Write your own rules.
Twenty-nine days ago this biz blog didn’t exist. This post marks the 18th post. If I’d over thought everything I never would have even written the first post. I’d probably still be thinking about it today, but instead I decided to favor action over perfection. I’m quite glad I did.
Transition periods are a good time to pause and reflect on the work you are doing, and the work you want to be doing. For me, it was the end of a 1.5 year contract and a transition back to my own work. I’d had the itch to be working on more of my own thing for YEARS. We’re talking 4-5 years, but every time a new opportunity arose, I let it take over too.
But with time, comes age, and wisdom. The hard work I’d put into client projects trained me well to write more, and hone my skills, so now it was time to take the momentum and redirect it to feed my projects.
It doesn’t have to be perfect
When starting out, it’s important that any major project we follow today likely didn’t start out as the robust beast it is today. Every project has to start somewhere. And as I’ve learned many times in my life, it’s always a good idea to try something out before going to deep to make sure it’s something you actually enjoy and want to be doing.
This project is a blog. I can update it any time. It’s not carved in stone. I can change the font. I can change the template. I can change the direction at any time.
Make it an experiment
While I know it can seem daunting to start a project to say you’ve been wanting to do it, but when you launch it in the spirit of being an experiment, it helps takes the pressure off. It also puts you in a mentality where everything you do is something you’re willing to try, see what happens and learn from.
Now the thing to keep in mind here, is so many things we do don’t have instant gratification. It may take awhile for anything to happen. To get a response. To make a dent. Yes, it may even be YEARS. But down the line you’ll be so happy you planted the seed way back when. But you also need to think about what you can do to share and spread what it is you’ve put into the world.
Confession: I’ve been so busy writing this month, I’ve hardly bothered to share much at all. But when you’ve done the work, it makes it easier to keep building on it, sharing it, and revisiting it as time goes on.
Find a framework to make things happen
It can help to have a framework to work from, so that when we start making excuses, we have a reason to get us back into shape. I used NaNoWrimo, national novel writing month, as my excuse to have to write every day and build better habits. No, I’m not writing a novel, I just wanted to write more. For myself.
I’ve always hated spreadsheets in the past, but when it’s just an experiment, and you’re having fun, it helps take the pressure off. One month. That’s it.
Create good habits + stop making excuses
Spoiler alert: I won’t be stopping anytime soon. I may take weekends off—except for my newsletter. And I may be doing more writing behind the scenes than making myself publish something on one of my channels every day for a month. Did I really do that!?!?! I have one more day to go, but it appears I do.
What small changes can you make to your day to help ensure that you can make what you want to be doing a reality, and a priority. (This changed the way I work.)
Shake things up + have fun
Getting into the mental space of experimentation and having a bit more fun was all kicked off by a series of calls I did with 13 blog readers. I had NO IDEA what would happen with this experiment. It involved a bit of chance and risk on the side of the willing participants. But much to my surprise, after the first day, the slots were full, and people were asking for more.
Sometimes these experiments can lead to things you never expect. It turns out every single one of those conversations was something I needed to hear. The power of connecting with people is completely underestimated in a world where it feels like we’re always connecting. Taking it a step forward—face to digital face—made us all more vulnerable, where we were asking questions, and willing to learn.
There was no guise of being formal interviews with these conversations. I wasn’t there to share my mission or promote anything. I just wanted to have fun. And know what, it was AWESOME!
It turned out some themes emerged and those questions that were asked are what became the backbone of this blog. For me it wasn’t always about having all the answers, but learning to listen better. It turns out I could make a more informed experiment, even though I had no idea what would happen going into it. You don’t always have to have a plan. In fact, sometimes life can be more fun when you’re open to what happens next.
We have a tendency to get stuck in our ways, think work/a job is supposed to look/feel/act in a certain way. But those rules are old, outdated, and probably created by an old boys club. It’s time to start thinking differently and write our own rules. It’s how we can stand out in a sea of sameness, and bring a fresh burst of energy to what we do.
Work should be fun, rewarding, challenging. What are you doing to write your own rules? Share it in the comments.