A few things have converged in recent weeks that have had the combined effect of making me look closely at what’s next for me, in terms of how I make a living.
It’s the time of year for setting performance goals in my day job, which is always a time of reflection, and I’ve been in talks with some friends about side hustles and projects of various kinds. Add in (a mere 28 days away) my fortieth birthday, some developments for Lark skincare, and the reading of Chris Guillebeau’s new book ‘Born for This‘ and you’ve got the ideal conditions for the melting pot of ideas currently whirling around my head.
One of the things that Guillebeau asks in his book is for you to make a list of the things that you’re good at. His premise is that you need to find the perfect career that combines the things you’re good at, the things that will bring in money and the things that bring you joy. It’s a tempting idea and one that I’d like to explore more. However, I’m terrible at thinking about what I’m good at; my immediate thought is that I’m not great at anything. It’s my default position–a permanent state of Imposter Syndrome, I think. It seems that there are various ways of trying to work out what you might be good at. Things that create a state of ‘flow’, perhaps. Or looking at the kind of questions and advice you get routinely asked. Or thinking about what you’re complimented on. Asking people who know you well is another way of getting a bit of clarity and is something that I think I need to try.
For now, I’m still working my way through this thinking. So far I’ve got a short list of things I think I’m good at and a far longer list of things that I enjoy doing. Working out where any of these could link to a source of income is another step entirely in this process; one that I’ll get to soon, I hope.
But there is one thing that I’m really confident that I’m great at.
I have great friends. I know I say it a lot but that’s because its just one of the very few things that I’m really unshakeably confident about. Some of them I see regularly, some every so often. Some I haven’t seen in years, but know that when we do catch up, it’ll be as though we’ve only just been hanging out. A case in point? I went to the fortieth birthday party of an old school friend the other day. We’ve not seen each other in fifteen years and she’s just about to leave for two years’ worth of work in Cambodia. We had so much fun catching up, and now I’ve got a new snail mail partner over in Asia…not to mention somewhere to stay if I ever find my way over there!
As this story shows, only are my friends ace, they’re interesting. They know how to lead really full lives, with multiple passions and good career choices and have fascinating perspectives on all of that. I learn so much from them.
On a whim, I told Twitter that I wanted to start a podcast. I’ve been really enjoying listening to podcasts recently and have wanted to give it a try ever since I went to a blogging conference ages ago. And–because I have ace friends–I’ve found one who is willing to take a punt on that idea, and we’re going to have a chat about making that happen. Even though I hate the sound of my own voice, so that’s something for me to get over.
And the subject of this podcast? My friends. Close friends, blogging friends, old and new friends. Friends who have interesting lives, who are multi-passionate, or who follow unusual career patterns. I want to chat to them, learn from them, share their advice and stories and all of the things that I know they’re great at. I might not be so good at working out what I’m good at, but I’m pretty good at chatting to my friends, and you never know, perhaps it’ll help me to work out what other things I’m good at! The introvert in me likes that this is a one-to-one conversation for audio, not video (I’m pretty sure that YouTube isn’t in my future…) and I think that I can ask the kind of questions to make a conversation worth a listen.
So, fingers crossed that in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to listen to that. And then I’ll work out a way of making a living from doing the things I love. One day…