumulating their wealth/capital either from inheritance (born out of rich/upper class family) or self-made (tech entrepreneur who became mill/billionaire after companies got sold/IPOed), those are the people who can really enjoy their lives and do the things they really wanna do because they've achieved financial freedom (they don't need to trade their labor for monetary award) - they have total control of their time and could do what ever the fuck they want - vacationing at different countries, dining at the best restaurants, or doing charitable work or helping create the next big thing in human society or whatever they desire to do. In my mind, they are the only lucky ones who get to truly enjoy their lives and experience what it is like to live in this world (maybe a little extreme here...). For the rest of us, it will take us longer or never to reach that stage. As long as you have a "job" that you can't quit because your financial health depends on it, as long as you are forced to spend 8-10 hours of your life everyday doing your "job", and as long as you don't have "wealth" that could provide enough cashflow to support the lifestyle of your choice, you will never be free to pursue what truly makes you happy in life (whatever that might be). Of course, if someone finds a job he/she genuinely enjoy doing everyday (which is rare), then that's great as well.

Life is short, do something that matters (if you can, off course)! and best of luck to OP in the future.

12/4/14

Love the post.

I'm in a similar situation as you were in about five years ago, so this story is both uplifting and very depressing... Probably just going to do the finance thing for a bit and if I find myself wanting to jump in front of a tube, I'll quit. Or at least I hope I will..

But good luck with living the dream and all; and it's nice to see there are genuine people like you in the world of finance, even if you did end up hating it.

Cause who wants to be in the 99%?

12/4/14
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Strength & Honour
Lads pass exams

12/12/14

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

12/15/14
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12/17/14

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

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