The Un-Job Chronicles - Week 1

I'm in awe that I don't have a job. Like scary, amusing awe. It's almost as if I am watching someone else live their life and have yet to realize it's actually mine.

On December 18th, I left the corporate world to launch a full time speaking, training and career coaching business.

Woo-freakin'-hoo!

So while I don't have conventional "go into the office and clock in" job, I do in fact have a very real un-job that is this grand adventure into solo-preneurship. This very first week has been a bit surreal (I have a vague memory feeling like this while out on maternity leave wondering what to do all day).

Granted as this is last week of 2015, a vacation week for most, I'm not the only person in the world who didn't set an alarm and go be productive somewhere. Lots of people are enjoying this holiday break while their office is closed.  But still, it's been a wondrous feeling knowing I have a clean slate with which to craft every single day.

These first five days have been a fascinating study of my discipline and focus. I mean really, with no actual "work place" to go to, the main thing standing between me and the welfare line is my ability to stay the course and be effective with my time. Here's how the week panned out:

Get up on my own before 7 - check (I tried setting a 6 am alarm and promptly snoozed it, which in fact now sounds like a fail)
Change out of yoga pants - fail (but they are soooo comfortable!)
Go for a run - check (mir-a-cle)
Work on work - check (oh yea, that's the whole point)
Limit Facebook - half-check (it's considered networking right?)
Minimize going down the rabbit hole of online distractions - fail (endless clicking through)
Go out to lunch with anyone who asked - check (which actually means fail)

Clearly my planning needs to be up-leveled. With 8+ hours to fill each day, I started making lists of what had to be done each day.

ceciliaslists

I have project lists in Asana, I have scribbled lists on paper, I have notes on my iPhone, I have middle-of-the-night mental lists that evaporate by sunrise, all of which have yet to be seamlessly joined into a concerted "what the heck am I doing next?" list.

Lists = 4, Cecilia = 0

In order for this leap into the great unknown to have any chance of succeeding, obviously I've gotta work a few of these kinks out. This is what I have found after 5 days of working my un-job:

1. The wide-openness of a day is daunting - Making lists is a start, following them to an absolute T is critical.

2. Distractions are called distractions because, well, they distract - The evil king Facebook and his nasty twin brothers Twitter and LinkedIn sucked up hours I can't get back. I had more success with my to-do list later in the week when I scheduled an hour to troll social media and work it on behalf of my business.

3. I don't miss much about my old job (yet) - Besides a few stellar co-workers who brightened my life, the drama and politics of my previous position I'm happy to leave behind. I'm sure if you give me a few more months of working from home, I might feel differently about not going into an office every day. For now, it's a breath of fresh drama-free air.

4. Having my feet to the fire is exhilarating - I never in a million years thought I could own my own business. I like steady. I like secure. I like having a paycheck. Solo-preneurship has quite a bit less of all that. But knowing that my success is tied to what I am doing every minute of the day is exciting. Stressful, yes but exciting too.

5. I am here to learn -  Every single day, my job is to find the lessons in what I am doing, so that I can tweak, finesse and work to get better. Did I send an email that didn't get the reply I anticipated? Well then, review how I wrote it and see what I can do better next time. Did I lose out on getting a training gig? Well then, ask questions of the client to see why. The more I learn and the faster I do it will be the ultimate game changer.

Clearly I don't know much after 5 days of working for myself. But, what I do know is this is quite possibly the best decision I have ever made.


 

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