Writing the Entrepreneur List

TheFizzleShowWhile listening to a new podcast that ThinkTraffic recommended, my outlook and perspective going into next week has completely changed because I wrote what I’m going to call my Entrepreneur List. This podcast includes Corbett Barr, whom my first client, Sibyl Chavis got me familiar with his game). It’s called The Fizzle Show and I highly recommend it.

From the start, it was as if the 3 hosts were in my head describing what my life is like in regards to being a solopreneur who must create and deliver to survive and trying to avoid burnout at the same time. It happens, without fail, to some scale, as if it’s become a way of life; the doldrum that follows launching a big project. Sometimes it hits immediately after the final payment of a single project and sometimes it happens after a month with epic surplus in the bank.

you know what that leads to

If you took a look at my Freshbooks account, you’d see a roller coaster of revenue. Until the end of 2011, I thought it was set in stone by the month of the year because I had enough historical data to show that February sucks (not enough to cover the mortgage) and June, September, and December are my record-setting months. Thanks to my pal, Phil Gerbyshak, I shook that thinking over drinks at Starbucks when he came to Tampa to speak at a conference.

My wife and I had already noticed that a great revenue month was always followed by a dismal month. Sometimes two dismal months were back to back and a couple of times that stretched to three months and made us consider whether that meant going back to a “stable” job.

it’s about perspective

What I learned from the podcast entitled How to Stay Motivated was that my perspective was broken. Think back FIVE YEARS from now. Do you see where you were and how you felt about the future — where you’d like to be “someday?” I was chained to a desk making just enough money to get by, getting sick enough for IV antibiotics every  6-9 months, my wife needed to work, and my work, while personally fulfilling, didn’t feel like people appreciated my skill and hard work.

Where were you FIVE YEARS ago? THREE YEARS? Are you more or less where you wanted to be “someday?” For me, I’m well beyond where I would be by now. I hit that just TWO YEARS into business when my wife quit her job. I’m actually living well into my fantasyland  from five years ago.

it’s about living life

They each have a list, which I’ll call an Entrepreneur List, which was partially inspired by a survey of dying people who listed their regrets. It puts today into the reverse perspective of “if I were dying, what would I regret about how I’m living today?” Is your current project your everything? If you’re having a bad day, does it affect you as much as when your boss made a bad day for you?

Are you happy? Do you love life and love what you do, even if you’re not quite “there” yet?

create your Entrepreneur List

Later this week, I’ll be publishing my Entrepreneur List. It will be public for three reasons:

  1. accountability – if I’m being a sad dork on Twitter and it’s not about health or something with our foster care stuff, then I need to be reminded about the list
  2. inspiration – one of my gifts is motivating others, so I would humbly hope to inspire other solopreneurs to create their own lists and share them
  3. remembrance – the nature of the list is dynamic — changing as the things in your life change with you, so this is a snapshot record for my future self

I hope you’ll consider making a list this week while I publish mine to share and motivate each other. This is the WordPress community, after all, and this is nothing if it’s not community.

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