Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Getting Organized and Creating a Plan
I didn't get much work done on my logo or branding today. That is not to say that I didn't get much done though. I spent the day reading and watching videos to learn more about logo design and creating a personal brand. I really want to take this all the way, but I don't want to rush it and create crap. I decided that I should take a little more time on preparation.
I gathered my thoughts and wrote them down and then reread them. After doing that, I realized that I am trying to do too much at the same time. I am trying to build my coding chops so that I can land my dream job. I am trying to blog. I am trying to design a personal website. I am trying to build a web presence through social media. I am trying to create my personal brand and I am trying to educate myself on each of those things so that I can make sure I am doing everything right.
Trying to do all of that at once while working 50 hours a week in a manufacturing plant and coming home to 3 kids is just too much for me. So I have decided to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. I am going to put my coding chops on hold until I can nail down my personal brand. I am also going to put my website on hold, since it relates to my coding chops. I am going to slim down my social media presence to just using Twitter with a minimum of one tweet per day. My main focus right now is researching "personal branding" and then executing it. While I'm doing that, I am going to continue to blog every night about what I am doing to position me closer to my goals.
I believe that blogging, in this case, is very important for three reasons: The first reason is that it helps me to get a clearer head and think critically about what I am doing. The second reason is that this blog holds me accountable, so that no matter what may happen I won't chicken out and give up. The third reason is that I believe it will be a tremendous help for people in the future that may think they have no choice but to be stuck in whatever unhappy position they may be in at the moment.
They could read my entire story from the beginning in detail. It would be a story of a 26-year-old that started out with no extra money, no education beyond a year of college, and no experience in the field of his dreams. The only thing he has and has ever had is the dedication, motivation, and drive to become successful. If he is able to achieve his goal with 3 kids, a full-time job, and living paycheck-to-paycheck, then there would be no excuse for anyone else. Everyone would be able to go out, research, work hard, and eventually achieve whatever it is that they want to do.
I know so many people who would be great in a particular field, but they seem to have given up. They just take whatever job they can get, no matter how unhappy it makes them, because they have no choice. Almost everyone's "dream job" requires a degree. I'm not going to get into the degree requirement discussion in too much detail. Let's just say that I think colleges only care about taking your money and that they can't teach you anything that you can't learn yourself if you are motivated enough to go out and teach yourself. Ironically, that is what you do in college anyways. You can either pay someone else to guide you while you teach yourself or you can teach yourself for free. It was an easy choice for me.
The one piece of advice that Suzannah Scully gave in her talk at Stanford on personal branding that I think I have already perfected is "Be yourself!" I hope to build my personal brand on that one piece of advice. I believe that I come from a unique background when compared to other bloggers online, in that I am doing everything I do from hard work alone. I'm not a social person offline. I'm more of a recluse. I failed speech class three times in college because I am so bad in social situations. I don't have a lot of money and I don't live in a big city. The only thing in the town I live in is a gas station, a dollar general, and a piggly wiggly. I work in a plant and my wife and I have been on our own with no help from our parents since I was 17 when our first son was born. The ONLY thing I do have is determination.
I know I'm repeating myself, but I really want to prove to the world and to my family and friends that determination is all that is needed to achieve what you want in life. They have mocked me my whole life for my views on this subject. They all think that I'm a dreamer and think that I should just give up and fall in line and "just get by" like they are all doing, but I'm not going to. I'm not a "dreamer", I just have big goals. No matter how big the goal is, it can be achieved if you have the determination to get there.
That is my philosophy on life and I am going to stick to it. When I do achieve my goal I am going to help others in my situation achieve their goals too. Everyone deserves to do what they want and enjoy life, there is no reason for people to think that they have to live in misery, because they are somehow not "qualified" to do what they want.
Anyways, back to the topic. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, just take a breather, organize you thoughts by writing them down and then cut back on the low priority things while increasing the focus on the high priority things. Use my plan above as an example and maybe that will help cut a little of the stress out of your life.
If you have time, I would highly recommend writing. Whether it be online on a blog or in a notebook. Write everyday as if you are talking to someone who is holding you accountable to get done what you say you are gonna do. That way you will feel guilty if you try to back out or quit, which will lessen your chances of doing so.