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.
Good morning, old friend. 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.
Before getting into the details of this decision, I want to remind you that you can unsubscribe from my newsletter at any time (you’ll find the link at the end). I’m expecting to alienate some of you with this sudden change. Whatever your reasons, if you simply don’t enjoy this newsletter anymore, then it makes no sense to keep in touch.
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 guess 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. Even my parents, who are the most optimistic survivors I’ve ever had the chance to meet, grew tired of fighting and started making plans of relocating.
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 remote team. Almost everything I read or listen to is in English. Even the content I recommended in this weekly newsletter was mostly in English – with the exception of my own blog articles.
So, what’s next?
Nothing else is going to change for now. I’ll still be sending the same type of content every Friday. But I am taking a short break – I’ll be back in the second half of March.
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
b) Support what I’m doing by telling your friends about it, about what you learned and experienced thanks to this 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 podcasts (by the way, you shouldn’t miss my interview with entrepreneur & musician Steve Benjamins – we could all learn a lot from him).
d) Re-read the entire archive of emails I sent so far. Here’s a short link for it: bit.ly/FridayRead
e) All of the above?
Yes, I’ve made up my mind. I already heard all the arguments, both the pros and cons. The biggest battle was carried inside my mind. If there’s anything else you’re curious to know, please send over your question(s) and I’ll publicly reply in a blog post.
And if you’ll only remember one thing from today’s email, it should be this: save yourself before trying to save others.
Thank you. I’m grateful for the journey so far.
P.S. just in case you haven’t heard: Ryan Holiday’s new book, Conspiracy, is out! ♡