Four Lessons One Year In

It’s almost our one year anniversary from the launch of our dream business.  It was quite the journey to get to the starting line. It was two agonizing years of what often felt like going nowhere getting nothing done (Things Not Done – A Story of Progress). But the last 9 months have flown by and my project whiteboard tells the story.

January to March
This was a lot of catching up on the things that hadn’t gotten done before the launch.  And to keep with the theme, 22 things didn’t get done (but 13 of those did get done eventually!)

March to May
13 things got done and 4 more in progress!

May to July
So many things crossed off!

July to October
Not as many things got done.  I’ve never seen so many arrows.  And question marks?  And so many additions.  I’d be worried but there’s just enough going well to keep my spirits afloat.

So what have I learned in the last year?

  1. Priorities shift.
    Yeah, some urgent things really are critical.  But sometimes opportunities show up and totally change the game.  Sometimes it’s just realizing I didn’t have the priorities straight to begin with.  And then sometimes it’s just the effect of time.  Either way, having my wonderfully laid out columns doesn’t mean that’s what actually will happen or need to happen and that’s OK.
  2. Process is agonizingly slow and way too fast.
    I’m not prepared for either.
    It can seem weeks go by where I don’t move forward and sometimes it seems we are exactly where we started. I despair that maybe this dream won’t work and we’ll have to fold and sell out and get real jobs. Then something pops up and suddenly we’re thrust forward. I suddenly worry that there is simply not enough time to do all of the work. I worry that we don’t have what we need or that we won’t have what we need later. Whatever the scenario, I’m worried. So I’m trying to be at peace with worry.
  3. Drive and flow.
    I need to balance driving relentlessly towards my goals with going with the flow. I don’t just want to take any opportunity that presents itself. I have a vision and I don’t want to end up down another path even if it’s a perfectly good path. On the other hand I need to be open to side tracks and alternate routes as long as they are going the right direction.
  4. Save and spend.
    I feel desperately thrifty. I’m already worried that our expenses are too high; that we’ll never make enough for this to be sustainable. But how much of “you have to spend money to make money” holds true? I know it’s a balance of spend and thrift but I’m still learning how to find that ever shifting sweet spot.

So what’s up next?

October 20th 2018

There’s an anniversary party on that board!  We’re going to have a blast celebrating how far we’ve come, thanking the people who support us, and welcoming anyone who wants to check us out.

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