Ahh, there’s something about doing a lot of writing in the day job that really doesn’t lend itself to “leisure blogging” sometimes, but hey guys here I am! I’ve returned from my great US trip motivated and energised, and just strongly hoping that I’m gonna be able to keep this up. The therapeutic effects of a conference like Pioneer Nation just must be explained for a second: I honestly felt like this place was the first time I found myself in a room full of people who are (kind of) just like me. We don’t like having a boss, we have an urge to make or create things, we want to see stuff get better, and it’s just…I always thought those were the weird things about me. If you haven’t picked up on this from reading my blog yet, then let me tell you: I love finding a fault in myself. When things went “to plan” in my life, this wasn’t really too disabling. I was okay with just ploughing on and staying in the belief that I’m probably a bit rubbish, but no one’s really noticed yet. But then things started going more wrong – my workload increased and increased, and like a true little trooper I tried to keep up, until I broke. The bosses were happy to go along with me blaming me. Now I’m the boss and need to remember this is a pattern I’m liable to repeat.
I’m forever learning more about how it’s okay to be just okay, not amazing all the time. And that this is part of accepting something else: If I have a personality that is vocal, enthusiastic in happiness (and sadness), creative (but flighty) and really quick at drawing conclusions (but indecisive), then that is also okay. That’s me. Being in this conference made me feel validated, happy and supported, and I need to carry it into everyday life.
Now that I’m returning to the UK, I’m really trying to make notes and draw conclusions about what I want from life. One aspect of seeing so many self-employed people who have made a living doing things that they’re best at was that I am sort of beginning to feel like I am approaching the point of knowing what else I’m good for besides teaching German.
So anyway, this is a ramble and what I want to get to is also the GOALS update of course! Let’s plough through these – some amazing things are happening.
Main guidelines for 2014, as learnt on this trip
- I need to make myself happy first
- That means doing things that make me happy
- And not judging those things
- And that means not telling myself I “should be working” or “should not be spending money on this”
1) Online Business
Well, this one has been massively interesting. Obviously, Pioneer Nation was full of training and information about all sorts of online business aspects. There were course creation, info products, sales pages, you name it. And I did a thing I’ve not really done before: I asked someone else to look at my website and critique it! What could’ve been more useful than someone else asking me “What do you want people to do when they see your website?” MAN! So useful. I love it. And the strangest thing is, once I had thought about it from that point of view and put some changes in (I want people to sign up to my mailing list first and foremost, and secondly I want them to ask me to teach them German), the tinkering level went down. So in other words, that bit was good.
This also means that the affiliate adverts went away. I had not even realised how much I was distracting people from the heart of what I’m doing – and essentially how I was putting other people’s products ahead of anything I could come out with. Guess why? Yep. My thought default is that I’m crap. Say “impostor complex”, will you?
2) Blogging Training
Shine Online is probably more of a “Lights Out Offline”, in other words we’ll have to cut our losses and move on. I’ve already dealt with any thoughts about whether someone like me can lead courses like that and decided that yes, I can, so at this stage I honestly don’t feel too bad. The course set-up was complicated and today I saw some serious admin problems on the host’s side of things that just could not have been fixed unless I was holding the event myself. I won’t go into too much detail, except to say that both trainers have been left pretty disappointed, and not about the sign up rates. I have learnt something useful which is that it’s better to be in charge of your own crap sometimes. I will tell my inner Type A person. She’ll be pleased.
BUT BUT BUT, wait, let me tell you the good news. I am recruiting for a small online seminar, which I truly am in charge of all by myself. It’s called Fresh Content. I’ve got only 2 places left on it, which means great things, and is something I came up with after talking to people and getting a feel for what sounded good to them. I’m really nervous about it, because I think the audience for this one is full of extremely brilliant people, and also because I’ve not led an online seminar before. But what this means is that I have basically created something, promoted it and had a decent level of success in under 4 weeks.
3) The thing with Sam..
Well, the thing is the thing that had to go away to make space for all the other stuff.
4) Home Working
I’ll be damned if I had more than 3 days off in the last month, but at the same time my working rhythm while on the trip was better than ever. I’m good at evening work and will often get going from 7-10pm. I took afternoons off to go and discover new places, slept in quite late and worked from lots of different places on the laptop. In fact, this all worked so much better than sitting in the home office every day, that I’m making a commitment to taking the computer to all sorts of places in the future. Mobile working seems to suit me right now.
In May, one of my core goals will revolve around doing more justice to the thing that I enjoy so much which is basically brainstorming and getting things started. I have not had the confidence so far of proclaiming “I’m great at this” and thinking about what that can mean in terms of career prospects, so let’s see what…er…crystallises.
Still reading? WOW! It’s clear you are one of my true friends. I’ll buy you a drink if you comment on this. A £7 cocktail even.