A couple of days ago I got an email from Michael O'Neal over at solopreneurhour.com. Michael is one of a handful of internet folk I follow who support budding entrepreneurs (like myself). Generally these types of emails are updates on blog posts or offers but this one was a simple question:
"What are the THREE biggest struggles holding you back?"
Now I have seen this type of email before but this time I felt compelled to embark on what can only be described as verbal diarrhoea over the space of 10 minutes. It just caught me in one of those moments you have where a valve is released. The poor chap probably opened the mail and sighed. However he did actually reply with some helpful advice (thanks Michael) and afterwards, looking at my mail again, I thought it might be helpful to share it with you in its entirety. Warts and all (with only some grammar and spelling changes).
Who knows. It might be of some use to see a typical example of the thoughts of someone trying to break away from the rat race.
I would love to know what you think......
I like to think I'm a simple kind of guy at the end of the day. I try to ask the basic questions especially when it comes to undertaking a task.
“What am I trying to do here?”
“What's the point in doing this?”
“Why do I have to do this?”
Now this might come across as lazy, obstructive or grumpy to some people but I am not meaning to be. My brain just likes to check what the basic ‘why’ is.
Well it turns out this ‘why’ is actually easier to answer than we might think. And in doing so might well lead to the only two things that matter in life.
As a professional, there is an expectation be an expert. To be the one who knows best. To be able to answer all the questions.
And yet there seems to be many of us who hold a secret from our colleagues. From our friends. And our families.
It's something that lingers deep inside yet when it surfaces the panic button gets pushed. It strangles our creativity, our confidence and our progress.
Take a bow Impostor Syndrome.
Having two young children has definitely changed my perspectives in life. From carefree and reckless to an inbuilt unbreakable bond of responsibility and love.
And I want to do what's right for my children.
To give them a solid grounding and teach them that being righteous (as opposed to self righteous) is the correct thing to do.
And yet I feel I am failing.
I really like Star Wars. Yes indeedy.
I remember walking out of the cinema in a small town in the west of Ireland as a 10-year-old and gazing at the stars above imagining those far distant worlds. In a way, I see the internet today in a similar fashion. It is like a self-contained universe hosting an unlimited amount of people, places and things. There is so much to discover and there are so many opportunities available to those who are willing to explore. At the same time, there are lots to fear and it has its dark side.
As a complete newbie dipping my toe into the world of online business this last year or so has been a steep learning curve. At the outset I had little to no interest towards social media. I wasn't on Facebook, left Twitter to the birds and thought Instagram might be a new type of email.
Two major obstacles quickly arose from the outset...
Task: Publish a memoir as a physical and electronic book.
Timescale: As soon as possible.
Budget: £28 (gained from from pre-orders)
Expenses: £28 used towards an alarm clock rug priced at £41 that I convince myself I need in order to get up earlier and be more productive. Budget blown.......
So no budget to speak of, no book ever written (or attempted) before, limited time due to full time job/full time family and an 'asap' schedule.
How hard could it be?! Gulp.....
And so the journey of creating and publishing my Sudanese memoir begins.
This trip down memory lane is part of a longer-term objective to discover new ways of creating multiple streams of income using the internet as the platform. Without a doubt it will be filled with trial and error, many imperfect moments and possibly even some blood, sweat and tears.
Be a lawbreaker.
Not something I would normally advocate but there is one particular law that I urge you to break.
Have you ever had an unappealing task (especially paperwork) and begun to dread facing it as it sat in your ‘To Do’ pile? This has happened to me many times over the years and it is due to a fear that I would not do it justice or that I actually didn't have the ability to do it at all. Yet as the days or weeks passed it would seem to grow along with a feeling of impending doom.
Memories are great.
Until you forget them....
In 1999 I arrived at the largest swamp in the world in the midst of a forgotten civil war on a new career path.
I had a feeling there would be some new experiences.
So before I had left home now 4000 miles behind me I had committed to keeping a daily journal for the duration of the job. Nothing fancy. Just a plain unlined notebook was sufficient to record the things to come and to make sure I didn't forget them.
From selling shoes to avoiding bombs. An eye-opening and honest memoir of my time as a novice aid worker in war-torn Sudan at the turn of the millennium.
A simple yet stylish notebook for humanitarians and aid workers. This 150-page notebook is printed with cream coloured unlined pages with a daily quotation on each page to help inspire and motivate.