Decisions with shareholder input, but without shareholder vote.
I’m moving to Los Angeles. I accepted an offer to become the majordomo of Sandwich Video. While this would normally be a time for high-fives and champagne, as a publicly-traded person there is some disappointment that such a massive and life-altering decision was not put to a shareholder vote.
Historically my rule of thumb for what to put up for vote has been anything I’d ask my friends advice about. This heuristic has meant that I ask shareholders about big life decisions (who should I date?) as well as the smaller questions (should I get a car?).
The last time I made an executive decision without shareholder approval I was chastised, and my recent low approval reveals the shareholders feel disengaged from my life, which is reflected in the stagnant stock price.
2017 has been a chaotic year. I’ve been “under-employed” after leaving the company I co-founded. My romantic relationship is currently up in the air. My shareholders gave me a 34% approval rating on my 40th birthday. On the other hand, I am about to launch a new project I’m incredibly excited about. I’m going to be profiled in Playboy. And I recently got to walk the floor of the New York Stock Exchange!
These ups and downs have me to asking a lot of questions of myself, just as the shareholders are asking me questions like:
If huge life decisions can be made without the input of the shareholders, what’s the point of the shareholders? It seems like shareholders are only consulted if it’s somewhat convenient for you. Maybe the project should end?
I have been asking the same questions. My conclusion is that not everything in my life is a shareholder question, but the shareholders should be involved in everything in my life. So I have opened up about personal issues I’m facing, both to shareholders and to the media. And because I couldn’t figure out an elegant way to have the shareholders vote on my job I instead announced a 100 share bounty if a shareholder found me a job (congrats to Jona and Claire, who split it).
I understand this is not what some the shareholders signed up for. I understand that my stock price could drop as some exit their position. The relationship between the shareholders and the publicly-traded person is not perfect but it’s always evolving. For example, in just two months of freelancing for an e-commerce company I deleted my blog and turned it into a store. KmikeyM adapts to my environment allows me to explore new ideas. I’m incredibly excited to see how things evolve while living in Los Angeles.
I’ll be building a whole new life, with a new job in a new city and meeting new people. I’m going to have a lot of decisions to make and I know I’m more likely to make the right choice if I incorporate the wisdom of my shareholders.
I understand the disappointment shareholders will have in not voting on my move to Los Angeles and the acceptance of a new job. But shareholders can still make their voice heard because my stock price has always been the true measure of shareholder approval.