In my continuing effort to document what it’s like to go from comfortably employed to suddenly unemployed to launching a business in very short order, Episode 8 will cover the week of September 20. You can read all of my previous Episodes on my website.
Mood: Riding the wave instead of trying to find it. The journey is not over by a long shot – it will be life-long – but it is gratifying to start seeing the seeds planted early on bear fruit (to mix water and land metaphors). Perspective is the long view, being able to see beyond this minute / hour / day to what is most important and building towards that ultimate goal. As I see my strategy starting to pay off, the more invested I become in that strategy.
Accomplishments: I signed two new contracts (one is sales commission, one is marketing consulting). I secured three new speaking engagements (two in Nov, one in April 2022). I confirmed a new content partner that is going to give me another platform on which to share (first article scheduled for Nov). I was added to another Advisory Board (more on that below). I have a hot lead to a very interesting consulting partner that came in on Sat. My partners and I continue inching towards securing the investment we need to get started with our business venture. And I presented at the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) Work Comp virtual conference (more on that below).
What I Learned: This journal has had an impact. I’ve sensed that from feedback provided since Episode 1 but it was reaffirmed by a friend who responded to my thoughts on the supposed intersection of transparency and weakness in Episode 7. Here’s the direct quote: “Given where I am in my career and my aspirations, I have been therapeutically grounded several times by you sharing your journey. You make me feel like I’m not alone or crazy.” That truly made my Wednesday! Yes, there has been a selfish marketing strategy associated with this approach. However, being an “educator and agitator” at heart, my big-picture goal has always been to model how to respond to challenges in a forthright manner by sharing both the ups and downs of this journey. I’ve not been perfect in life or in this journey, but if I can help others develop their own strategy and find their own voice, the last eight weeks have been worth it. Anonymous friend – You are not alone or crazy!
Anxiety Level (1-10): 5
Three Good Things:
- I am joining my third Advisory Board (more about that on social media later this week). The other two – Simple Therapy (July 2019) and Harvard MedTech (October 2019) – have greatly expanded my knowledge and network. Being on the inside of innovative companies with tools to manage pain helps broaden my perspective. I’m a life-long learner by nature, but being able to offer consulting services is predicated on being aware of evolving trends and sharing educated opinions on their impact. I am very excited to dig into this new company so I can stay abreast of the evolving standard of care.
- Me, my wife and two cousins traveled to Statesboro on Sat for a Georgia Southern football game. Unfortunately they lost, 28-20, and fired their coach the day afterwards (not our fault). Beyond the pageantry of being on-campus, this was also about (re)connecting in a “long-form” setting (i.e. 3.5 hours driving time each way, meals together, game). It is refreshing to disconnect from the professional and plug-in to the personal, not always a strong suit of mine. On the way home Sun we ate breakfast at H&H Soul Food Restaurant in Macon, made famous in 1972 when Mama Louise hopped a ride on the Allman Brothers Band tour bus. The concert posters were a walk back in time to my teens / 20s. I had their “Ramblin Man” biscuit (I’ve also had the “Midnight Rider”). A great weekend makes it a great Monday!
- My ICT keynote session was entitled “COVID Induced Resilience.” The request to cover such a subject obviously struck a cord with me so it was easy to talk about from a personal standpoint. But my greater point was what resilience means to the industry, to each organization, and to each person and how that should influence what we do going forward. I don’t often get to be philosophical in presentations so it was a fun exercise. Based on the positive feedback, it struck a nerve (in case anyone else wants to sign me up).
Word for the Week: Phase 3. The first phase was setting the stage with a flurry of contacts (Episodes 1 thru 4). The second phase was letting things percolate (Episodes 5 and 6). The third phase is now about doing. Not planting or watering, but harvesting.
This Week’s Lesson: Do You. I’ve heard “the early bird gets the worm” and that all successful people start their day at 5am. I’ve learned that I’m not a morning person. I’ve developed a nice rhythm – you might call it a habit at this point – to my usual daily schedule. It generally includes a 24 oz glass of water, stretching, a brisk walk outside that combines an informational podcast and some mindfulness / daily planning, breakfast while watching a DVR recording of my favorite show from the prior night, then onto my laptop around 9am. My internal muse isn’t awake until at least then so there’s no need for me to try to generate any content. Most of the people I’m working with aren’t active until mid-morning (Eastern time zone). In fact, there’s a lot more business activity in the afternoon / evening. It took me awhile to not feel guilty that I wasn’t in front of my laptop at 7am each day, cranking out e-Mails. I needed to find out what worked best for my personal and business schedule and at this point I think I’ve found a winning combination. My advice for anyone else – Don’t worry about other’s expectations (or books that you read) as to what your schedule should be (unless you’re punching a clock). Find a routine that puts you in a “happy place” and enhances your productivity.
About Mark Pew
Mark Pew is a passionate educating and agitating thought leader in workers’ compensation and award-winning international speaker, blogger, author and jurisdictional advisor. He has focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment since 2003. He is the driving force and co-founder of The Transitions and just recently launched The RxProfessor consulting practice at https://therxprofessor.com.