Boundless #56: Coaching, Declines, Decisions & "Enough"
Solopreneur Events In Boston | Reads Across The Web | Decision Making
June 22nd, 2019: Greetings from Connecticut! Hope you are enjoying a nice cup of coffee as you pop open this 56th issue of Boundless. Enjoy!
Digital Meetup Experiment: I’m hosting a Boundless digital meetup on Creating In Public on June 25th at 6:30pm EST. If you’re interested in joining the conversation hit the link to register. We’ll share ideas, lessons and chat about writing, podcasting and in general, doing things in public on the web.
Join Me: Boston July 16th-17th + Hartford July 23rd
Boston: July 16th @ 3pm: Solpreneur Meetup: Are you self-employed, freelancing or a remote worker? Come join our session to connect & share ideas.
Boston: July 17th @ 6pm Take The Leap To Self Employment Workshop: Stephen and I are using this as an experiment to work together. We’ll do hands on activities as a group to help you take a similar approach to reimagining your path.
Hartford: July 23rd @ 5:30pm in Hartford: I’ll be doing a live workshop with people about starting podcasts and writing in public.
#1 Should Everyone Have A Coach? (Ben Brooks)
Years ago, Ben wrote that his personal mission statement was “to help people reach their full potential” and our conversation touches on this theme in many different ways. Ben is a former car rental pro turned consultant turned HR executive. His work in HR landed him on the cover of Human Resource Executive but instead of staying on the path to CEO he decided to carve his own path.
Our conversation touches on a number of issues including coaching, entrepreneurship, how his relationship with work has evolves, management versus leadership and what he wants written on his tombstone.
I had the idea to write an article similar to this, but couldn’t find the right framing. This is a good place to start:
In 1957, the typical new American house was 983 square feet. The average household income -- in current dollars -- was about $35,000. And 53% of Americans declared themselves "very happy"; only 3% described themselves as "not very happy."
I continue to be curious about how expectations and happiness (or satisfaction) are linked. If you listen to the convention wisdom, things are pretty bad in the US. However, if you look at things like the General Social Survey, which has studies Americans since 1972, the level of people that said they were “not too happy” has stayed relatively steady, the reluctant curmudgeons:
More than 80% of people consistently chose the other two options which were “very happy” or “pretty happy.”
Go play around with the survey. I stumbled across many questions that were counter to what I thought.
#3 Making Decisions
Deciding whether or not to take or start a new project being self-employed can be a challenge. Without the structured pressure of a job you show up to every day, the project that seems like a good idea can turn into a energy-creativity-zapping force of nature. Here are some of the decision tricks I use when thinking about agreeing to work on something
#1 Fuck Yes Or No Principle (H/T Mark Manson)
I love this principle because it re-orients the decision away from a yes or no which can seem like an even battle to one that keeps you much more focused on things you actually will end up sticking to:
The Law of "Fuck Yes or No" states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say "Fuck Yes" in order for you to proceed with them.
If you don’t like swear words, Derek Sivers goes with “hell yes or no”
When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say “no.”
#2 One To Ten, No Sevens
I’ve heard this share by Tim Ferriss on a couple of his podcasts so I’m not sure who originated the idea, but the idea is to ask yourself, "on a scale from one to ten, how excited are you about this?"
The catch is that you can’t pick seven. It’s too safe of a choice. One through six is a no and 8+ is a yes.
"Whole Body Yes” - Unknown
This is another re-frame and a good way to think past the simple intellectual answer. This is a good one for thinking about taking a new job. Often when people are offered a higher salary the overwhelming urge intellectually is to say yes. However, first check in:
Is your heart saying hell yes?
What is your gut telling you?
What emotions is the decision bringing up? Why?
Does it intellectually make sense?
Will your future self agree with you?
#4 How do we manage our decline?
Athletes face inevitable decline early in their lives. The rest of us all try to avoid the fact that we will likely decline in our fields as we age. Arthur Brooks ponders how to handle that:
I am lucky to have accepted my decline at a young enough age that I could redirect my life into a new line of work. Still, to this day, the sting of that early decline makes these words difficult to write. I vowed to myself that it wouldn’t ever happen again.
Yet the cultural expectation (especially in the US) still put a lot of pressure on adults to always be contributing and this usually takes the form of paid work:
In 2007, a team of academic researchers at UCLA and Princeton analyzed data on more than 1,000 older adults. Their findings, published in the Journal of Gerontology, showed that senior citizens who rarely or never “felt useful” were nearly three times as likely as those who frequently felt useful to develop a mild disability, and were more than three times as likely to have died during the course of the study.
#5 Five Questions To Ask Before Taking A Job by Claire Lew
I love these five questions to ask a future employer from Claire Lew
When is the last time you had a 4-hour block of uninterrupted time?
When is the last time you argued about something with someone?
When’s the last time you had a conversation with the CEO one-on-one?
When have you felt most proud to be at the company?
When’s the last time someone went above and beyond the call of duty at the company?
#6 Misc 🎊
Boundless Reads #117 - Five Good Reads From (last) Week
🔥 Take The Three-Week Self-Employment Challenge over at BoundlessU
💬 What questions are on your mind? Join the conversation in the Boundless slack community
☕ Interested in Working with Paul? I’m setting up some in person half-day coaching sessions with clients in June and July.
🔨 Get access to the Boundless toolkit and tools for self-employment here