Reflections – the first 45 days!
I never knew what it would be like to start my own company. I spent more than 25 years working for some of the most amazing brands in technology. I worked for AT&T, Cisco, Salesforce.com, Acxiom and TiVo. When I jumped feet first into the wacky world of entrepreneurship, I was not sure what to expect.
There were several things I imagined would occur without question. I was convinced that I would work out at the gym every day. Now that I’m working for myself, I can make my own schedule and do everything I was struggling to fit in as an employee. Sadly, I must admit that I haven’t worked out every day. I haven’t done all my laundry. I haven’t cleaned my house every day because I am having so much fun doing what it is I love doing.
In the last 45 days, I held 95 meetings either in person or by phone. I never realized how many extraordinary people I would meet on this new path. Certainly, I am getting time do some things that I love to do outside of my passion for work, but I have now realized I’m spending all this time doing what I love to do anyways, so I don’t have to squeeze in time to do other things to make me happy.
In 45 days, I have two new clients. I have half a dozen prospective clients and a rich pipeline of opportunities. Many people might ask why or how I have gotten to this place. As I reflect on this, I realize that I’ve been planning this business for 25 years. Everything I’ve done to this point has led up to today. I’m connecting with some people that I’ve known my entire life. The business that I have today has come through trusted relationships. One client came through someone that I went to Junior High School with and another one came through a friend I’ve known for over five years. None of these clients came through my work channels. Opportunities are everywhere. You must embrace them. You must be open, and if you are open, business will come to you.
It’s hard work. It’s not enough to just decide that you’re going to start a business. It’s not enough to tell people or declare that you’re going to start a business. You have no choice but to do what it takes to make it happen. Creating your own structure is a necessity that I think I neglected in the first 45 days. I was meeting with one of my colleagues yesterday, and he gave me some good personal coaching. He looked at me with a look of concern and said, “Can I give you some advice?”
I said “Yes, please do!”
He said, “Make sure you schedule time for YOU. It’s too easy to forget to take care of yourself. Schedule time to eat; make sure you schedule downtime; set boundaries.” These are all things I’ve told myself, but somehow when you hear it from somebody else it resonates.
So, as I reflect on these 45 days, here is a list of things that I’m going to do differently in the next 45 days.
- Establish office hours
- Set time to exercise
- Schedule time to eat
- Plan a vacation
- Create time in my schedule for thinking and content creation
If you have any helpful tips, I am all ears!