I shared a few of the habits, routines and mindsets that has helped me pursue life profitability as an entrepreneur today and it got me thinking about seasons in my life.
For the longest time, I've toyed with this idea of writing a blog post with a title of "Habitually Seasonal and Seasonally Habitual". In my mind that play on words would perfectly explain my perspective and experience of both seasons and the habits that goes with them.
It wasn't until publishing that other post today that I felt confident in my ability to have the words to better explain this.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared an update on Cogsy (amongst other things) and also how I was juggling many different balls that was inevitably stress-testing my life profitability. At the time that I wrote that, this is what my week looked like:
That was however just a very specific season that had some natural demands of my time and energy based on what I prioritised. In that week, I had about 19 hours of fixed commitments which is a big contrast to my current week, where I have about 6.5 hours of commitments on my calendar.
Even in a few short weeks, the seasons in my life has changed which shapes my habits, routines and priorities.
One way in which I've gotten to know myself better over the years is to not hold habits - regardless of how well they've served me - too tightly when their impact would be minimal in the context of the season in which I find myself.
When I talk about my morning ritual of waking at 5am to have a hour for myself, I can also share that I've not gotten up at 5am in the last 2 months. Instead I get up at 6am (the latest I can to still get the kids up and ready for school) to maximise on my sleep time given that I've worked a couple of evenings lately.
In the same vein though, I've increased my investment in another habit recently and have prioritised exercise. During February, I trained for more than 20 hours in total and trained on 22 of the 28 days in the month.
These smaller changes might seem insignificant in the grander scheme of things, but being aware of when these things change naturally and being able to proactively orientate one's energy to it, is a superpower.
A Season Within a Season
As these smaller seasons cycle through my life, I'm also very aware of the much bigger season in which I find myself in this moment.
Much of that season is fuelled by the stage at which Cogsy is at right now and much of it looks very similar to previous seasons in my life. It's a season of finding the capital to fund the new idea, connecting with initial customers, being lean as we build an MVP and find some resemblence of product/market-fit.
Yet in acknowledging the things that are similar to past seasons, I'm also patently aware of those things that are different.
I'm aware of how my mind impulsively gravitates to thinking more strategically and less focused on tactical to do lists.
I'm mindful of my desire to build a team and to double down on a recent learning: The question should not be how I accomplish X or Y. Instead it's a question of who I need to accomplish X or Y. (From "Who Not How" by Dan Sullivan.)
I'm very aware of how energising it has been to connect with awesome individuals; sometimes as a coach and other times as a co-conspirator of the things that they're working on.
And perhaps in getting all of those words on paper, I realise that regardless of my immense ambition for Cogsy and passion for the problem space we're tackling, the business itself is not as much part of my identity as previous businesses were.
That clarity in this moment only comes from being aware of the season in which I find myself and ultimately channeling my energy to where it wants to flow.
Part of my reflection for writing this post included diving into some of the unpublished, work-in-progress poems that I have gathering digital dust.
This poem is from the early parts of 2019 just before the outreach and acquisition got into full swing. It seems to suggest that I knew that it was the early phases of a new season; not because I knew what would happen with Conversio's acquisition later in 2019, but because 2018 had been a really tough year for me and I could feel that I had spun out of that.
No pain, no gain
But nothing should hurt
Pursuing greater purpose and meaning
Requires marathon lungs, calloused feet
When this is not true
You are either in a season of rest
Or the path is not worthy of your magic
Heart, body and mind
Combined for your natural limits
The container for all of you
All of your magic and truth
Constantly growing, evolving, expanding
Muscle, tensed, stretched, revered, stronger
Your barrier of pain however
Not that far beyond your natural limits
If anyone tells you differently
They are projecting on you
Their own limitations
Live within your body
Life happens on the outer edges of who you are
Be just open enough
To connect intimately and meaningfully
In full honour of who you are
You were born with magic
No need to change
You are becoming
In the most natural of processes
(The process of you)