February 16, 2016
For those of you I talk to somewhat regularly, you know that I’ve been spending the last few months trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. This is not something I was taught in school.
I tried a lot of things. I led a user group, joined some user groups, joined a book club, got an accountability partner, worked for a startup, did some contract writing, worked as a professional coach, talked with half a dozen mentors, went to conferences, signed up to help organize Hackfort, wrote a school grant, did a ton of networking, took a money class, volunteered as a project manager for the Treefort app team, went to a startup weekend, talked entrepreneurship with anyone who would listen, had a dozen business ideas, pitched two of them, discarded all of them, made a ton of new personal and professional connections, failed to properly file for unemployment, went to a meeting about the future of education in Idaho, attended two startup pitch events, helped organize a hackathon, got involved with startup grind, and more.
I learned a lot about myself and about life. Much too much to go into in a little blog post like this. I’ll share with you two lessons and two updates, and would be grateful if you read to the end, and maybe shout hello or something.
Here are my lessons.
First, as I try new things, I realize that I stand little chance of succeeding if I don’t focus, especially as I’m learning. I can do a bad job at ten things, or a mediocre job at five, or a great job at one. After three months of casting about, I want to try to settle into one role for a while, at least until it starts to click.
My second lesson is that I must do a better job of engaging, which basically means telling other people about what I’m doing. If I’m not discussing my insights, my opportunities, and my current activities on a regular basis, it doesn’t give people much of a sense that I am, in fact, doing what I say I’m doing. This is hard for me because I don’t really like to talk about myself. But I need to get better, and social media (particularly LinkedIn) is a great way to talk about what’s going on in my professional life.
Next, my updates.
First, I have been making a daily video blog to try to track the events of my entrepreneurial journey and my feelings about them. I’m nervous to share it because I don’t have much credibility right now (in fact, the reason I started it is because I thought it would be so helpful to be able to listen to the thoughts and feelings of successful people at the time they were at the beginning of their journey, as I am now), but if I don’t put it out there it will never improve or become useful. I hope that you will watch an episode every now and then, and maybe share your responses or thoughts for how I can improve it. And, of course, subscribe This channel is where I will post the bulk of my updates, but I’ll point back to them now and again using social media.
My second update is that, starting next month (now, I suppose), I’m going to commit to writing. After four months of exploration, I have decided that I could support myself as a freelance writer, but that’s not quite enough; while I am a good writer, I don’t love the writing process itself. Rather, I love communicating ideas, and writing is a great way to do that. But more than that, I love connecting with people, understanding their perspectives, and helping them. So in addition to freelancing, I will use my teaching and writing skills to help people become better writers (something I have seen a need for). Whether someone needs to rewrite their resume, wants help writing more effective emails, or wants to start a blog, I can help them get clear on their ideas and find the words to share them. I think that this combination of my talents and a opportunity to help others has a chance to grow into a passion, and that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Whether or not this ends up working out, I hope that you will stay in touch and give me a read (and a like) when I post things in the future.