2020: Year of the Racehorse
Right about now, your news feed/email inbox is probably as clogged as mine.
“For 2020, I resolve to…”
“This year, I’m going to…”
“My resolutions are…”
Although I do think now’s as good a time as any to take stock of what happened in the last year and how this year will be different… I’m not going to join the fray either way.
You’re not going to see a laundry list of “do differently” objectives here. Nor will you see me railing against the people who ARE making resolutions and challenging themselves to be better… I think criticizing folks who are trying is counterproductive and a fairly shitty thing to do.
We should all be encouraging one another to do better and celebrating all the wins, no matter how small.
So rather than make resolutions or checklists, I’m gonna share with you a bit of wisdom that blew my mind.
I heard this from Joe Polish of the Genius Network, back in November at a mastermind I attended.
We were having dinner and Joe and Brian Kurtz were talking about business and life and suddenly Joe said:
“You are the million-dollar racehorse… what are you doing to take care of that asset?”
It got me to thinking… largely because I cut my teeth in Silicon Valley, land of late nights, hustle hard mentality, and stress-induced cardiac incidents in folks who rarely (if ever) see sunlight thanks to the never-ending grind.
He’s absolutely right… my business is nothing without me. It’s quite literally dead in the water if I’m not in it to work on it.
So why on earth would I work myself to the point of exhaustion when I know I can’t perform well in that state?
Would I run a prize horse into the ground when I know its sole job is to make me money? Or would I feed it the finest foods, love on it and pet it and tell it that it’s the best little horsey in the world?
You bet your sweet ass I’m gonna baby talk that horse. I’ll even braid its mane and give it a little horsey massage, if I think that’ll help that bastard run faster/feel better.
So why do I (and you reading this) struggle so much with taking that kind of care of ourselves?
I see so many resolving to lose weight or get up earlier… but what about self care?
Granted, physical fitness and mental alertness do fall under self care. But is the focus on the weight and the time serving us? Or should we be looking deeper, to the real reason those resolutions are important?
To me, it’s not about the weight. It’s about my energy levels and ability to focus.
I’m never gonna weigh 120 pounds unless I cut off a leg and both my boobs… so focusing on that number is counterproductive and will take up absolutely all my time and mental bandwidth.
Where focusing on the feelings and the performance just feels more compelling to me – even if I’m NOT at the ideal poundage number for someone of my build (I’m looking at you, fucking BS BMI).
Can I walk several miles? Can I keep up with my niece and nephew as they do their best to run me ragged? Can I sing with my whole body without passing out from exertion? Check, check, and check. I can also leg press 350 pounds, so I’ve got that going for me.
And it’s not about getting up early, either. I could get up at 4 am and still piss away hours playing games on my phone or with the TV blaring in the background.
It’s more about how I’m USING that time.
Am I getting up just to get up, or am I doing something with those extra hours?
I prefer sleeping in, taking my time waking up and gathering my thoughts, and working in ultra-focused bursts. One example is this blog entry – which I initially wrote on a site called 750words.com (not a plug or affiliate link, but if it helps you get more writing done, I’ll take a high five next time we see each other).
I knocked this bad boy out in about 17 minutes, according to the site’s handy dandy timer. And I got a nifty green X on this date on the calendar as a reward.
I was productive inside half an hour… where before I might have taken several days to get this done, as I dragged my feet waiting for inspiration to strike.
So as you’re marching into 2020, armed with your resolutions and “do differentlys” for the year… remember to take care of that racehorse.
Get the massage. Take the walk. Read the book. Eat the food. Love the family. Go to the conference. Make the space. Fire the client. Raise the rates. Create (and hit) the goal.
Take care of yourself… because unless you purposefully designed your business to operate without you, without you there is no business.
Happy new year! Here’s to endless bad “hindsight”, “vision”, and Barbara Walters puns.
If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.