Challenge your Assumptions

Anytime you move your world goes upside down for awhile. Combine that with some 30 hour flights to Vietnam and you get a chance to reflect on the particulars of how you got where you are.

assumptionsWe all make assumptions. A recent major assumption for me was that I was going to live and build companies in Vermont for the rest of my life. Vermont was the place I always loved coming home to. Then came along a change at gun point where I need to move. I researched, fretted, and made the move to New Hampshire. I hate moving it is a colossal time suck you just don’t get back.

But over the last few weeks I kept getting surprised. Daily. I have been confronted that many of my cherished assumptions have been wrong.

Assumption: Vermont was the perfect place for me to live

I still love VT and always will as it is a special place. But the facts of my move are starting to pile up in the most disturbing ways:

  • My cost of living is significantly less: Housing, utilities, food, insurance, eating out
  • I live near the ocean which I’m liking more than the lake
  • I pay less in taxes (both property and overall)
  • I now live near two airports with better (direct) and cheaper flight options
  • I can walk to the train from my house and be in Boston in a little over an hour where I can see a game, visit museums, or grab some great food. Which I have done way more than I thought I would.
  • I’ve been to a lot more good concerts in NH/Boston then I went to in VT
  • People are ridiculously friendly. As in the NYC’er in me needs to pinch myself regularly. You should taste the handmade chocolates my neighbors brought me if you need proof.
  • My shopping options are better. Two Home Depots, Lowes, Target, Trader Joes, and real outlets across the river in Maine (I’ll admit I’ve been to the Crate Barrel twice already).
  • There is a lot more tech and software related people to grab a meal with.

I could keep going but you get the point and I’m not saying NH is perfect. Far from it. Here I was bummed I need to make the move from VT to NH. Boy was I wrong. Really wrong. The kind of wrong where you lie away at night and go, “What other assumptions have I made that are totally wrong”.

The move has been refreshing in the most unexpected ways. More importantly it has challenged me to go look at my personal assumptions and go test them. Test them rigorously. It is funny because in both marketing and software development we do this regularly. I guess I have not applied this as well to my personal life. So, if you happen by to grab a meal in Portsmouth/Boston come ready to work with me on those assumptions. As I for one have a lot more work to do but that’s why the 30 hour flight home from Vietnam is so useful.

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