Careful what you wish for in your business, you might just get it
The weary traveler makes a wish
December has come around and we’re officially in the silly season, end of 2016 in sight. I think it’s time to do some reflecting.
I learned a couple of big lessons this year about myself and business.
First, I learned that Kindness is a key success factor in small business. I published a whole newsletter on the topic of Kindness in October. It’s a nice collection of articles and videos from some great writers, as well as some of my own musings on the matter. Learning to be more Kind to myself and everyone else is one of my projects now, maybe for the rest of my life.
And second I learned the value of the old warning: “Careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.”
Here’s what that’s about:
Three and a half years ago, I decided I wanted to spend a lot more time with my family in Holland every year. Until then I’d do the regular family visits, but those were expensive, and exhausting, and you don’t really get to develop your relationships on those kind of annual fly in – flyout trips.
Reorganising my business and my life
I decided that what I wanted to do, was to reorganise my business and life in such a way that would allow me to travel to Holland and live and work from there for 3 months every year. It’s been my project over the past 3.5 years to make that come together, and I did it.
This year I’ve been in Holland for a total of 4 months, in two trips, and my business hasn’t suffered… If anything it’s healthier now than it’s been for years.
I have a really great marketing assistant in the Philippines now who continuously improves my findability. I have created lots of useful articles, videos, webinars, newsletters and my three books. I have implemented two sophisticated Marketing Automation Systems to connect with and build relationships with my audience. My clients are entirely happy to work with me via Skype and because of VOIP telephony I can simply make phonecalls to Australia from anywhere in the world.
It’s taken a lot of effort, time and money, and I wasn’t always sure if it would work out in the end, but it did, and now it simply doesn’t matter where in the world I am anymore.
I have so little to do
And that’s what is such a strange experience for me, because suddenly, I have so little to do. I stopped nearly all of my previous marketing activities. I resigned from the business referral group I was a committed member of for 10 years. I stopped going to networking events, I’m not doing “coffees” anymore and my online activities are nearly all automated. All I do, in terms of business development, is that I write articles and read interesting blogs in order to offer my audience useful Food-for-Thought, but that’s it. And as a consequence I have all this time available; time to do with as I please.
It’s a mighty weird experience, because I haven’t had time like that for such a long time. I’ve always had work to do, business to generate, quotes to complete, networking, sales follow up, proposals to write, admin to carry out… Never enough time in a day to get everything done as a matter of fact.
But now, I’ve found myself considering what kind of hobbies I might take up, or if I might volunteer somewhere. I didn’t truly appreciate what was going on most of this year; I struggled with myself a lot this year. I felt I was procrastinating and lazy and ill-disciplined and distracted most days. I’d sit down behind my computer determined to do some work, but I’d waste whole days doing nothing much at all.
Stuck in the procrastination swamp
I’ve written about procrastination before and I said in the article, that one of the reasons we procrastinate is that we aren’t clear on what it is we are meant to be doing. I suddenly realised a few months ago, that I was stuck in the middle of exactly that kind of procrastination swamp. I didn’t know what I was meant to be doing, because there was nothing to do.
Since that realisation I feel great about myself. I actually achieved what I set out to do in 2013 and now I have to learn how to live in this new reality.
Have you ever set yourself a challenge and then when you’ve achieved it, made it work, you suddenly find yourself wondering: So What’s Next?”
And so we go from challenge to challenge in life, but I tell you what, I’m up for this challenge!
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