Starting from scratch

Berlin, Jan. 01 2017

You know how in the pre-flight safety briefing you’re instructed to always put your oxygen mask on first, in case the plane crashes? And only afterwards to take care of your child and put their mask on? Have you ever wondered why? That’s because if you’re left without oxygen, you might not be physically capable to help your kid. You’re no use to anyone if you don’t help yourself first.

By now you’re probably confused, wondering why the hell am I writing this in English instead of my native language, Romanian, as I usually do. Well, I have some big changes to announce: from now on, I’ll communicate only in English. It’s part of the process of helping myself, something as vital as oxygen in order to stay safe on the long run.

I’m expecting to alienate some of you with this sudden change, so, before getting into the details of this decision, I want to remind you that you can just stop reading my blog at any time. Whatever your reasons, if you simply don’t enjoy my posts anymore, then it makes no sense to keep on following me.

Like in any other relationship, when your roads split and one person evolves in a different direction or changes gear, when you don’t have anything in common anymore, the healthy thing to do is to say goodbye in a respectful way. Be grateful for the good memories, appreciate the things you learned, how you made each other happy, but don’t drag the decision, or else it becomes toxic.

Ok, so now that we got this part clear, I guess I should talk about my reasons. Why English, after all?

Long story short, because it’s a backup plan that I desperately need.

I don’t need to get into the excruciating details of the political, social and economical context of the beautiful country I’m living in. We’re all aware of how bad it is. And it’s been getting worse for a long time already. Although there was a brief moment of hope, then it got even worse and I realized that I’ve been lying to myself the whole time. I lost a big chunk of hope that things will get better, I simply can’t see how.

It’s not just me. Most of the people I admire already fled the country and are not looking back. The ones who are still living here are seriously considering it, or they’re just lucky to be part of those small bubbles where it’s still warm and cozy.

Do I personally want to leave the country? No. -ish. Well, at least not yet. But my survival instinct kicked in and I do need a parachute. And a safety net. And all the extra layers that might mitigate the risk.

Local context aside, the truth is that switching to English was probably inevitable. Something that’s been on my mind for a few years already.

Communicating to a broader audience will help me more on the long run. Eventually, I’m hoping to reach and influence the lives of more people than I did before. Competition is good, it will push me and accelerate my growth.

The global context is rapidly changing and I can’t ignore the economical risks anymore. Future work environment won’t resemble anything that my parents or teachers tried to prepare me for.

Worst case scenario? This will still be a good opportunity for me to practice my English.

After all, I’ve been working on projects with an international audience for a long time now (5 years, to be more precise). I’m taking tons of interviews in English for The CEO Library, the project I’m trying to grow together with a great distributed team. Almost everything I read or listen to is in English. Even the content I recommended in my weekly newsletter was mostly in English.

So, what’s next?

Nothing else is going to change for now. I’ll still be writing the same type of content – just in a different language (and I’m not going to translate my previous articles). My weekly newsletter will remain the same.

In the meantime you can:
a) Help me realize that it’s all in my head, that you don’t really care in what language I’m communicating happy
b) Support what I’m doing by telling your friends about it, about what you learned and experienced thanks to my blog & newsletter. Write about it on your website, blog, newsletter, or social media channels (although you know my opinion on why you should stop wasting time on social media).
c) Follow what we’re doing at The CEO Library – you’ll find there tons of inspiring interviews and podcast episodes.
d) Re-read the entire archive of Friday emails I sent so far.
e) All of the above?

Yes, I’ve made up my mind. I heard all the arguments, both the pros and cons. The hardest battle was already carried inside my head. If there’s anything else you’re curious to know, please leave comments below.

And if you’ll only remember one thing from this post, it should be this: save yourself before trying to save others.

Thank you. I’m grateful for the journey so far.


3 Comments

  1. Great decision. And GTFO of Romania, it’s not worthwhile to miss all the opportunities you can find elsewhere, you don’t own that place anything

  2. I will still follow in english, even though it would have been easier for me to read in romanian, but most stuff I read online are already in english, so whatever.
    Regarding Romania, I’m feeling good here, but I’m in a smaller town. I hate what’s going on in politics, but I guess it’s a global thing, Hungary and Poland seem to be worse from this point of view.

Leave a Reply