An old friend wrote me an email this weekend. The questions raised remind me how important it is to constantly evaluate where we are, where we were and where we want to be. Here are the questions and my response…
I was reading your post about you and this line in particular hit me hard:
“Since coming back to LA on Tuesday, April 29th (2008) I have been overcome by an uneasy calm. Neither Jaspar nor I know what’s next. He’s got graduation and trip to Israel to at least delay the inevitable nothingness. But I am smack dab in the middle of it now. I keep hoping that another idea will hit me.”
This is me now…
I identify entirely with the uneasy calm, inevitable nothingness, being in the middle of it, just hoping…
What next? This question plagues me, but I need to turn the tables and create my future.
I was wondering…what did it for you?
How did you breakthrough and create the opportunities for you to pursue the life you envision?
Because I have had a vision for my life and purpose for some time… and for the life of me, I can’t figure out where to begin.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, if you would oblige…
Great to hear from you. The power of Facebook continues to blow me away. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m happy you called my attention to that old post. It’s been a little more than a year since I wrote it and a lot has changed, but a lot has also stayed the same. Jaspar and I charged head first into a business idea – TaskUs. Which has taken us on quite a journey. We now have our own call center in the Philippines and a functioning business. But the business hasn’t taken off in the way we hoped…like taking us out of our parent’s houses for instance. So we have since launched another business – Smarter Social Media. We did a huge campaign this summer for Design Your Dorm across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere. And we are now facing the arduous challenge of landing more high paying clients.
This is all to say that the way I got going was to do just that: GO! We didn’t write a business plan for TaskUs or for Smarter Social Media. And while neither has put a roof over our heads yet, we are close, very close. We gave a talk to a class on Entrepreneurship at USC this week, and the professor asked me at the end: “What inspires you? What keeps you going?” My answer is simple: I worked for fourteen months in the corporate world – investment banking to be specific. And during this time I dreaded the sound of my alarm clock, bringing me back to consciousness at 5:30 a.m each morning. For the past fourteen months I have been pursuing my dream of being a wildly successful multi-preneur. And, I love getting up in the morning. I love going to work. I love the team I’ve built. While, the challenges can be tiresome, I love journey. For me this is what is most important.
A few points:
1) Get clear on what your dream is. Do this exercise: Write down where you want to be in 5 years. Write down EVERYTHING. Make is wild and crazy. Do you have a family? Where do you live? What do you drive? What do you wear? Are you working? If so what are you doing? EVERYTHING. Write this is present tense, “I am living in a mansion in the Malibu colony.” Then write down where you need to be in 3 years to accomplish your 5 year dream. Same thing, write every detail. Then write where you need to be in 1 year to accomplish your 3 year goal. Then write where you need to be in 6 months to accomplish your 1 year goal. Here is where you stop. Look at where you need to be in 6 months. And visualize what that looks like. Then plan (yes some planning is essential) how you are going to accomplish this 6 month goal. At the end of 6 months evaluate where you are and do the exercise again.
2) Do, don’t plan. Once you have a clear vision of where you want to get to just start doing.
3) Confront your fears! The number one thing that prevents people from being where they think they want to be is fear. To do this you have to first define your fears. Then challenge yourself to put yourself in awkward, uncomfortable and sometimes terrifying situations. I think I want to be the most popular person, but I have social anxiety. Only by confronting this fear, by approaching random girls, forcing myself to be outgoing and social, will I get to where I need to be. The irony is that in the process I will probably realize that I don’t want to be the most popular person. But if I don’t confront the fear I will just be left resentful and depressed.
Okay, that’s all for now. But if you have any other questions whatsover, just write.