On the E1KaD forum, December 13, 2008: I enjoyed the following, which was posted today by Steve in Texas. Maybe you might like it, too —
There has been a lot of talk on [this] forum about focus, building your business, marketing and so on, but I have seen little about being self employed, knowing yourself and getting the most out of yourself and your life.
Heres my brain dump on “being” for you to use or disregard as you choose.
Why are you here?
Lets face it, working for someone else is ultimately easer than working for yourself; no accounting, chasing payments, marketing or product creation. Turn up, put the nut on the bolt, get paid, go home. So why are we working for ourselves?
For me its the need to create, plus I dont play well with morons, sorry managers. I used to write and record songs for a living. A couple thousand later I got it out of my system. Now I create other stuff. I love houses and remodeling (who knew), I bang out web applications, websites and and other apps on a regular basis I cant help myself. As my mother said when I was debating whether to build my first recording studio, “of course you should, its what you do dear”.
What is it that you “do” dear?
Follow Your Bliss
Most people can tell you what they dont like, few can tell you what they do like, or need. What do you need out of your life to make you happy? For me its peace and quiet, nature, security and doing something “interesting”. So far:
* I live in the forest – the loudest noise right at this moment is the wind in the trees and the big ol wind chime outside my office.
* I have multiple streams of income from some unique and not unique sites and products, some cash in the bank and am reasonably secure for now.
* Every day I get to create, improve or rebuild something, something that makes others go “wow, cool”.
My bliss is doing pretty well. Hows yours?
Even though my bliss quotient is probably above average, there is still stuff I think I should do or actually have to do, but just cant bring myself to do.
I know I should write articles to promote my business but cant bring myself to write them (and yet here I am writing). I know I should take care of my accounting but its like pulling teeth to just do my taxes once a year. I know I should be better organized and not have 5 projects running at the same time and mountains of paper all over my office, but thats just how my brain works.
I know I work better late than early. I should always write an idea down when I get it. I love a programming challenge. I like helping others. I like solving problems. I work in bursts
I know myself reasonably well, but I still have to take action on that knowledge, like hire a bookkeeper!
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you need peace and quiet or lots of bustle and people around you? What can you not bring yourself to do, even when it must be done? Conversely, what cant you stop yourself from doing? You can use that knowledge to make following your bliss just that little bit easier.
Change the World
This may sound odd but we all strive for it on one way or another. For some, having children is their road to immortality, for others like myself it is to create something I can leave behind – thats partly why I did music.
I know Dennis preaches that getting that one small step in place leads to others. No disagreement here. But I would suggest thinking and striving for the larger goals of life too, like a new house, new car or to feed the hungry people of the world.
The old Hollywood saying goes “if you reach for the stars you wont end up with a handful of mud”. So if you were to reach for the stars, what would you reach for? Think of something concrete, not just money. Money is abstract and quite honestly meaningless as a goal (if you want a post on why this is, let me know as it was part of my thesis). A goal is one you can describe in detail, like a house for example. Is it a Tudor, Spanish, California bungalow? What color? How big? Does it have shutters?
Getting to know yourself, how you function and what you basic needs are may well be the answer to being successful far more than any piece of software, search engine trick or may I dare say, forum.
You cant build a house if you dont know where you want to live. Theres no point in laying rails if you dont know what will power the train. Theres no point in building up or buying into self employment until you know what your life should look like.
As always, the opinions are those of the author alone, consult a doctor or attorney as needed and dont eat the yellow snow.