Groundhog Day Resolution Review 11/11/2009 – Scrumbling on Happiness
Summary: Having completely forgotten about doing the October 10 GHD Resolution Review, I cram it all into this relatively (for me) short November 11 Review. I summarize what I got done since last September, and what the cost was (hint: 0 revenue = lots of free time), and reflect on the framework that is now in place that has given me clarity and direction.
I completely forgot to do the October Review for my Groundhog Day Resolutions, but the reason for that was that I was busy launching various endeavors, drawing pictures of them, and attaining a greater sense of clarity. So in today’s omnibus review of the past two months, let me start by re-itemizing what happened since the 9/9/2009 review:
I had the insight that being part of something bigger than myself was an important ingredient in my life mix; combined communicating with people everywhere and creating and showing tangible goods every day, I have the basis for a measurable life philosophy.
The distinction between being and observing change versus doing and assessing effect, and noting how each approach was useful.
A refreshing trip to California that resulted in five critical insights about how, specifically, my life was out of balance.
The manufacturing and fulfillment of the Emergent Task Planner Pads on Amazon.com, which is a major milestone that opens up new ways of “creating and showing tangible goods every day”.
A re-commitment to regular blogging, despite my lack of sureness whether I was just making a bigger mess.
A re-commitment to forging my own path, as I have become more and more sure that the principles I’ve chosen are ones I can believe in. While this was expressed rather aggressively as the World Domination category here on the blog, this was done to highlight the sense of drive I am feeling. The scope and impact is rather more benevolent, that of establishing my global microbrand.
Renewed with a sense of purpose, I started drawing my plans as pictures, which lead to peculiar new insights. The first drawing established a master vantage point that helped me imagine the terrain ahead, which lead to the listing of five destination life-business goals.
Discovered a critical piece of gear that contributes to workplace nirvana: repositionable LCD monitor arms!!!
Started re-organizing the past 15 years of my digital media, documents, and project work so I can conveniently back them up. I also upgraded my server at Media Temple, picked a new source code revision control system (git), and started using DropBox to synchronize my working projects across multiple computers. If you want to try it out (there’s a free level), use this promo referral code and it will help me get some extra storage space.
Started working on an “open design agency concep”t called Agenceum (Agency + Lyceum), where I’m planning on putting a lot of my business decisions and ad-hoc process/tool development.
This looks like a lot, but keep in mind it’s 8 weeks of work during which I made no money. Money is what I now concerned with, but I am also trying to be careful about how that money will get made. A lot of work that I thought was locked down for the summer didn’t materialize as clients changed their plans, so I have been making use of the downtime to plan alternative revenue streams and producing content that might reach different audiences. I’ve cut my expenses down by eating out far less often and buying only things that were an investment in future productivity (the monitor arms are truly amazing for that) or promotional (the podcasts). I don’t have my own family to support, but that cuts the other way too because I don’t have anyone nearby to give me support. I am not complaining, mind you. This is just the way things are at this moment in time, I’m feeling extremely motivated and sure of my direction. It’s been years since I’ve felt like that.
I’m now facing a gigantic pile of things to do, and I’ve been maintaining good spirits by essentially telling myself that it’s impossible to do it all, so do what you can. This was a useful coping strategy, but I’ve been wishing for something a little more purposeful in spirit. I got a nice surprise insight when I was visiting the non-profit (and itself non-profit) web agency Float Left Labs to sit-in on their student staff meeting (disclosure: I’m on the board of directors for Float Left Labs). I happened to catch a short presentation on Agile development and the Scrum iterative development process. It struck me instantly that the process, which I intuitively appreciated, would map pretty well to what I’m doing and how I tend to work. And philosophically, many of the Printable CEO tools seem to share some DNA with Scrum; I will probably try to adapt the Scrum practices into some of my own forms.
The clarity I have now stems from having identified those aforementioned five destinations:
- The Niche Design Business – represented by the Agenceum work, still ripening
- Physical Goods (Books and Published Works) – represented by the Emergent Task Planner pads being sold on Amazon.com; books and marketing collateral are next.
- Electronic Media, Software, and Online Tools – this is ripening, linked somewhat to Agenceum templates, as there are software components I’m building and documenting.
- Community, Local Arts and Crafts, Blogs, and Guilds – Maintaining this blog, starting the podcast are my beacons. Participating other people’s dreams is another element that is aligned with “being part of something bigger than myself”; being on the board of directors for Float Left Labs, helping shoot behind the scenes video for Sid’s photo shoots helps fill in.
- “Professional Sounding Board” – this is ripening into a very specializing coaching practice, which is not yet ready to be revealed just yet, but ultimately is just an extension of what I try to do here on the blog: share how I do things.
So yes. Wow. I feel busy. I also have my two-minute elevator pitch close to being done. I’ll post that soon.