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  • Writer's pictureRc Diedrich

How to Turn Your Passion into Your Career: The Story of David Maust

Updated: Apr 7

Ikigai is the Japanese concept of aligning one’s passion, vocation, mission and profession in a harmonious way. It suggests that we should strive to embody what we love, what we’re good at, what the world needs and what we can be paid for or make a career out of. While many of us would like for all four of these aspects of our lives to harmoniously align, it can be a difficult process if we aren’t aware of the concept of Ikigai and the best ways to implement it into our lives.


I recently spoke with David Maust, a data analyst for the Alset Community and an individual who has found ways to align his passions and skills with what the world needs to create a career for himself. In this post, I want to talk about his experiences navigating this space.


As a young child, David Maust was interested in computers. When he was around the age of 10, his neighbor introduced him to computers by donating him old parts. Besides spare parts, he also gave David manuals which would become very important in forming the basis of David’s computer knowledge. David says he enjoyed reading the manuals and was able to pull the bits and pieces that were relevant to his interests. 


A lot of his curiosity was fueled by games like Prince of Persia and simulators from Microprose. He wondered how the games worked and this motivated him to build his understanding and learn how to code.


After a couple years of studying and developing his skills, his neighbors started to notice his potential and started asking him for help with computer issues. David says that people were generally desperate because the computer repair space was still emerging. Around the time he was learning about computers, people were starting to buy their first personal computers which regularly needed service. When people would bring their software issues to the store, the technicians would typically wipe the computer and reformat the hard drive. For most users this wasn’t practical and so David started to fill the demand for software solutions to personal computer problems.


David’s service quickly spread by word of mouth and he was able to make some money. As a child, David was already able to achieve the concept of Ikigai. He was able to take his passion for computers and by developing his knowledge and skills, turn that passion into something that he was good at. People around him needed computer assistance and he was able to fill that space. This demand allowed him to turn his passion into his “career” as a young child.


Of course, David didn’t stop here. A carpenter who was working at his house noticed his computer skills and referred him to their boss who ended up hiring him on a more regular basis. While he was working on computers on his own time, he was also honing his computer skills during his studies. David says that once his teachers realized his capacity for working on computers, he spent more time fixing computers than learning the class materials.


In college, David studied computer science and started to learn about programming. While he enjoyed the studies, he found that companies like Microsoft were setting up their customers with low quality computers that regularly needed maintenance despite having the capacity to provide higher quality computers and softwares. This realization drove him away from computer repair and he started to focus on web applications and programming.


Reflecting on his approach to navigating the space, David says he has always had a perpetual interest in creating new softwares instead of maintaining old ones which has allowed him to be receptive to future technologies. Specifically, David worked on an email verification system that was essentially a solution to spam. By learning about this verification system, David was able to spot a larger trend in the digital verification space. This helped him see the emergence of trends like digital currency early on.


David’s career has been one that is constantly evolving based on his knowledge and interests. A few years back, David met Founder of the Alset Community, Robert Lo, at a new tech meet up. Robert was telling him about launching his new app and David was interested in being close to the emergence of this new technology. 


Today he says that besides being close to the tech industry, David also enjoys working on ways that Alset can make the world a better place. He is interested in the economics and psychology of bartering, along with the practical implementation of it with different groups of people. He plans to continue learning about the industry while also bringing new ideas to the table.


When we consider how we want to live our lives, most of us want to be happy and successful. While these can be abstract concepts, David is able to embody these values in his daily life. It isn’t to say that David hasn’t experienced failure or sadness but rather to say that he has aligned his interests with what he does on a daily basis. David’s story reminds us to reflect on what is important to us and to learn as we progress through our experiences.


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This post was written by Rc Diedrich. You can contact him at rcdiedrich@gmail.com.

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