New Year – New Old Me
Say It Once – Say It Loud – I’m a Goonie And Proud – Say Yes More
I don’t think I have ever set a New Year’s resolution that I have managed to keep. That’s why this year I haven’t set any. Well, I did make one, but I have already broken that.
It’s the one about posting blogs, at least, three times a week. It’s now the middle of the month, and this is my first….
When it comes to doing things differently I’ve been working on making changes for the last few months rather than sticking on all the pressure on one date. That way I am halfway certain of actually achieving some of the goals. The other way of making sure I accomplish what I set out to do is to stay accountable. Making those goals public means I can’t shy away, cop-out or bottle it. So that’s what I’ve done – I’ve written them out, stuck them on the wall and given my other half carte blanche to kick me hard in the nads if I slack off.
Since starting the revolution back in September, I have been pushing myself to do more ‘firsts’. To stop doing the same old pointless nonsense that I know is no good for me and to say Yes more. It’s a simple thing saying yes, but it takes some doing. It is so easy especially at this time of year to sink back into the cosiness of the sofa and think, ‘Fxck it, I’ll start tomorrow’.
But here’s the payoff. You say yes more and good things start happening. You see a lot of those firsts have opened up opportunities and put me in situations that have impacted most of the areas of my life.
I’ve been live-reporting for Brighton’s large business conference and have been asked to sit on the steering committee for this year’s event. Then there were the times that led to me being interviewed on radio on three separate occasions (and before you sarky buggers start cracking any gags about me having a face for radio you can – in the words of the legendary Ronnie Barker in Porridge – “Get Stuffed, Godber!”).
Going Back To My Roots.
Thinking back, one of the main reasons for quitting my last job was that I realised I wasn’t spending nearly enough time with my son.
Since my dad passed away, one of my biggest regrets was that we didn’t spend nearly enough time together having adventures. I look back now and remember some quite legendary ‘Jolly Boys Outings’, day trips, and holidays away. But most of these happened when I was in my teens or twenties.
I want my son to look back and his earliest memories to be full of ‘our’ stories. Who knows that maybe in the years to come he can learn from them and even tell his son about how his dad was around to spend a couple of hours in the afternoons throwing stones in the sea, making magic potions and building secret camps.
Say Yes More – Hip Hop Dancing
Take yesterday for example when my son’s dance class was hip-hop related. Last week he kindly told his dance teacher that his daddy likes hip-hop dancing. His dance teacher said, ‘Oh you should bring your daddy along’. So you can guess the rest.
Me, a gang of four-year-olds, some dodgy body-popping and it was such fun. Judging by the hug I got at the end it meant so much to my son and reminded me exactly why I am doing what I am doing. An hour later I am in a new client meeting pitching, and I’m killing it because I am so buzzed-up!
I can do that by managing my own time better and not being confined to a set 9-5 in one place five days a week. This means I am more flexible in my approach and being flexible means less stress so I am ultimately happier as is everyone around me.
I also have more time to do the things without having the guilt attached that – if I want to do something for me, it’s ok.
One of those things is that on Wednesday mornings I pay my mate’s wife to come over so I can punch her. Now, I know this sounds well, dodgy, but let me explain. Dave’s wife, Hanna is a personal trainer at Shore Fit and boxing training is something that she can do very well. I mean to the point that I now ache in places that I didn’t know existed. I have always hated exercise, but doing this means I save money by not taking up expensive gym memberships and never using them.
I hate ‘gym politics’ and being surrounded by vain fellas that live their lives in front of mirrors, demolishing toilets due to OD’ing on protein shakes. So now for less than what I would usually pay for a round of drinks I am getting expert tuition, nutritional advice and I have no excuses not to do it – as she comes ’round my house and bullies me. I now have more energy to do more stuff effectively.
HOW I DO IT.
When it comes to working I have clear project deadlines and as long as the work is completed on schedule surely it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is produced? Collaborative working tools mean I can be working on the same item with other people and not have to be in the same room or even the same timezone.
I can get more done by cutting out all the crap. I’m done with the pointless ego-driven meetings, office politics, eye-bleedingly soulless spreadsheets and making polite chit-chat with colleagues I can’t stand about what their dog had for Christmas – not to mention the dreaded commute.
I now work from my office at home surrounded by things and people that inspire me, like posters of this which now hang on our hallway wall>
Or from the end of Worthing Pier or a coffee shop in Brighton. By changing my view, I am soaking up different conversations, sights, smells and influences that ultimately spark some truly strange and wonderful opportunities. Say yes more and you go in all sorts of different directions. This wouldn’t have happened if I was confined by frankly outdated concepts.
Like what I hear you ask? Well I am now in talks to put on my own music events, I am doing editorial/PR consultancy for two festivals, and I have just been commissioned by a major brand that works with the likes of Marvel and the Discovery Channel to be the Creative Lead for the ultimate event for dads (this is possibly the best thing I have ever worked on…)
This last came about as a direct result of a project that I was working on with Jim @BewilderedDad over the Christmas period. Jim is based in the Yorkshire Dales whereas I’m in Sussex. Our catch-ups and creative brainstorms conducted over Skype after the kids had gone to bed.
So there I was a few months ago, making myself ill, adult chickenpox anyone? Selling-Out my creative soul to work on brands that I couldn’t connect with who tied me up in red-tape. Now just over four months later I can work on projects that I am passionate about, that make a difference and make the world a slightly nicer place.
I’m a massive fan of the Do-Lectures. If you are unaware, it’s a series where people stand up and tell their own weird and incredibly inspiring stories. The running theme is how the universe has a strange habit of working sh*t out if you are brave enough to take the leap of faith. Why spend the next fifty years doing sh*t you hate, day after day and then look back and think ‘What would have happened if…”
One of my most favourite films of all time is The Goonies. You recall the scene where Mikey discovers the map of One-Eyed Willy’s rumoured ‘rich stuff’ and utters the immortal line, “What if, you guys. Just what if?”. Well, that’s me all over. I’m proud to say I am a Goonie and I will always wonder ‘What if?’. So here’s to p*ssing off the Brad’s of this world and outrunning the ‘Fratellis’. I’m grabbing the map and going for the treasure.
What does your treasure map look like?