I haven’t had formal employment for about 4 months now and I’ve learned some interesting things. The main thing that I’ve discovered about myself is that I actually hate being distracted and love to work with extreme focus for short bursts.
Someone recently told me that the best thing to happen to my career is not having a job. I wholeheartedly agree but with one major caveat; Focus is absolutely imperative when you have a lot of options.
I have been approached to start companies, join companies, speak here and there, and consult to many brands, businesses and agencies. The most difficult part is to successfully explore the various opportunities in front of me without offending or leading anyone on and then focusing in on the most interesting, fun and fruitful of those.
I’ve had to say no to some incredibly gifted people whom I respect and I’ve taken on some things that in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. I’ve also had to make some very tough decisions and statements for partners and clients about various products they are pitching and proposing to me.
Then there’s NicSocks, my own little ecommerce startup. This is probably the most difficult thing to put on the back burner or shove aside. But I’m trying hard to stay focused on specific goals that have been set with regard to my side projects: When they become profitable enough to hire people, I will. Until then, it’s all me.
Here are some tips to help with focus when you’re consulting and working on multiple projects:
On the whole I am absolutely loving the nature of consulting and working with many smart people on a few brilliant projects. You should try it.