A few weeks ago, I saw an Apple commercial for the new “Siri” feature. Siri is essentially a voice activated digital assistant. You say, “Where can I get Thai food near here?” And Siri responds almost instantly with an answer.
I thought that was an awesome feature until I saw the new commercial and got terrified.
Today marks the end of the fourth week of FinishYear. (It’s not too late to join FinishYear with us! Here’s what we’re doing.)
Every Sunday during January, let’s share a quick summary of how we did that week on our Finish List.
Here’s my list of goals, and the summary of the progress I made:
1. Make the Quitter Conference awesome for people who attend.
Biggest thing I did this week toward this goal was work on the material for the conference. In addition to the Writer’s Workshop, I’ve added new material to the conference. Editing that and practicing that is what I’ll be doing for the next two weeks. (And the conference sold out! I’m really excited about that!)
2. I am going to finish reading 12 non-fiction books this year. One per month.
I’m almost done with Great by Choice by Jim Collins. Even though I’ve read almost two books in the time I planned to read one, I’m not changing my goal. It’s “FinishYear” not “FinishMonth,” and I don’t want to burn out by changing the pace dramatically.
3. I am going to finish running the Nashville half marathon Saturday, April 28th in under 2 hours and 10 minutes.
This week was challenging because I was hosting and speaking at the Georgia Baptist Convention. I was out of town Thursday through Saturday. But eliminating the surprises helped me actually run 4 times, which was my goal.
4. I am going to finish writing a new book in 2012.
You are going to grow weary of hearing me say this, but I’m not starting this one until after the Quitter Conference.
5. I am going to finish a box of thank you cards this year as a sign of my gratefulness.
Success! I wrote a thank you note to two different people who very kindly invited me to speak at their events.
6. I am going to finish handwriting out the entire book of Proverbs in a moleskine notebook.
I wrote 6 out of 7 days this week. This one is soul food at this point.
That’s my week.
How was yours?
What on your Finish List went well? What on your Finish List needs more attention next week?
Three years ago I would have hated the first chapter of my book Quitter.
Why? Because I wanted to quit my job, and the title of the chapter is “Don’t Quit Your Job.”
I wanted to read books that said things like “Just go for it!” or “Right now is the best time to quit!” or “Step out in faith!”
I didn’t want someone to tell me to wait. I wanted out, right away. And maybe you feel that same way right now. Part of the reason you feel that is, when it comes to quitting your job, there are only two things we talk about:
This book is on the list of “books that challenged me to build a life, not just a job.”
I first read it about five years ago and Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work has remained a favorite. The design is beautiful, the message is perfect and it’s small enough to make you feel like it goes on adventures with your moleskine pocket notebook when you’re not looking.
It’s a brilliant book written by a guy named Kevin Carroll. In it, he breaks down seven simple rules about doing your life’s work:
1. Commit to it.
2. Seek out encouragers.
3. Work out your creative muscle.
4. Prepare to shine.
5. Speak up.
6. Expect the unexpected.
7. Maximize the day.
If you’ve got space on your bookshelf for one more awesome book, I recommend this one.
What’s a book that has helped you figure out your life’s work?
A few years ago when I had a day job, I started to work on my dream job on the side. I would get up early in the morning before the rest of the family was awake and hustle. Eventually, I started to get a few opportunities to go speak at conferences. But there was a problem.
I didn’t have enough vacation days.
I couldn’t walk into my boss’ office at my IT job and say, “I’ve got this dream that is starting to grow a little. I’m going to take a month long sabbatical and just travel around the country if that’s cool with you.”
So I sat down with my wife at the beginning of the year and discussed how many vacation days I could use to work on my dream job. And then by the fall, I had run out and had to say no to speaking opportunities because I couldn’t cancel Christmas and spend all my vacation days on the hustle.
That’s why the Quitter Conference starts on Friday night, February 10. We thought about making it start earlier in the day, but I know how hard it is to spend vacation days on something like this. Especially at the beginning of the year. I would hate if in the fall you had to cut a family vacation short because you burned a day way back in February.
So we’re going to start at 6PM on Friday and then go from 9AM-4PM on Saturday.
My hope is that this will make it easy for you to attend. (Because let’s be honest, this isn’t a normal work conference where your day job company is paying your way and not counting this as vacation time.)
If you’re in Nashville you don’t have to miss a second of work to attend. If you’re in a city like Atlanta, Chattanooga, Bowling Green, Louisville, Birmingham or anywhere else that is close, then hopefully you can take a few hours off work and drive in for the start of the conference. If you’re anywhere else in the country, hopefully you can work half a day and then fly to Nashville.
I’m a fan of people who are working hard at a dream because I’m one too.
And I can’t wait to see you on Friday night, February 10th!
Don’t miss the Quitter Conference. It’s less than 3 weeks away. Sign up today!
I have a prediction for 2012. Ready?
“Things are going to change.”
Jobs are going to change. Relationships are going to change. Companies are going to change. People are going to change.
Change is inevitable. The question is will it happen to you or through you?
If you ask me if stay at home moms should attend the Quitter Conference this September, you know I’m going to say yes.
The conference is not career specific, in that it’s for lawyers or customer service reps or bakers. The principles about closing the gap between your day job and your dream job will apply to every profession.
But, I’m pretty biased.
Even so, I think that’s a really good question to ask. Stay at home moms can be some of the busiest, hardest working people on the planet. Is attending the Quitter Conference really going to be worth their time? That’s exactly the question one person named Chrystal posted in the comments of this blog recently. Here’s what she said:
Speaking of Quitter Conference – as a stay at home mom who aspires to be a writer (as in, making some sort of income for writing) but in no way wants to stop being a stay at home mom, is the conference for me? I read the book and it was phenomenal. And as much as I’d love to meet you face to face I’m just wondering if I’ll be totally and completely out of place.
Before I even had a chance to respond, someone jumped in:
Yes, Chrystal! I’m a working mom trying to become a freelance writer and SAHM. I attended the first Quitter Conference in July, and it was well-worth the trip to Tennessee from Minnesota. I hope you can attend the next conference. You won’t regret it! If you’re on Twitter, I’m @MomVersusCareer. Look me up and we can keep in touch. Good luck!
Whether you’re a stay at home mom who wants to write or start a business or add any number of dreams to the dream job of raising your kids, I think the Quitter Conference will be very helpful to your journey. (My wife Jenny who is an amazing stay at home mom, will also be there to answer any questions you might have about this topic.)
And if you need more info, ask a mom who came to the Quitter Conference last summer. Erica, (@MomVersusCareer), will be able to share the perspective of a mother in ways I never could.
Don’t miss the Quitter Conference! Sign up today!