DAOing It Full Time
Tips Gathered From Around the Office (Discord)
In 2021, a record number of U.S. workers quit their jobs. So many that “The Great Resignation” got its own Wikipedia page.
Tired of forced virtual happy hours, crabby bosses, and office-politics-turned-Slack-politics, workers from every industry — Big Tech to tourism — have turned in their two-weeks en masse.
I think I know where some of those workers went.
As workers flock to crypto jobs, we here in bDAO have been lucky to snap up some of that talent.
I recently gave up Slack and professional headshots for Discord and 1-of-1 pfps, and I was curious about who else was swiveling their chair and bouncing their yoga ball into the DAO office for good. So, I dipped into a couple cubicles to see what our full-time DAOers are up to and gather their sage advice.
Here are some tips that you won’t hear at the water cooler.
#1 Decrease time spent in synchronous calls to increase work/life balance.
Many people agree that work/life balance is essential to keeping sane while working in crypto. But how do you achieve that? Making an effort to cut down on responsibilities is one way, but being more guarded with your time is another.
Sovereignhealth said that cutting down the time he’s spent on calls to a maximum of four hours a day has been important for his productivity and for building equilibrium. “I don’t want to be buried in Discord, feeling obligated to keep up with every little detail,” he said. RedCrystalDragon holds a similar sentiment. “I’m far happier now, even with the stress of making sure I get paid, than I ever was working with a regularly paid job. I don’t have to take a call if I don’t want to,” she said.
IcedCool said that being reasonable about how many meetings he can be in is an important new step for him. “If I’m in meetings I’m not necessarily getting work done, so I’ve been guarding my schedule for them strongly lately.”
Above Average Joe agreed that the flexibility of being full-time comes with greater responsibility, citing balancing family and work as one of his biggest challenges. The DAO is “more flexible than corporate, but more responsibility,” he said.
I agree with these full-timers. Calls can be draining on energy and productivity. And the more calls you’re in, the more close to corporate life the DAO becomes. I try to look critically at the calls on my calendar and only attend the ones that I really want to be at.
But, given that sync calls in the DAO can be some of the most fun, informative, and community-oriented times of the day, saying no is pretty tough.
#2 Find another income stream for cushion and safety.
When a large piece (or, for many, the whole pie) of your earnings are coming in a low-market-cap, high-volatility coin, finding another income stream is essential for many full-time contributors. “Riding the BANK token is tough,” said IcedCool. “Personally, I am supplementing via yield farming and investing activity.”
Soverignhealth said that “unpredictable income” is a big challenge for taking on DAO work full-time. It’s not just that the token price swings up and down, it’s the varying flows of BANK coming in per month based on projects you’re involved in and tasks you take on. Even a different-than-normal Coordinape round can send things out of whack. Liquidiot agreed that the volatility is difficult to make a living off of. “My compensation varies wildly, in both the amount of tokens I receive and the volatility of the tokens themselves,” he said.
One potential solution to this would be for projects and guilds to set compensation based on USD value, then adjust the amount of BANK tokens contributors get based on the price of BANK on pay day. But that involves more overhead for coordinators and the potential of running multi-sigs dry.
Our full-time bDAO thread lit up with people talking about how to find outside income. My tactic was a freelance copywriting gig that paid just enough. Others choose to contribute to other DAOs, have the savings and investment cushion to live off of, get good at yield farming, or have family members with stable fiat jobs.
Unless, of course, you live in an area where BANK translates to more purchasing power. “I actually went full-time because this is my first proper job,” said The Psych Guy, who is based in India. “I have done internships, but they hardly paid the bills.”
#3 Starve your distractions, feed your focus.
Jake and Stake said that “shiny object syndrome,” where you find yourself getting pulled toward the newest, most exciting projects, has been a big challenge. “This eventually leads to accepting lots of different kinds of work and a loss of focus,” he said. This loss of focus isn’t good for deep-work activities such as writing. Learning to say no and keeping your focus on what’s in front of you is essential.
Siddhearta has taken on a unique approach to keeping his focus right where he wants it to be. “The last few months I’ve been experimenting with an at-rest, at-play model of living,” he said. “Play is DAO life, exercise, time with family. Rest is meditation, reading, naps. I play until I need to rest, and rest until I want to play.”
But, it can be hard to implement an at-rest/at-play model if you haven’t set the boundaries that would allow you to do so. Hirokennelly said that once you build your social capital, you start getting pulled into projects left and right. “People are often wanting more of you, so learning how to set boundaries and saying no has been a challenge,” he said.
Overall, many full-time contributors said that setting boundaries and turning off the computer are essential to keeping sane. “Weekends are always off, since connecting with Mamma Nature is veeeery much needed,” Ornella said. “It’s the only way I believe we can properly recharge for a new amazing week in DAO-life.”
#4 Lead with your heart when things get tough.
Almost all the full-time DAOers I interviewed said that their deep love for the work makes doing the work that much easier. No one mentioned BANK earnings as their internal driver (possibly on account of challenges noted in #2), noting instead the amazing bDAO community as their raison d’êre.
“I decided to take this path because it has purpose,” Ornella said. “It’s a mission that will change the world.” Taking this mission and love for the community to heart can help motivate you when work gets busy. Liquidiot said that, “although many days have felt overwhelming (the burnout is real) I have yet to experience a day that lacked interesting problems to try and solve.” For internally-motivated workers, diving into interesting problems is a good way to rekindle that fire.
IcedCool said the people he works with “are some of the smartest, most interesting people that I’ve ever met. This additionally backs my thinking that it is 100% worth my time.” Above Average Joe said “the DAO is a natural place for me to call home,” and Hiro admitted that the work is “can be a lift, but I love it.”
Siddhearta put it succinctly: “Sometimes the most joy comes from just hanging out with all the incredible people here in the DAO.” I couldn’t agree more.
Bonus tip: Full-timers all do one thing shortly after waking up….
The Psych Guy: “I wake up, check Discord a little bit…”
Above Average Joe: “Wake up, make coffee and shower, catch up on overnight DMs and @ tags…”
Liquidiot: “Most of my days involve rolling out of bed at 4 AM, grabbing a cup of coffee, and sitting down in front of a mic and Discord window. . .”
Hirokennelly: “I wake up early and start by dropping gms in the servers where I’m active. . .”
Orenella: “I wake up, have some breakfast, do some stretching and meditate a bit. . . I then get ready to DAO by checking on priorities and messages from the US-based DAOers.”
Ornella beautifully articulated what being full-time feels like: “The DAO gives and it gives A LOT. Energy from all over the world converges into one great force, a force so powerful that it not only changes the world around you, but it changes you inside out. Become the best version of yourself, receive that gift, and with it, the knowledge to help others achieve that as well.”
Thank you to my interviewees! sovereignhealth.crypto#9040, Above Average Joe#5427, The Psych Guy (IST)#8880, siddhearta#9802, Jake and Stake#4439, Liquidiot#5975, Ornella 🏴 bDAO EN/ESP/IT#2775, Icedcool🏴#4947, and hirokennelly.ethᵍᵐ🏴#0001
Originally published on February 4, 2022 in the Weekly Rollup.
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Disclaimer: this isn’t investment advice. This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and it reflects my personal experience and current views, which are subject to change.
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