Dear Sean and Fellow New Beginners,
Love Sean’s questions. Especially when jobs are scarce, this process of getting connected to new people, places and opportunities is wild. Overwhelmingness is 100% emotional. And the best cure is discipline. It’s the biggest thing I hear Sean searching for. I know Sean well (he’s my future son-in-law) and we share a similar thinking style—big picture and entrepreneurial. Our mutual quandary is reigning in our ideas and putting a disciplined approach into action.
Then there’s this network his Dad talks about. Important, but this isn’t your Daddy’s networking anymore. Like it isn’t enough to connect to new people, now we find our heads buried in online social networking—LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, oh yikes! Familiar ring? A little like “Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!”
To build our yellow brick road, it’s back to basics. Simple is powerful. When we’re overwhelmed, we don’t see the power of simple. We know what to do, but the emotion gets in the way of our brain working right. There are no shortcuts to the power of discipline. I’m starting here:
1. Start small—put three things on my Monday-Friday schedule.
My example: 1) Online time limited to one hour a day (exceptions allowed); 2) Time for writing and publicity work; 3) Sacred time for physical activity, broken only for special meetings
2. Tell my husband (substitute your special person) what I got done today
My example: I spout off my accomplishments each night—it makes me accountable and reassures me that I got something important done today no matter how distracted I felt
3. Give myself permission to fall off the horse, then get right back on.
My example: I recently got a new job as caretaker for my ninetysomething mom. Some days I don’t sit down to work until noon, and can easily slip into a non-productive funk. Instead, I do whatever it takes to get back on the horse—sometimes it’s calling old colleagues, and others it’s tackling the less brainiac things on my ToDO list.
So let’s start with some discipline that’s not a prison cell. I’ll share my experiences, you share yours, and we’ll build a power system against distractions. With some discipline in place, we can open the door to the networking efforts, and how to turn exploratory conversations into career possibilities, all while managing the lions and tigers of the social networking world. Much to talk about, here in the real world of making things happen. What are you facing today, Sean? Readers?