I really try to spend my time - as much as possible - doing the stuff I love. At work that means taking responsibility for the things that I'm passionate about, whilst I'm always on the look out to get involved in awesome, new projects.
This recently lead me to create an investor profile over at AngelList (to potentially become an investor / advisor in startups), as well as publicizing my availability as a startup consultant. Both of these have been in the hope that I can expose myself to new projects that would excite, stimulate & challenge me.
Since the startup space is pretty hot right now, I've had quote a bit of interest on both these channels. There's two interesting recent experiences that I'd like to share from these interacting through AngelList and with potential consulting clients.
1) An entrepreneur that I know, found my profile on AngelList and contacted me to find out whether I'd endorse their business or even consider investing in it. The business however was not something that I necessarily believed in and I just had no interest in that space at all. So I declined an endorsement or investment.
2) Another entrepreneur recently contacted me to figure out whether I'd potentially be keen to help them out with their business as a consultant. The startup was involved with the creation & syndication of content, which just isn't something that I have any experience in. Neither do I really have a passion for it. So whilst I would've love to help out, I just couldn't justify it knowing that my contribution would be below-par considering my lack of experience / passion for that industry.
In both cases, I would've probably gotten involved (if I had) not because I would've loved it, but for other reasons (financial reasons seem the most obvious). While I was contemplating the opportunities, I just realized that I do my best work when I apply my time & energy to stuff I really love; when I'm being forced to do certain things, my contribution is below-par AND I'm unhappy.
Before any other consideration, I'm picking the opportunities that I love. That's my first filter; everything else (like monetization & execution) comes in play after.