Blockchain has yet to be added to autocorrect, but it was added to Jad Hage's life in May 2017 which makes him an early adopter of the often doubted, but growing world of digital currency. He jokes that instead of investing as a first adopter in 2011, he was at UCLA drinking Smirnoff, but Jad insists that it is too early to say who is considered an early adopter or where cryptocurrency is truly headed. Although Bitcoin was created in 2009 and has been growing rather steadily, the concept is so new that it still has many skeptics.
Jad earned his BA in political science but pivoted to the world of finance soon after graduating. Despite his education and career path, Jad has always had a strong desire to break free from the corporate world and forge his own path and lifestyle. After gaining a level of financial freedom through studying and investing in cryptocurrency, Jad quit a highly sought-after job, with a long list of benefits, at Snapchat to pursue myriad other interests with a heavy focus on investment and travel.
Please introduce yourself, including what you do and what you are passionate about.
"Hi! My name is Jad and I’m currently in a transition phase from five years in a traditional corporate job to something new and different. I’m exploring entrepreneurship and reconnecting with my passions, which have always been nature and politics. Transformational and disruptive technology is quickly becoming a third major passion, although I’m more of a spectator than an expert."
In which situation/ series of events/ moment did you realize your passion?
"I was most in tune with my passions when I was younger, and filed them away in the back of my mind during the five years while I was working in finance, which was decidedly never a passion of mine . I’m not sure of the exact moment I realized my passions, but I remember developing them gradually, with deep roots in my personality and worldview. Up until now, I haven’t really pursued them or acted on them, but that’s changing."
To A,F, postponing your freedom usually means holding off on what you’d prefer to do in order to please others, or follow a “norm”. When/ how did you decide not to postpone your freedom?
"A few weeks ago just before New Years Eve 2018 I decided to make a big change. I quit my job at Snapchat and shifted my career from a conventional one to a more entrepreneurial one. I waited until I had the financial freedom to be able to leave my job, but wish I had left sooner. So far, it’s been very liberating and I’m looking forward to shaping my future intentionally, instead of waiting for something to fall on my lap."
What is a setting/ activity/ routine that makes you the most happy? Anything at all.
"A place I find myself coming back to over and over is the beach. Laying out on a warm, sandy beach with some snacks and reading/writing materials is a great way for me to reflect and recharge. I usually do this solo, and bring along some music as well."
What is your motto to yourself? / What motivates you?
"Progress. The main thread that connects my passions, my investments, and my worldview, is continual progress, growth, and innovation - both in my personal life, and at a societal level."
Why do you think most people settle for a career or life they don’t love?
"People are more motivated by the fear of being poor than they are by the drive to succeed in something they love. The reason for this is that there is a perceived risk in pursuing a career based on passion, instead of a career based on security. So they are willing to sacrifice happiness for stability and safety. The type of stability they seek is in a steady paycheck and in a career or job that is easily transferable - that is, one which can be performed at a large number of companies or institutions, which decreases that person’s chance of being unemployed or becoming obsolete."
What simple advice would you give to people hesitant to pursue their interests?
"Start today, even in a small way. Gradually, you’ll spend more time involved in your interests and you’ll create a virtuous cycle that could eventually turn into a new career. Most importantly, don’t worry about choosing the perfect interest or passion - having experiences is the best way to learn, and therefore the quickest way to narrowing in on your passion."
What is your favorite quote?
'”Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.' -Mahatma Gandhi"