Monday, November 10, 2014

Again, James Altucher is rockin' my world!

I took an hour between projects today to read more of Choose Yourself and I came across this little gem:

 "You use the corporate job as a rest stop on the way toward being healthy, on the way toward figuring out how to innovate and take advantage of the mythical safety net to move onto bigger and better things." 
A dangerous idea in my book. And I like it alot!

Here's the thing: I love my corporate job. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a corporate job. Hell, I turned tables for 15 years of my life, asking diners "home potatoes or fries" for more hours than I care to count. I had no money, no self-confidence, and I smelled like the fryer. Those were the lost years of the locusts.

A corporate job for me has meant new frontiers, new possibilities, creativity, confidence building, enough money to pay my rent every month and more!

I am grateful for my corporate job AND I'm ready to be healthy and to find new ways to innovate. And I don't (nor have I ever really) believe in the "mythological safety net."

So what is there to lose? 

That said, I have a lot of work to do. That means that for right now, I get to ask myself every morning (and several times throughout the day): "How can I be a kick-ass employee? What is my employer asking me to do? What am I expected to deliver and when?"

But then I have an additional responsibility. And that is to myself. 

That means, once the work day is done, once I have put in my employer's hours, I have the responsibility to "go home" to "clock out". For me, that means NOT nibbling on my work emails, NOT working overtime (unpaid) and NOT using my precious creative resources (that is my thinking) on my employer's assignments.  That means, it's time to devote time to my dream work. 

There are so many projects I want to work on. And I want to work on them all RIGHT NOW! I don't really see how they all work together, but I do feel in my heart that they are the next steps, the right things to pursue. 

And so now, off the clock, I work. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Movin' on a Sunday Afternoooon!

It's Sunday Morning. I am up at 6:30 a.m. because I am pumped!

And mind does a little dance "Should I do yoga? I only committed to myself that I'd do it Monday through Friday. That's my goal. Do I really need to do it on a Sunday? But if I do it, I bet it will feel good and then I can get to work on my dream projects. But is that workaholism? Shouldn't I be resting on the weekend? But I rested yesterday. And when I am going to start on these goals if not now?"


Yoga'ed, showered and darted over to Starbucks.

I set a timer on my Hours Keeper App. I want to track the number of hours I am dedicating each week to my dream projects to get a clearer picture of how I am spending my time. Am I really spending the time and energy I want to spend on the things I say I love and want to do?

As you can see, I've appropriately given myself a rate of $1,000,000.00/hour.

Great ideas like these don't come cheap ;)

So, what did I do in that 1h, 18m?

First I started a new project on my new favorite Project Management tool, SmartSheet. I'll write an entry later about why I love SmartSheet so much, but for right now, I'll show you the sheet I created for my first dream project I'm calling "The Green Room Interviews":

As you can see, I've outlined all the initial steps of the project and listed their subtasks.

I still have to set dates and timelines, but this initial outline helped to guide the rest of the work I did today.

So, what is The Green Room Interviews?

Well, because I have been so inspired by podcasts such as The James Altucher Show, On-Being, This American Life, and the TED Radio Hour, I've decided this is something I must have: An opportunity to interview people I respect and admire.

Who better than my co-workers? Because I do so respect and admire my co-workers.

My idea: To interview each of my co-workers using as a guide their top 5 Strengths determined by the Gallup Strengths Finder Test we all took. I want to try to bring a new dimension to our understanding of ourselves and our fellow employees so we really can work together as a tribe (more on this later). Another goal I have is to submit these interviews to someone at Gallup to show how we are utilizing the StrengthsFinder test in our organization. Essentially, I want my company to be known as one of their case-studies. And I, of course, want to be known as the head of that initiative.

This desire makes perfect sense in light of my own strengths:

I'll go into these themes in more depth in another post.

Suffice it to say for now, though, taking the StrengthsFinder test changed my life.

This is me in 5 words. Or at least the best parts of me in 5 words. My favorite parts.

And the parts that I am now working towards capitalizing on.

I AM an activator, which is why I want to bring these dreamy things (like becoming a good interviewer/podcaster) into being. I AM a Developer which is why I am so damn focused on other people's strengths and why I found this project so exhilarating. I AM Connectedness which is why I want to give a view of the "whole being" of my co-workers. I want to show how our professional and personal lives interplay and how we can share our collective wisdom - in the office or out in the field.

I really am so energized and excited to embark on this cool journey.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's all James Altucher's Fault!

I've been listening to the James Altucher Podcast non stop for the last two weeks.

Now I am inspired and fired up. It's all his fault.

So today I decided I would get to work on some of the projects I have been sitting on for years. 

There are many, but here are the primary ones:
  1. Pitch to the David Allen Company my GTD approach using Google Apps
  2. Do a formal GTD training for the Executives at my company
  3. Write a book on organizing 
  4. Start a podcast - conducting interviews with extraordinary people (just like my hero Krista Tippet and now James Altucher)
  5. Upgrade my website, LinkedIn Page and start a blog (check!)
And now I have a goal to try to organize for James Altucher on my next trip to New York in March. 

To be very honest, I have no idea why I long to do these things so much. I don't know how they all work together or if they will result in anything other than completion. Never the less, my heart soars at the idea of each of them. And so it occurs to me that maybe this little blog here can be a little Project Experiment. Let's see what happens when we set a goal and work towards it in a focused way for say, 30 days. Go!