“Hey man, what happened to this weeks Wednesday blogpost?” Says my friend from the co-founder article on the phone (see article here: https://misterawesome.nl/life-after-startup-how-not-to-find-a-co-founder/)
“I know, I know..” I say with a guilty voice “it’s been a super chaotic week, I promise it will be online by Saturday
My friend has been reading my blog regularly and took the time to call me and rightfully remind me of my commitments.
“Do you wish you had more time again”? He asks with a slight smirk in his voice.
I reply: “honestly I don’t miss it so much as this busy time is awesome, however weeks feel like months, so I miss the overview”
Now that filling my time is the least of my problems, it’s actually keeping all my new found activities aligned that needs my attention.
How did I get here?
Mister awesome, podcasting, Funk-e ambassador and Superconnectors
It all started out so simple: Alex was going to make podcasts and report on his first 10 years of entrepreneurship with Funk-e. (See article:https://misterawesome.nl/life-after-startup-the-humbling-solo-narrative/)
I launched my personal website putting myself out there as an entrepreneur, and advertising that I would do podcasts.
I recorded the first interviews and decided I would try making a complex documentary style format. Meanwhile, as I wasn’t putting any content out there I thought: “Hey, a blog is simpler to post regularly, so why not add that to my schedule?”
Then I thought: “wouldn’t it be cool to bring back the monthly pizza pitch night?” This way I can help entrepreneurs, and also have another monthly activity in my schedule. (See article:https://misterawesome.nl/remixing-a-blast-from-the-past/ )
All this new activity sparked the conversations with my neighbors at the new co-working space, which made me start an intense project called superconnectors which now takes up most of my time.
And finally all the conversations on Superconnectors are sparking lots of brand new conversations with old clients and connections, which now circle right back to Funk-e again, bringing new business to Funk-e.
The perfect storm
So now, from having an empty agenda at first, I literally have 4 different colored agendas in my week, each meeting with a different purpose, but somehow all revolving around the topic of entrepreneurship.
Even though the adrenaline of these weeks are great fun, in the past 2 weeks I have been working quitte literally non-stop.
Superconnectors requires me to be constantly running after people to fill 10 dinners in 10 cities with 150 awesome guests in 3 months time so I am on a deadline all the time.
At the same time the other projects are still in my routine, so I now need to find a way to make all these realities co-exist without working 24 hours a day..
Separating between a “main thing” from side projects
During the first months of my life after startup, all my projects were “side projects”. They were all low commitment, with no deadline or money coming in.
At the time I thought the Podcasts would become my “Main thing”, meaning this would for a while become the project I would dedicate the majority of my time to and eventually make money with.
This all changed when I got an inquiry from an actual client to make a podcast. They needed a host to talk about a topic I didn’t honestly care much about.
During the phone conversation I told the client I was simply not interested in the topic and that this would become clear to the listener.
When I hung up the phone I realized that only doing podcasts on entrepreneurship topics I truly enjoyed, is not a business model or a “main thing” it’s a side project.
You will know “the main thing” when it hits you
When I started working on Superconnectors, I was immediately driven for results all the time. I didn’t need to think much about what to do, when or how.
I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve and every day would be a constant push to achieve a certain milestone that would bring Superconnectors one step closer to becoming a national competition in 10 Dutch cities.
Only after experiencing this, I realized that I was not driven enough to achieve hard results with my own podcasts.
Having a clear distinction between a main thing and the rest has been very grounding. The energy that is released from a clear specific focus also affects my other activities positively, and also made me realize which activities don’t push me enough.
So what do you do now?
In the span of a few months I have gone from sharing on LinkedIn that I was brand ambassador on behalf of Funk-e, to announcing Mister Awesome and making podcasts, to me joining Superconnectors as program director in our quest to make it into a self sustaining company.
Obviously this raised some questions. Specifically clients and friends were confused as to what was now my main thing and what was now my side project.
At some point I gave up trying to help everyone keep up with the speed of who I am, what I do now, and where I am going.
I’m an entrepreneur and I do projects I enjoy and some take up most of my time, others take up less.
Making space for the side projects
This year for my birthday I asked my wife for something very specific: a weekend where I could sit in a small wood cabin in the middle of no where, with only 1 goal: finish my 10 episode podcast series called the first 10 years.
My life is a lovely chaos at the moment but slowly all the priorities are settling in.
Sometimes this means all the projects come at you at the same time, and sometimes it means planning a side project as what it is supposed to be: an activity to be enjoyed in the quiet lands in Friesland.
Stay tuned for the first episode from my new podcast 2 weeks from now.