Evaluating How You’re Going

I’m a big believer in running your own race.  I write about it occasionally, but in this post, I talk about it a little bit as it relates to having an abundance mindset.  I think measuring yourself against your own goals and aspirations is the only thing that really matters.

There are key times throughout the year where that kind of “taking stock” naturally happens for people and today is one for me, it’s my birthday.

Now, I’m not going to bore you or be like some guru sociopath and make some kind of “birthday” pitch where you get a lock of my hair or a fingernail clipping if you join up to whatever I’m selling for my birthday sale.  I find that kind of behaviour repugnant.

I thought instead, I’d share with you, my own personal review.

Twelve months ago, I’d left my job about six weeks earlier.  I was “in talks” with my current employer about a role although that was somewhat unexpected because I’d pretty much decided to take the back half of 2015 off to work on Casual Marketer.

Leaving a job that you’ve had for a few years is an interesting process.  I was in that last job for about 3 years and it took me about six weeks to decompress and get the toxicity of that environment out of my system.  The job I was in before that I’d had for 9 years and it took a fair bit longer – probably something akin to six months.

When I say toxicity, I don’t mean that in some kind of wholly negative way.  I just find when you have a job, a certain amount of the “stuff” about that role leeches into the fibre of your being.  That makes sense to me because when you spend one-third of your day doing something, it’s a big part of who you are.

To make room for that stuff, you stash away some of your own dreams, aspirations and thoughts to make room for the job toxins to integrate into your cells.  Then when the job goes away, you have to adjust and unlock those things from your internal storeroom and it takes time for them to re-integrate into your personality.

This isn’t unique to just having a job though.  You see this when you have and run your own business.  You start to identify a part of who you are with the business you run – it’s like a toxin in your system as well.  When you close, sell or move on from your business, you go through the same purging and cleansing process.

Anyway, I digress.

Looking back over the last twelve months, I’m pretty happy with where most things are at in life and in business.

One thing my wife and I had been talking about for a long time was moving house.  With everything going on in life, it’s hard to pack up and move.  Our last house had plenty of space and we’d been there for like six years so it was convenient.  But it had some issues and ultimately, it came time to make the change.

We moved in late June into a place about 500 yards away from our last place.  This one is slightly smaller and easier to clean which was one of our main criteria.  It’s been great since we moved, we’re really happy with the new place and we’ve settled in well although the move itself was a significant disruption to our business.

I started the new job back in October.  This new role was a pretty big change for me in terms of what I do.  I came out of CIO and CTO type jobs working for international companies.  I always had staff and was responsible for making a ton of decisions.

In the new job, I am a consultant and I get to work on technologies and projects that interest me personally.  I don’t have any staff and I’m largely responsible for my own time.  If I win some work that I don’t really want to do, there are people I can pass that on to, it’s a good position.

The job has been intellectually pretty stimulating.  The technology and stuff that I’m dealing with are great fun, but I’m having to effectively educate and sell to clients so it’s been awesome using all of the sales and marketing things I’ve developed over the years.  I’ve really enjoyed myself at work this past twelve months.

Then there are our services businesses.  This has been a bit challenging and something I’m going to look at more closely over the next few months.  Financially, we still do very well from this part of our business and the quality of the work we deliver is still very good.  We just aren’t being dynamic in this business – we’re not doing anything special.  It all feels a little stagnant.  This part of our business needs to get an overhaul.

Doing Casual Marketer has been good fun.  I’ve genuinely enjoyed writing these daily emails and pulling together the newsletters every month.  I’ve probably fallen a bit behind on some of my goals and targets for the year, but without making an excuse, the move pretty much put us behind the 8-ball on a few things.  The back half of 2016 will need to see me ramp up Casual Marketer and maybe put together an affiliate program to generate more leads and customers.

On a personal level, the last year was great.  I have no complaints.  My son started high school which is a big milestone and everyone is healthy and happy which is all you can really ask for.  Family life is good when you can’t think of anything you’d change!

For this coming year, I want to make some general improvements around managing my time more effectively and finding a bit more personal time.  I think the two are largely interconnected – I’m a busy guy with a bunch of stuff on, but the only way I’m going to get some personal time is to get better at managing the time I have better.  As I wrote the other day, I’m looking at a few different things in this space, I’ll report back later.

Overall, I’m a pretty content guy and happy with how things are going in general.  Some of that mindset is a result of looking at life through a lens of, “I have it pretty good” and looking to be content.  The other aspect is that I’ve had a good year and this birthday has been a time to celebrate that.  I’m happy and grateful.

So that’s me.  What about you?  When you look back at the past twelve months, do you come away feeling good about where you’re at?  I encourage you to take five minutes out today, take stock of the last year or even the year to date, celebrate your wins, be grateful for what you have and think about what you want to achieve over the next little while.

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