About a week ago I ended my employment at HelloWallet after 5 years building the company and its products. I love the people that work there–they were like family to me. This was my final email to the staff, sent on my last day.
I couldn’t possibly predict the adventure we’d have when I started working for HelloWallet back in 2010. In the past two weeks I have been reflecting a lot on that journey–and at first I was at a loss in searching for a way to fully capture what I wanted to say to you all. My parting words, “if you will”.
So, rather than writing a pedestrian “thank you” with a nostalgic memory that only a small number of you old timers will value, I decided to leave you all some “advice”:
Don’t Stand Still — The finance space–with regard to tech start-ups–is exploding. Make it your goal to know about them and to beat them, because they have a bullet with your name on it.
Watch Out For Your Fellow Colleague — HelloWallet is special because of the relationships between the people here, first and foremost. Make it a priority to take care of each other.
Be Contrarian — The best thing you can do to make things better is to question how good the status quo is. Do it.
Solve, Don’t Just Make — Ask yourself (and your stakeholder) what problem you are trying to solve. If the response is something like: “to integrate” or anything that you know is a BS answer, ask “why?”.
Pick Your Battles — Be strategic with what you choose to push back on. There is a major difference between a choice for a first iteration versus a decision that would eliminate future possibilities. I’d fight for the latter.
Try Something Old In This Context — Finance is/has been template’d, boring and unaccessible. Hilariously enough, a lot of inspiration can be found applying non-financial things to finance.
Don’t Be Complacent — Be fearless in asking questions and challenging those above you. Don’t stay silent. You may be the real leader.
Adieu with much love,