I spent the last month on the road every week (there was fun sprinkled in there too, of course). My business has taken off, which is fun and gratifying, especially because I haven’t had time to do any marketing. Everything has come to me from word-of-mouth and referrals. (Thank you to all who believe in me!) My website is designed and I love it, but it’s not functional yet because yours truly hasn’t written enough content yet.
In addition to Saskatchewan, I now have coaching clients in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. I’ve been doing a deep dive on business strategy with a senior executive team in Ontario, where the CEO asked me to simultaneously coach the team on their dynamics. I loved it, but it was risky, because I didn’t know these people. It’s tricky to coach someone in the moment in front of their peers on their bad behaviour, while preserving their dignity. But they all told me to keep going, so I did. I’ve been speaking hither and yon, across Canada. I keep pinching myself. People pay me to do all this stuff. I go to hardly any meetings, play in my garden every sunny day (which in Saskatchewan was hardly ever last month), go to the gym every day and work in my increasingly messy den with a cat on my lap. My heart feels like it will burst sometimes.
I’ve returned to the working habits I had in my 20s. I was a creative, chaotic whirlwind of activity, followed by stints of visiting all of the company, getting to know people. I didn’t know that was called networking. I was just curious about what made people tick and about their stories and challenges. The first boss who gave me a significant promotion (Louise Neveu) told me that I needed to go to a time management class. “You’re brilliant, but you’re going to kill yourself if you don’t get organized,” she said. So off I went to a Franklin-Covey class, where I learned about prioritizing (what a concept!) and wrote an epitaph from various people’s points of view. It’s a macabre idea, but the point is to discern what your legacy will be. I wasn’t too happy to note that every single person I chose to write about said something like, “She was great, but she had no time for me”. I realized that my chaos was robbing people I cared about of time with me and vice versa. So I bought the fancy-dancy leather-bound daytimer and I diligently wrote prioritized lists every day. On Sundays, I would ponder my progress the week before. Generally, it wasn’t anywhere near my goals. I was frittering away time on perfectly crafted emails and “networking”. I was saving hard work like strategy for the evenings, when I was tired and out of gas. It took me years to force myself to work on “big rocks” when my energy was high, and nuke emails in the evenings when I was spent. I became very neat at work, putting everything away every day after I was made responsible for customer service standards, which included a clean desk policy. Yes, me! My family laughed.
Now that I have sprung free from the corporate world, there are no policies. There is also no free desk space. My husband marvels at my filing system, which includes stuff all over the floor. I suck at administration, and don’t invoice too frequently. Oops. I still make lists, but I don’t look at them very often. Now that this busy work period is almost over and I will be home for the summer, I actually want to organize things. I am a terrible pack rat, and as my friend Cathy Ann says, “More is more!” I have too many books, papers, magazines, files, baskets, office doo-dads and CDs. If I live to be 100, I will never ever be able to read it all or use most of it. Soooo, I am in a purging mood.
Today, I am starting an online course called “Write your book in six months”. The procrastinator in me has blossomed again, and I’ve been legitimately busy, so I’ve decided that I need this push to birth my book.
Stay tuned. I’m going out to play in my garden now. The birds are chirping and I sent a strategy draft to my client at midnight last night. I am beyond blessed.