#67: Healthcare & Self-Employment | Does L&D Work? | 📖 Reads!
Live Chat! Lessons From Readers & 500 Lessons On Self-Employment
September 21st, 2019:
Greetings from Taipei! A photo I love from Chiang Mai last December:
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👋 Welcome to the newsletter
Drew, Jenna, The Barnishs', Alvaro, Todor, Edgar, John, Jonah, Paul, P, Ewelina, Roxine, Himanshu, Amy, Geoffroi & Tusker
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🍦 Course Update
Reinvent launches October 1st. It’s probably the best thing I’ve created and it’s going to rock. We’ll have long-time freelancer, meditation coach and experienced facilitator Nita Baum joining us for the first couple of sessions.
#1 Reader Questions & Lessons ❔
Question 1: Health Insurance 🩺
How do independent consultants manage/think about health insurance (in the U.S.)? This has been the biggest driver for me to stay in (far less than satisfactory) corporate environments. This is compounded even further when you think about a family of 4 or for aging individuals - I'm soon to turn 58.
I think the way “healthcare” operates in the US is an economic emergency.
Absurd healthcare costs while self-employed were a tipping point that convinced me to move from NYC where I was paying $550 a month for a terrible healthcare plan to Massachusetts where I had a pretty good plan for $250 a month. If you assume a 25% tax rate, this means you need to make an extra $5,000 a year just to afford healthcare in NYC, not to mention the $7,000 deductible if anything ever goes wrong.
Despite these costs, many self-employed people are self-employed because there is a deeper pull towards something - they completely understand the risks.
However, I think we have a hidden cost of thousands of people between the age of 40-65 who might otherwise do something entrepreneurial if not for the crazy (and increasing) costs of the healthcare system.
I believe that the US needs to figure out some way to become less addicted to jobs. The fact is most of the economic growth is coming from sectors like healthcare, where economic growth is not always linked to increases in quality or efficiency. As the system gets more complex we employ more people to manage that complexity.
More people that might otherwise do other things worth doing.
I hope this cycle can end one day. At the end of the day, what most people want is to have a lower risk of having their life ruined from an unexpected healthcare crisis.
Question 2: Learning & Development 🏫
Something that has been on my mind lately refers to Learning & Development programs in organizations. Many organizations tout them as unique selling propositions when hiring, but they often turn out to be complete duds, or at best mildly useful for employees. So my question is this: what are key success factors for a strong L&D program within an organization. And then, how would this translate to startups, entrepreneurs or self-employed people
I love this question and it’s something I’ve written about before here. What I found in my digging was this major disconnect:
People want to signal that they care about it but almost everyone as doubts about the content.
I think this is a mistake with what we understand as learning. Our model of learning is over-indexed on the lecture model that believes people need to be told what to do.
When I talk with business leaders about training I typically pose the following question:
If human performance is the most important thing, what kind of skills would one need?
I get all the usual answers, but after a while they tend to identify things like sleeping, exercise, nutrition and then meta-skills like learning how to learn, listening and mindfulness.
Then I ask what their first week of training looks like. It sounds crazy once you realize it, but the following line is true for most people:
🤯 We are never taught how to learn
The second thing organizations need to think about are incentives. Edgar Schein talked about the “anxiety” of an organization. He felt that there are often two anxieties that typify how people look at new challenges. He found that organizations thrived when survival anxiety - the fear of being the one that didn’t try outweighed learning anxiety.
Learning anxiety comes from being afraid to try something new for fear that it will be too difficult, that we will look stupid in the attempt, or that we will have to part from old habits that have worked for us in the past.
the second form of anxiety, survival anxiety—the horrible realization that in order to make it, you're going to have to change. Like prisoners of war, potential learners experience so much hopelessness through survival anxiety that eventually they become open to the possibility of learning.
I think that in the future, organizations will replace L&D people who create standardized content with learning coaches who work 1-on-1 with people to develop hard skills, soft skills and meta-skills in a personal way.
Lessons Learned From Readers:
“True friends are very few, hang onto them. Most will suddenly be "hands off" when you are in need of help/support.” - Ramesh
“I learned it is important to have patience, and that we self-stress way too much vs what we actually "need" to stress about. Learned this from a group of orphan children I work with on a weekly basis” -Andrei
#2 Reads 📚
Pre-tirement @ 27 years old
This is from Chris, who I’ll be chatting with soon on the podcast.
"Blogging’s not lucrative nor impressive, but who cares? I’m helping some people, I’ve realized I don’t need much money, my financial situation’s stronger than ever anyway, and so is my health and my mind."
This sentiment makes a lot of people angry, but the future of work is about expanding the scope of options for how we can work, not picking one right way.
💡 Guest Post: Two ideas we should abandon
I did a guest post on Ted Bauer’s blog:
Belief #1: Learning is something that is done in school and classrooms
Belief #2: I need to get a job doing X before I can start doing X
🦻 Difficult Conversations (h/t Buster Benson)
Stumbled upon this public e-mail/debate/exchange from two people on opposite sides of the gun debate. I love this format for getting people to think deeper.
Anyone want to have a deeper conversation with me about a work topic? I’m game
📅 The Ability To Design Your Day (h/t Mike Reid)
I’ve found that increasingly people want to be able to have more control over their day. It’s nice to see a positive article in the news about work:
“It’s: Get your work done, but don’t worry about when those hours are,” Ms. Coleman said. “A client calls me at 8 o’clock at night and I’m happy to talk to them, because that means the next day at 10 a.m., I can take my dog to the vet. It enables me to make my career more seamless with my life. It makes it feel more like people are human.”
💬 FoW Panel Discussion From Bali in February (h/t Christine Bader)
Christine Bader shared a transcript of an interesting conversation from a panel I was part of in Bali. From David, the founder of a co-working community:
you can pick the job that you want, you can pick the location, or you can pick the kind of company you're working for. You really can't pick all three.
#3 Podcast 🎙
Stephen Warley on The Stages Of The Self-Employed Journey From 500+ Interviews
Stephen is a 2nd time guest on the podcast and talked to me about the stages of carving your own path. He’s been self-employed since 2000 and talked to 500 people on his podcast about their own journey.
I’m working on a deep dive post on this (stay tuned!), but in the meantime, enjoy this conversation.
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. Have a good weekend 😃