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Erik Trautman

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
-- Pablo Picasso

What Comes Next

So what comes next? I’ve been asked that a lot lately. Well, the reality is that I’m soon out of the job and somewhere down the road I’ll need to make an income. Fortunately, part of the tradeoff for having invested 5 years in my (former) career is that I’ve at least given myself some runway to work with before things become tight. I intend to use that freedom to accomplish two goals: A) travel the country and, B) prepare myself for the next phase.

To address the first, I’ll be taking a few months off to hop on my motorcycle and see what the US has to offer. I’ve seen a good bit of Europe and I’m not quite ready for Asia. What I really want to do is confirm my suspicions that this is indeed the most beautiful country on earth. If I manage to take some interesting pictures and meet interesting people along the way, I think I can live with that too. It’s long been a dream of mine and I cannot give up the opportunity to live it.

When I say that I want to get ready for the next phase, I really mean that I’ll be looking to further the education I’ve already begun. This will cover everything from technical to business skills. Basically, I’m looking to self-teach an MBA with a CS minor. There’s really no point in paying 50k a year to get what I can learn from the Internet far easier and faster. Education has changed.

I went to the school with the best MBA program in the country and it taught me that there’s no mystery to that particular degree. Spending 10-12 hours a day, one can probably learn every piece of objective knowledge they teach in 3 months. The rest is fluff, networking, and group skills. I’ll pass, thank you, and educate myself in the real world. That means theoretical entrepreneurship via the web as core curriculum and events like Startup Weekend for midterms. The final exam is that hefty dose of reality waiting at the end of all this.

My next 6 months will be spent finishing my job, wrapping up in Houston (See “Houston: It’s Not Me, It’s You…”), spending some time in Newport with the family, and traveling the country before finally arriving in the Final Destination ready to go. All the while I’ll be neck deep in books, blogs, websites and video tutorials to fill the gaps in my skillsets. If I’ve got a single spare moment, please check up on me because I’m probably lost and disoriented and I may need a cookie.