Last night I went to a Northern Lights networking event, organised by the great start-up encouragers over at Northern Lights in Preston. They’re lovely people out there, it’s not intimidating and everyone tends to be quite new in business so that there’s not too much call for worry about looking like a numpty. Plus, they all witnessed my Pecha Kucha presentation in January, so they know I’m silly and not perfect already. And still talk to me! Score.
For February’s session, the Northern Lights team hired coach Angela Moore who took everyone through a speedy version of her planning instructions. She sees planning as a sum of four areas: Ideas/Thinking, Recording, Implementation and Evaluation. Pretty obvious when you think about it, but I won’t pretend it wasn’t just as helpful to have the processes spelt out like that. What comes to me pretty clearly is that I’m an ideas person, able to create a lovely vision and beautiful positive image in my mind. Then I do write the ideas down somewhere, and either get to work straight away or forget about it and worry that I’m not doing it.
So to me, it’s pretty clear I need to put a validation process in place – some moment where I remind myself of what the end goal is, what I’m doing it all for, and then I decide whether what I’m doing even serves this goal. With that in mind, I took a bit of time today to flesh out this goal. You can laugh at me, but for me, it looks a bit like this:
I’m living somewhere warm, light and beautiful with Christian, near the sea and vineyards (California, you will be right). My office overlooks the water, it’s filled with sunshine and beachy colours, and I’m working there with a cool team. We have an abundance of awesome clients for our marketing company, running their blogs and creating awesome websites with good photography. It’s an agency though, so we pay freelancers for what they do, and only have a designer, a receptionist, perhaps a photographer and me, as a person making strategies and getting new clients in. I know it probably sounds insane, and it’s only a vision. I can hear the sea , feel the sun on my skin, high five my great team and taste the happy hour cocktails! Not asking much, am I?
(There is a society-obeying woman in me of course who’s going “When will you have babies?????”, but to be honest, I don’t know. Whatever. Giving love to kids doesn’t mean I give love to my own kids only.)
So anyway, this whole consideration is giving a good and important new perspective on all those goals I wrote down, and forcing me to focus harder on the big picture. I need to really work from the goal backwards, rather than just setting goals to achieve whatever is in front of me. And what does that mean? It means more focus on the blogging and marketing business, more research, more thinking about how I can bring in cool people, more time spent on this. It also means less time spent on the other, which is my tuition business and my blog. It means a more organised me, potentially, and one that achieves her goals. It’s inconvenient, because the desire to just go with what I know I can make money and feel safer with is always so desirable. Starting something new is outside my comfort zone. It’s outside EVERYONE’S comfort zone. Tell me this is good.
I can hear you laughing from there to here.