As an entrepreneur and artist, I find sharing about everything to be a bit of a dilemma. How much do I share about what I’m up to and what’s coming next? Goals publicly stated and not fulfilled on can erode your confidence. CD Baby founder Derek Sivers even suggests keeping your goals to yourself.
But here’s something I felt to share:
Over the last week and a half or so, I either kept to a streamlined schedule, went to class (on the weekend), or did nothing. And I have always found these downtimes to be excellent for thinking and reflection.
One thing I realized in my reflections is the importance of creating a connection with my audience. Blog posts are fine. I like writing them. Some people like to read them. But with the sheer amount of blogging, I do; I know that even my most avid followers don’t get around to reading everything I produce.
And, even with podcasts and videos, the connection created can vary a lot depending on audience and engagement.
More to the point, though, I’ve realized that getting related is the foundation of all relationships. I’ve decided to create more opportunities for me to connect with you and for you to connect with me.
So, keep an eye open for additional updates regarding my live Q&As on Zoom. These will be free events, but the content will be exclusive to those who attend and members of Elite Players: All Access Pass. I can’t wait to be in the same virtual room with you.
It’s Organization Sunday again, and for me, it was a rather reflective Sunday. I scribbled down a few questions for reflection and journaling, and I thought I would share them with you:
In case you can’t read my scrawl, here are the questions in digital ink:
If I were able to spend my time doing only what I love to do, what would I be doing?
What would it look like to go all in on what I’m doing now?
If I don’t want to go all in, what could I change about what I’m doing now to make it something I would go all in on?
If I can’t see myself going all in on what I’m doing now, even if I make changes to it, what else would I be doing?
Theme #1: What do You Love to do?
This is the first theme of this week’s refection.
Personally, I thought about areas I’ve developed a lot of skill and gained experience in – visual art, graphic design, web design, songwriting, guitar, bass, vocals, music production, writing, podcasting, narration, voice acting, video, social media, marketing, and so on.
Then I also thought about things I’ve either held as hobbies, activities I’ve tried in the past, or things I like to explore in my spare time – food, travel, bass fishing, skateboarding, politics, and the like.
I also thought about the results I wanted in life. As I drove by farms in the flats, I saw they had the homes and cars I wanted. But I reminded myself that farming was hard work all year long (my grandparents were farmers, so I know a little bit about that). I looked up into the hills and saw the homes of doctors and lawyers and affirmed that this also is not what I wanted for my life.
So, even with all the uncertainty of continually carving out my own path, I still found it preferable to possibilities I was considering based on the lifestyle I want for myself.
Theme #2: Going All in
This would be the second, and perhaps most predominant theme of the week.
If you are hesitant to go all in on something, why is that?
What past experiences or memories are holding you back from taking the leap (inevitably, it is always past experiences and memories that are holding us back, and because they are in the past, they are not here, and that means the concerns about the past aren’t real).
For me, I saw that going all in on something without assurance of success is what has been holding me back. And that is with the full awareness that nothing is guaranteed. So, why the stall? Better to try and to fail than to live in the purgatory of dress rehearsal the rest of my life.
Theme #3: What Else?
And the final theme for this week’s reflection is “what else?”
Absolute clarity in this area is essential. If you’re not doing what you love to do, if you’ve been struggling to go all in, if results aren’t forthcoming, or any combination thereof, what could you imagine yourself doing instead?
In this reflection, what I discovered for myself is that while there are some niches, I could see myself getting into – spirituality, personal development, entrepreneurship, self-publishing – the transition struck me as challenging and difficult.
Without going through the transition, though, the pain and challenge of transitioning is only imagined and not fully realized. And from that stance, there is nothing to fear. You’ve dealt with everything that’s come up to this point. What makes you think you can’t deal with whatever comes next?
Between recording a new podcast episode, fielding various calls, meetings, and conversations for new ventures and possibilities, all I could do was write in the margins. When it’s usually the opposite.
And you know what I’m seeing?
I created today.
Since starting the yearlong leadership and management program, I’ve been seeing a lot of things in my life more clearly. And I’m beginning to see where I’ve been wasting my time, specifically on projects that will never deliver on my high standards of fulfillment or income. I will never be promoted or given a proper valuation.
And so, I was reminded that I stated today differently. I set the intention to create newly and boldly, and to be in the mind of discovery.
At first, what unfolded struck me as a breakdown. Because I didn’t get my writing done. And that’s what pays the bills.
Then, I realized it wasn’t a breakdown. It’s what I created. Not just that, but the day was more in keeping with the direction I’m wanting to move in. Conversations happened. Team members made the commitment to take on tasks. Possibilities were considered and decided on with new team members.
It’s kind of astonishing.
And so, in terms of writing, what I completed, I completed. What I didn’t, I didn’t. And there’s still some week left. I should have more time tomorrow and Friday to work on that side of things.
Either way, I’m clear that I’ve lived in this rut for long enough. I can see the limitations of trying to do everything myself. I will not be further ahead this year compared to last year if I continue to do what I’ve always done. I’ll see incremental improvement, maybe, but I know there’s no breakthrough in it.
In the meantime, I’m sitting with the discomfort of living out a different kind of day. But I realize the discomfort is good. It’s creating what I set out to create.
Worthy of your reflection:
When you last had a breakdown, was it really a breakdown, or did you create it?
If you did create it, then how did you create it? What intentions were set?
Could you continue to set the intentions so that you could keep living into the new possibilities?
Did you run from the discomfort of living into new possibilities, or did you embrace it?
If you’re always comfortable, are you really growing?
Maybe you can change your life just by setting intentions. What if you were that powerful?
Beginning Tuesday, I’m going to be taking a little over a week off.
I already have a to-do list shaping up for the duration of my break, which I will add to, or subtract from, as I see fit.
So far as work is concerned, I will still be publishing daily, but other than that, I will only be handling edits on work already completed.
First and foremost, I’m looking forward to having a bit of time off. I already started offloading a bit mid-May because I was beginning to feel fatigue settle in.
Having come to this point, I don’t think I’m in as bad shape as I originally thought I was, but in preparation for the velocity and volume of coursework and work I have coming up, recharging seems like a wise choice.
I will be making exercise, getting some sun, and resting a priority.
Secondly, this will likely prove an important time of reflection.
I have spent the last year or so experimenting with a variety of platforms and project ideas. And now I’m ready to cull the project list, drop what simply doesn’t make sense to work on anymore, and put more time, energy, and resources into the ones that excite me most while serving a pragmatic function.
I already have some ideas shaping up that I feel excited about, and this is a good reminder that I shouldn’t spend all day every day working. Leaving space allows for new ideas to form.
My reflections from Vernon were important, at least to the extent that I retained a general (rather than specific) set of intentions from that point forward. But I have a feeling what comes out of my reflections during this break will be more laser targeted to current projects and goals.
Thirdly, I will be spending time cleaning up, getting organized, and hopefully getting a new office space set up so that I have a better environment to work, record, and film in.
To this point, I’ve either been working in the kitchen, in the living room on a coffee table (usually quite awkwardly), and sometimes even in bed.
I also like working in coffeehouses at least once per week, but that has mostly been a no-go with rolling lockdown restrictions.
I have a study that has remained unused to this point, so I will either be setting up there, or in the bedroom that I don’t use.
The point is, I need to create a space that I find a joy to work in – one where I can be inspired and comfortable.
At the end of the day, I’m not overly ambitious. If I find the need to spend most of my time laying in bed, so be it. That’s probably what I need most right now.