I’m not the sharpest scythe in the shed, but sometimes my coal-dust addled brain learns a lesson or two from its
To wit: in 2011, I did all kinds of enterprising work to support myself outside the old 9-to-5: freelance writing, micro-affiliate sites, web design, junk peddling on ebay and craigslist, English teaching, and a couple other things.
I lived modestly and made enough to get by, but I still put in way too many 70-80-hour weeks. Now, every week, I spend half as many hours promoting tourism in my state for a modest salary and health insurance for my family.
In short, I quit freelancing because a cool opportunity came along and I was tired of getting my ass kicked by the patchwork Franken-career I had created for myself. I realized I needed a smarter way to earn a living. My decision isn’t right for everyone, but at this time, it’s the best decision for me.
When I think about all the work I did, I debate whether I’m the world’s shittiest businessman, or if I was just trying to do too much.
Because I’m not without ambition, and since a struggling book publisher once credited me with saving his business, I’m going to go with the latter.
I suppose I could always sell ebooks that tell you how to make a living selling ebooks about how to make a living selling ebooks [/spammy lifestyle design blog rant].
In all seriousness, if a person diligently pursued any one of these activities, they could probably support themselves. My problem was that I just had to try them all.
So what’s the lesson?
Do less, better.
Or, in the words of productivity guru David Allen: You can do anything, but not everything.
The bonus: I now have more time to work on things that are wildly fun and stupendously unprofitable!
Links for you
- The end of the year is a great time to both look back and look forward. While I usually end my year with several marathon journaling sessions, these aren’t for everybody. If you’re interested in how to review and prepare for the coming year, Chris at Art of Non-Conformity has a great post on How to Conduct Your Annual Review. While you’re there, check out his free new report The Tower.
- What if 2012 were the last year of your life? Pro tip: morbid thoughts can do wonders for your work ethic
- Another great post from Lateral Action called 6 Steps to Building Your Creative Endurance.
- If I had read this 12 months ago, would I have listened? How to Accomplish More by Doing Less
- Here’s a cool poster from Tanner at Creative Something.