June 27, 2021

Hamster wheels, Battery Hens and The Matrix

I’m doing a Leadership Programme for Entrepreneurs at the minute which I started about 6 weeks ago and to be honest its like your normal programme but on roids! The irony is, its actually centered around a week taking Psychedelics but thats later in the year, and so is that blog!

Before I dive into the crux of this blog I wanted to share why I felt compelled to write and why I’d doing the programme in the first place. When I started (at Xmas) looking into some options around personal development this programme absolutely leapt off the page at me. I’m pretty successful in what I do and I have a good level of emotional intelligence but I am always pushing me, wanting to understand and expand my abilities and I am not arrogant enough to think I know even a small bit of what there is to know! This programme really pushes my boundaries as there are things involved (like the psychedelics) that I thought I couldn’t go near to explore due to my sobriety; after some soul searching it became apparent to me I am looking for connection not oblivion – hence diving in feet first!

So back onto the Leadership Programme. I’m onto a module focused around Alignment and part of the learning directed me to watch the following content; Part 1 and Part 2. Heads up this is a little random and pretty ‘out there’ but the upshot really is about creating one-ness and being true to yourself (Samadhi), ultimately getting true alignment. By all means do have a look at the videos and feedback appreciated; of course context is key here and this is a few modules into the programme but regardless I would HIGHLY recommend watching.

These videos have really played on my mind and got me thinking about about how I spend my time, whether I am on a bit of a hamster wheel, where my energy comes from, how I recharge that energy, how I manage my thoughts and more importantly manage my thoughts becoming emotions and reacting to them and ultimately therefore what makes me happiest. I wanted to write this in a work-is context so I have focused my time breakdown on this part of my life.

My job title at Difrent is CEO and many readers will make the assumption that I get to choose where I spend my time. It’s not quite as simple as that! When I first started building my business I got involved in absolutely everything; often with a mop in hand cleaning the london office, as we started to scale I found myself helping tackle some of those challenges and getting more involved in the client delivery (easy for me as I love it and if you cut me open thats what you would fine). Now Difrent is owned by someone else and as an AIM listed company there is a lot more governance, reporting and decision making naturally slows down. In a nutshell we all have bosses of some sort and that does restrict where and how I spend my time as it does for many others!

I took a step back and actually tracked the hours and exactly where I was spending my time to see where it aligned with the things for me that would create one-ness and alignment.

June for many of us in health means a lot of Public Speaking so whilst I tracked June (30% of my time was spent prepping or delivering for events, panels, interviews etc) I also had a look at April and May to get more of a balanced view.

My average working week is 60-70 hours (not sure how usual that is for other CEO’s but as someone who really loves what I do and a bit of an addictive personality this may be higher than usual) my time breaks down as follows:
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So I took a bit of a step back to have a look at where and how I get my batteries recharged, how I spend my time to make sure I am at my best for me and for others and what I need to start doing differently to really optimise me for work.

In my own time I have the privilege of mentoring a couple of entrepreneurs who have set up their own businesses (both at different stages) and this is such a gift for me, being able to help and give back but also sit alongside that gritty period of time, where its all about trying to make something happen, where you don’t have a fiver to spend on anything. I am super energised in this environment and I think probably at my most useful! I also know like many others playing to my strengths, my authentic strengths gets the optimum me; lets face it most people don’t tend to reach out to me for a low energy discussion. My brain works very fast and I can consume lots of info and make decisions rapidly (granted about 70% are probably right!)

As I look at what really energises me and where I feel I really excel it’s absolute a smorgasbord of;

  1. My energy is definitely magnified in real life environments kicking the tyres on something with others
  2. I work best in environments that are a bit scrappier than fully thought through, where there is constant opportunity to improve and refine.
  3. I love spending time with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, the ideas, the buzz, the energy and desire
  4. I’ve found recently being back doing billable work for me is great. It really tests me, from an organisational perspective, ensuring the client has maximum bang for their buck but also really using my brain and domain knowledge and producing output that contributes to outcomes
  5. Finally sharing with clients (and prospective clients) what we have done for re-use and adoption across different clients and sectors gives me a real sense of pride but also we are truly making a difference.

My advice; take some time out, have a look and proper listen to yourself, where and how you spend your time, what makes you happy, are you maximising your true authentic potential? If not, why not! Hat Tip to Jonathan for the programme 🙂

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