I always make a point of encouraging my clients to have a strong vision and a strategy for achieving that vision before they set out to design their products.
I need to start practicing what I preach. It’s been 11 months since I went solo and the past year has been a whirlwind. I’m fortunate to have had opportunities present themselves from all directions, and I’ve eagerly pursued most of them. As a result I’ve become overextended, feeling anything but “independent”.
A few months ago I realized that my excessive commitments are due to a distinct lack of business strategy. I don’t have a clear sense of where I’m going and how I plan to get there. But I’m at a point now where I no longer have a choice but to cut a few ties, take a deep breath, and start making some long-term plans.
My first step is honesty. I have to be truly honest about what I want and what I don’t want before I can figure out how to make the magic happen.
I wanted to share my initial thoughts with you in the hopes that this will force me to commit to myself. It’s too easy to stay on the same track for the benefit of everyone else around you. I’ve made big life changes before and I plan on making them again. For me. It all starts now.
My new motto
There is nothing I’m supposed to do. There are only things I want to do, for myself, for the short term and the long term.
What I want to do
- I want to work with companies who are thinking strategically and truly value their customers
- I want to make this blog a valued resource and destination
- I want to write for publications that reach broad audiences
- I want to write a book
- I want to run my own workshops
- I want to hold office hours
- I want to present to the greater tech and business communities
- I want to participate on panels
- I want to read more
- I want to have less planned
- I want to clear space for things to come into my life
What I don’t want to do
- I don’t want to do meaningless work
- I don’t want to work for companies that measure the value of work by the number of hours spent working
- I don’t want to write for publications that don’t have an impact
- I don’t want to make work commitments that don’t further my goals
- I don’t want to agree to unrealistic deadlines
- I don’t want to be affiliated with the echo chamber
- I don’t want to do things a certain way just because everyone else does them that way
- I don’t want to waste time worrying about how others see me and who they want me to be
These are things I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Just having them written down makes me feel like I’ve made a huge stride forward. As new opportunities come my way, I will evaluate against them against these lists in order to make better strategic decisions about how I spend my time and energy.
For those of you who’ve found yourself in similar situations, what has worked for you? What recommendations do you have for me to continue to find fulfillment as I grow my business while staying true to myself?
I know it won’t be easy, but I’m determined to try.
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