We’re rapidly approaching the halfway point of 2016 and I always like to use this time of year to re-evaluate where I’m at in what I’ve achieved. This year has been interesting because I started doing Casual Marketer and this has kind of been my main singular focus of activity.
Because of that, rather than tear apart my numbers or beat myself up about where I am in my plan, I choose to ask myself a simple question, “Am I having fun?”
That’s a bit of a softball question I admit and honestly, it’s a bit out of character for me. I am normally a bit more fierce and results driven, but one the key criteria for starting Casual Marketer was that I wanted to actually get stuff done, but I wanted to enjoy it too.
So, am I having fun?
I’d say it’s been really good – I’m going to use the Pareto Principle on this and say that 80% of what I do with Casual Marketer is good fun and I’m enjoying it. Then like everything in life, the other 20% is hard work. Now that’s not to say I don’t like it, but the reality is, they don’t call it work for nothing. If I had to choose between doing hard work and sitting down watching Netflix and eating chocolate sponge rolls, it’s fairly safe to say that hard work isn’t winning that coin toss.
When I think more deeply about it I would say that it’s been much more fun than most of the other businesses I’ve built in the last six or seven years.
But then I have to ask myself, why is that?
The truth is, it’s probably down to a couple of things.
Casual Marketer is just me. There’s really no “team” to manage or behind this, it really is just me at the keyboard, thinking and writing – although having said that my amazing wife does help out with some aspects of fulfilment and logistics. This is the kind of project that I’ve wanted to do for a few years, but never really made the time.
That last point is really important and worth repeating – I made the time. About a year ago when I started to get serious about doing this project and building out this business, I made the decision to focus on this quite heavily. I spent much of the back half of 2015 planning and restructuring things so that I could dedicate the time required to doing this the way I wanted to do it.
I’m also fortunate enough that there’s not much pressure on me for this to perform financially. The business side of Casual Marketer has exceeded my expectations, but again, I’m lucky enough where I’m not depending on it. I’ve been in positions before where I’ve needed my businesses to make money and it sucks the fun out of them pretty quickly.
The bulk of the activity around Casual Marketer is something that I really enjoy doing – writing and sharing stories. I think “do what you love” is one of those loser phrases that bloggers blogging about blogging toss around, but in this case, I’m reasonably lucky that the modality for communicating my message is one that I genuinely like – writing.
And without being too sappy or cliche, I enjoy the feedback and the email I get from readers like yourself who take the time to reply to these emails. I’ve had people share some amazing stories as well as some pretty heartbreaking things with me in response to what I am writing. Having people open up and respond to me about what I write has been an incredible bonus I wasn’t expecting.
So as we approach the half-year, why not take some time out and ask yourself if you’re having fun with your business. Could you possibly enjoy what you do more? Is there something you’re doing that is really dragging you down and causing you to lose passion and interest in what you’re doing?
From there, think about the things you could proactively be doing to not only get more traction but also discover what you could be doing that would help motivate you to achieve greater things.
Success is a complex thing – it comes from a combination of doing the right things and avoiding doing the wrong things. When you have success, you double down and do more of the same, but when you have setbacks you learn and avoid repeating your mistakes.
I encourage you to take the time to examine where you’re at with your project or business and figure out if you’re having fun.