New Year/New Focus: You rather than them

At the end of this post, be ready to share at least one goal you wish to pursue more diligently this year.

Los Angeles Skyline from the hill

I had two rather interesting impromptu coaching sessions today. One is with a friend and business acquaintance interested in launching a new endeavor. The 2nd is with someone going through the fallout from a divorce.

We’ll call the first, “The Insecure Entrepreneur”.

And we’ll refer to the 2nd as, “Why did he/she…?”

Year after year, I admonish folks NOT to do New Year’s Resolutions, but to absolutely reflect on accomplishments, failures (yes, you’ve had a few), and lessons learned. Don’t cycle on any of these things though. Don’t bask too long in the accomplishments! Don’t wallow in the failures! And don’t over-think the lessons learned.

Why? Because there is a new year barreling down on us. Spend too much time with either activity and you’ll realize it is April of 2015 before you know it.. maybe even June! It happens fast!

Why do I mention “The Insecure Entrepreneur” and “Why did he/she… ?”

Because both are spending/have spent a LOT of time thinking about/pondering what someone else is doing or did do. Both call this an attempt to try to understand, but in my opinion, it is really a way to avoid the hard conversation and actions needed to move things forward for them.

The Insecure Entrepreneur has done hours of research on what others are doing. They have it categorized, organized, and annotated. It’s pretty damn impressive! But every time they try to launch their own thing – going back a few years – they suddenly ask whether they should do it like this person or that person.

My response is that they will learn more in a month of action than they will in 2 years of analysis. Read my blog entry, “Action Beats Analysis”.

Why did he/she…? is a tougher one due to the emotional strife of divorce, children, and co-dependency. It’s painful and I AM so empathetic to their situation. I can speak from experience and state emphatically that:

  1. Breaking up is hard to do (as the song says). There are so many unfair burdens divorce creates. It sucks! For the kids especially. Even “good” divorces are bad.
  2. Time helps, but knowing that is not helpful at the time!! It is so cliche. It is like telling a young parent how fast the years will go. You can’t express it with enough fervor to let them know how much they will miss their babies and wish they could re-capture just a moment of that time.Time heals, but only if you are doing the hard work of focusing on YOU! You have to learn ways to stop asking yourself about the other person – their motives, their reaction, etc. And definitely do NOT ponder why it is so much easier for them… that’s a lie that we all tell ourselves in the moment.

In both cases, the issue that is at issue is them! It is all about their actions over their analysis! Until they actually take the action, it is hard for them to see that. But I promise that is the case.

Are you focused on improving/correcting you!

I have worked with a number of IT professionals who do the same thing. Their career is stuck due to the economy, their boss, changes in the industry, outsourcing, etc.

December of 2012. Derek Sivers posted a blog/article titled, “Everything is my Fault”.

I refer people to this a LOT!

Not because I want them wallowing in failures, bad decisions, or past mistakes. Read the article – that is NOT what it is about. It is about the fact that you cannot control what you cannot control – therefore you should not absorb any blame/responsibility there.

It is about you

You can only control what you can control (Wow! that’s profound, right?) and therefore, your time and energy needs to be focused on those things!

2015 is here! You don’t need broad sweeping resolutions. But you can use it as a starting point to better define some goals for the year and the actions you can reasonably take to make those happen.

...some simple ideas for the IT pro (or anyone else interested)…

Learn a new programming language. You can do this online and probably for free – you have my permission. YOU DO NOT NEED TO TAKE A CLASS OR GET A CERT!

Improve your professional networking. Set a goal to meet and find out about 3 new people each week. Plan 1 coffee meeting per week with a professional contact. And think in terms of what value and opportunity you can bring to them – NOT what they can bring to you.

Start a more proactive job search. Wants ads, job boards, and recruiters are NOT your only source of jobs… in fact, they could be the slowest and worst sources. See professional networking above.

Learn guitar, piano, to draw, to dance, etc. Note: This is NOT career related except that it is. Your career is a means to fund your life! Don’t forget that.

I’ll share about my plans for the coming year after the 1st. But feel free to let me know what you are planning or hope to accomplish.

Posted in career development, Coaching and tagged , , , .

What do you think?