Today I spent 10 hours driving almost 900km from Sydney to Melbourne because of a family health emergency. I don’t mind the drive, but after about five or six hours, you start looking forward to the destination. With that said, here I am, writing this email to you.
I don’t want a medal or a pat on the back, what I want to do is draw your attention to the fact that when life tosses up curve balls at you, that’s not an excuse to pull the pin and not do the work. In fact, these are the times where you learn the most about yourself and what you’re capable of.
That’s the thing, it doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much you know, every now and again life is going to head off in a certain direction leaving you standing around trying to figure out what the heck just happened to you.
For me, 2015 was like that.
Let’s go back in time to January 2015 and I’d gotten really very comfortable with life. My job was ok, a little annoying at times and it had a tendency to be stressful on occasion. My online business ventures were doing what they do, but to be frank I’d grown a little tired of them and was pretty much coasting.
Then a whole bunch of changes hit me that were beyond my control. I suddenly had a new boss at work, one of my major clients in one of our online businesses went off the rails and there was some other personal challenges/family health issues in late 2014 that lingered into 2015.
By late May 2015, things had gotten to a point where I just needed to make some changes because I was no longer in control and was just reacting. I took a small ten-day break from work to try and collect my thoughts, but again life interjected and ruined that plan. While I was in the middle of taking some time off, I got a shocking flu and despite being on holidays and sick, some people at work just couldn’t refrain from demanding that I do stuff for them.
I ended up finally turning off my phone, not answering emails and staying in bed for a couple days to recover. During my downtime, I laid there in bed thinking about what I wanted to do to get back in control.
It was at this point that I’d formulated the genesis of Casual Marketer and decided I was going to figure out how to make that happen. I also came to a landing on the idea that we needed to sort out some issues in the rest of our online businesses. The biggest issue was the job, I’d made the decision that it was time to make a change there too.
Within two weeks I had left my job, had shut down a couple of services in our business that we hated doing and was starting to work on Casual Marketer.
Less than 12 months since that fateful week in last May and I have a pretty cool new job, our online businesses continue to grow doing work with clients we find interesting to work with, Casual Marketer has five published issues, I’ve written a book and I have written over 150,000 words via email/blog posts. And all of that has been done in 2016.
The lesson here is that sometimes life kicks your ass. It decides to head off in a direction that you don’t like and probably wasn’t expecting. You can sit around, feel sorry for yourself, maybe be a passenger and just float around or you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take control.
I believe that we are the author of our own story, but the book doesn’t write itself – to write the story, you have to sit down every day and do the work.
No excuses, you can do it.