The title should really be, “My Purpose in my Professional Life.” But that doesn’t flow as nicely or grab you buy the emotions, so I shrank it down to “My Purpose in Life.”
If you’re lucky, you’re one of those people who’ve known exactly what your purpose in life was since high school or college. If you’re extremely lucky, you’ve known since you were a kid. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that way for me. I barely figured it out this morning, after a little more than 37 years of being me. That’s almost 20 years AFTER joining the workforce, where I was supposed to be executing upon that purpose.
For some, their purpose in life is wrapped up in a single goal or series of related goals. For example, “I want to be the best basketball player…on my team” then morphs to “…at my school” and then “…in the (W)NBA” and lastly “…of all time.” Now, for me, my purpose is not like that.
For me, my purpose in life is something that I’ve been hoping for to provide guidance. I like to do many things as evident in these two separate posts. A lot of different things make me happy. I have a ton of crazy ideas, and I get more ideas all the time. In fact, I just had a great new biz idea this morning. When the ideas hatch though, I invariably ask, “Will this make me happy? Will this be fulfilling for me in the long run?” Most of the time, I would answer, “I don’t know” because again, I didn’t know my purpose so how could I know if this would work towards it? Continue reading “My Purpose in Life”→
To date, I’ve had about a handful of entrepreneurial activities. Looking back, I realized something: You can’t plan a business. I know that sounds pretty counter-intuitive, but I’ll be honest, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. At least for me.
Don’t believe me? Alright, well, let’s take a walk down memory lane and let’s survey the land to see what happened. NOTE: I’ve had way more ideas than this, but these are the ones that I put more than a few days or weeks into.
Idea #1 – Restaurant Paging/Seating Software
I wrote a fat business plan. I did market analysis. I had a team in place and a product being built. Then I had a personal incident happen that left a bad taste in my mouth on the idea. Regardless though, I spent a few years on the idea and nothing happened. I had a great plan, but never had a product, not even a beta product. I almost became the software arm of one of my would-be competitors, though that fell through at the last-minute because they didn’t understand software.
Takeaway: You can have a great product idea, business plan and market analysis yet still not go to market with a product. In which case, what was the point of all the planning?
I just figured it out. That stupid saying was probably introduced to me early on in life. It’s a very teacher and parental thing to tell a kid. Most adults have a hard time finding that one thing they’re great at. It would be unfair to plant the notion that there’s more than one thing.
Here’s the thing though. I’ve lived what…35 years of my life in misery, literally, misery and agony trying to find that *one* thing I’m supposed to be master of.
Self doubt sucks
“Is it art?” I wondered until my portfolio quite literally blew away in the wind one day in high school. “Is it writing?” Fiction or non didn’t really matter to me. I wrote a novel, poems, short stories, news articles, technical articles, etc. “Is it programming?” I was good at it in the eighth grade and it’s paid the bills quite steadily since December of 1997. “Is it conferences?” A short stint proved that while fun, that certainly was *not* it. LOL
“Why can’t I figure this out? What’s wrong me?” Every other day, I find myself alone somewhere (my bed, the shower, in the car, heck, even the toilet) and I ponder that. I wonder why I’m broken. “35 years and you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up.”
See, that’s the thing. I figured you had to be *something*. You had to be a Master of *something*, else you’d be a useless Jack of All Trades. I wanted a sign, from God, from my parents, from my peers, anywhere. “Let me know what it is and I’ll be there. I’ll dedicate my life to it.”
In yesterday’s post, I talked about finding your niche. Today, I share more about my niche and my plans to get back into it.
I used to run Silvafug, the Silicon Valley Flex Users Group. During my tenure, the group accomplished a lot. (Heck even without me, the group is still doing a lot.) However, one goal eluded me, despite having a great need to be attained. I think it’s time to revisit that goal. What is it?
Helping Flex developers bridge the gap from beginner-to-mid and/or mid-to-advance level.