June 1st, 2022, marked the 3rd year anniversary of me running my own business. I want to share a few things I have learned with you.
- A Portfolio of Small Bets Online Course by Daniel Vassallo. I took a course to change my thinking from creating one great product/service to experimenting with smaller bets.
The online classes were useful, and the Discord community was exceptionally valuable. The community was filled with folks who were all trying to achieve the same goal - try new projects, learn, iterate, and repeat.
Thanks to this course, I've made a group of supportive (and candidly critical) friends. I picked up tips and tools on all things business and life building. It's $375, which included the online classes, access to the Discord server, plus free access to regular additional online classes on things such as how to write a book, how to build a business on Gumroad, how to start a podcast, and more.
- The Importance of Figuring Yourself Out. I used to think exercises such as finding our core values, our goals, etc., were important but not critical. Today, I see this as the most important ritual we all ought to get good at.
You see, the value of exercises that help you "know thyself" does not come from the outcome of the exercises. Instead, the value of these exercises comes from the "doing" of the exercises.
For example, when I tried to revisit my core values, it wasn't the values that I listed that clarified things for me. It was the act of going through the list that reassured me. In a way, these exercises were like physical workouts. Although there would be health benefits from regular physical exercises, the immediate mental benefits from moving our bodies, the endorphins, were what helped us remain positive and productive, day in and day out. Exercises of knowing ourselves serve a similar purpose. They are means to keep us centered and calm so we could get through another day.
- Bi-Annual WorkLife Review & Manifesto Update. This is a ritual I have found centering. Every 6 months, I would invest an hour and review my worklife and update my work manifesto. I would reiterate what I am trying to build, what I am learning, and are my pursuits adding value to myself and those I care about the most (my family). I hope you find this reflection and update inspiring:
Bi-Annual WorkLife Review & Manifesto Update
3 years ago today, at the age of 4x, I left Apple and my 20+ years of corporate career, in order to try and build my own business.
I have experimented a lot. I coached executives, trained teams, facilitated meetings, and consulted for founders. I tried many new partnerships. I started and ended many projects.
I have failed a ton too. One of my projects ended so abruptly I (still) felt sick in my stomach. I was rejected all the time. Many business leads led to nothing.
And I have evolved. I am more aware of my flaws and negative tendencies. I have also gotten better at tapping into my strengths. Most importantly, I have a better idea of what tends to bring me both fun and $.
So today, 3 years into my solopreneurship journey, I am glad that I am able to refine what I do and what I bring to the table. So here you go, my work manifesto, as of June, 2022:
1. I am a leadership coach. I work with founders and business owners who want to boss better.
2. I offer "fractional" Sales / Operations / People / Leadership services. I solve problems, mobilize people, fix sh?t, and get sh*t done with founders and their executive teams.
3. I aim not to be just a business advisor or consultant. I aim at being a mercenary, because I actually get sh^t done.
4. I write about how to suck less as a boss and how to make your workplace suck less.
5. My wife and I run a not-for-profit primary school. So I sometimes write about how to suck less as a learner and a parent too.
Alright, 3 years down, many more to go.
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Thank you for reading this. I think about leadership & psychology in the showers. I know it's odd, but these topics are important and fun. I hope you find them useful too.
Work diligently. You are bound to be successful.