There's a great post over at Location180 about setting priorities and making sure those priorities don't go into maintenance mode, causing you to feel like there's things you should be doing that you aren't and ultimately making you feel overwhelmed. Well guess what... that's how I feel!
Here I am in London, wanting to have a good time and enjoy myself, while at the same time feeling bad for not getting things done. The real problem here is that I know I'll only be here a short time longer and therefore I'm trying to do everything I'd like to do (I guess that's the difference between being on vacation somewhere and living somewhere... you don't feel pressured to try to squeeze everything in). The fact that I'm going to Belgium and Germany in the next few days and then to Miami shortly after aren't going to make things any easier.
So, as suggested by Sean, I'm going to decide on my top 3 priorities right now so I know where I stand and can better gauge what I should/will be working on.
Priority 1: Becoming Financially Secure...Again
So since I've stopped working full-time, I've obviously took a pay cut. I have accordingly (other than this trip to Europe) cut my expenses as well. Gone are the random nights (ok, actually not that random considering it happened fairly often) of multiple bottles at the club, calling Paul (limo driver) to come pick us up, and random spending of money. You know what... that's more than okay with me! I was getting kinda bored with it. Now I pay much more attention to what I spend on food, drinks, etc. I feel like its actually a good thing and something I should have had to learn a long time ago but didn't because of the large amounts of money that I spent. I now need to generate enough income every month to pay my bills and live so this is the first priority on my list. Any project that pays me immediate money becomes a #1 priority. There it is cut and dried.
Priority 2: Beautiful Body
If you know me at all, you'll know that I've wanted to have a better body for a long time. You'll also know that I've been fairly bad about working towards it. I used to blame the fact that I worked every day for 8 hours as the reason for it but now I know that was just BS. I am therefore burning into my head (and also writing it down) that getting into shape is my second priority. That doesn't mean I'm going to spend 4 hours in the gym every day or run 20 miles every week. It does, however, mean that I will be attending the gym or doing something physical for at least 1.5 hours a day, 6 days a week. This can be running, blading, playing soccer, going to the gym, etc. It also means that I will be looking for healthy (and still inexpensive) alternatives to the crappy foods that I normally eat. I'm not doing this as a vanity thing (ok, maybe not just a vanity thing anyway). I'm doing it because I'm tired of feeling bad about myself, being uncomfortable about my body (even though I'm really not in that bad shape), and generally missing out of the self-confidence I know I'd have if I was in better shape. Plus summer is coming soon so there's that :-p . So there it is, if I'm not doing something that is making me money immediately, the next thing I'm probably doing is something physical.
Priority 3: Recurring Income Projects (aka business ideas)
Again, the people who know me won't see this as a surprise. I am always working with people on new ideas. Problem is, we get started and then it fizzles out or gets pushed to the back burner. While that may sometimes be a good thing (bad projects get killed), in general, if I commit to something I'd like to know I have the integrity and drive to see it through... Maybe not to the very end, but at least until I can make an informed decision as to whether the project is worth continuing. Currently I have many such projects on my plate... multiple iphone/android/blackberry apps, club connX, GoalDiggr, DreamDigga. I think all these ideas are worth pursuing and need to be putting more time into them so I can decide whether they are worth continuing before I decide to take on more projects. Additionally, any of these could blow up and make money down the road. Therefore, my priority #3 is to get these projects up and running as quickly as possible. The sooner they're done, the sooner there's feedback, the sooner I know whether they're worth something or that I should move on.
So there they are....
1. Becoming Financially Secure...Again (making immediate money)
2. Better Body (getting into shape and being healthier)
3. Recurring Income Project (Sorting/following through on business ideas)
Plan is to judge everything I choose to do against these three priorities and anything that doesn't fall into one of them will be considered "Just for Amusement". And there's always time for amusement... as long as the work get's done.
Well, it’s happened. As of about a month ago, I stopped working full time. I’m not going to go into the details of how right this second but I will say that I’m happy about it. I wanted to do a celebratory post about it on the blog, but decided that it would be more prudent of me to hold off on it as my mother reads my blog and I wasn’t ready to tell her just yet.
Things have very much changed already. I’m actually sitting here in London, writing this post. I decided to travel a bit, especially when I found out that my mom, Kathy, and my sister would be traveling to London for a week. I decided to spend the week with them and then go on to Belgium and Germany to visit friends for about a half week longer after they leave. When I get back, I have about a week and a half in NYC after which I’ll be driving down to Miami and staying there for an undetermined period of time. At a minimum, I’ll be down there for Winter Party and Winter Music Conference, with a visit home in between. That takes care of most of the month of March. Plans for the month of April aren’t completely locked down yet. I may be spending the month around the Mediterranean somewhere with Jon and def end up back in London for a weekend to celebrate one of my friend’s birthday. Quite an exciting next couple of months!
One question you may be asking how I am financing all this, while also paying my rather high rent in NYC and my bills. The answer is a whole bunch of things. I like to break them down by how quickly they’ll give me a money return. On the immediate/short term side, I collect money from my company DS410 by continuing to service the clients that I’ve had. I also continue to try to cultivate new ones, not because I enjoy the IT work but mostly because it provides steady recurring monthly income. I will be working on a helpful blog targeted at helping small businesses with their IT, which can be found at http://www.computernetworkingnewyork.com. Additionally, I also do web and mobile (IPhone, Android, Blackberry) application development. These aren’t as steady but still pay pretty well. In the mid-term side, I work on projects that will not only make money now but also have the potential of making money in the future. I won’t go into details about these projects now but one involves mobile contact management for clubs , another involves building a new form of lead generation service for plastic surgeons, and a third involves a “build your dream” community site that does interviews of people in the entertainment industry focusing on how they made it to where they are. On the long term side, I have my newer company “Goal Diggr”, which still has a lot of work left to do on it. As I work on the different things, I attempt to write a bit about them here.
So far, the experience of being free is very nice. I haven’t been as worried as I thought I would about money (though that may change while I’m here in London considering the horrible exchange rate). Anyway, got to go out to see the sites.