quick thought

Commitment and Starting

I spend a fair amount of time thinking up ideas. I have a hope and a goal to develop a kind of muse business, one that I can set up and let run, that will contribute to my family’s financial security. I want to explore new topics with postgraduate researchers, and to do what I already do with them better. And, as you can tell from this blog and my books, I want to write more books for postgraduate researchers (and possibly for other audiences too).

A big problem, one that I’ve carried over from my PhD days, is procrastination – well, not exactly. It’s a bit of procrastination, a bit of Imposter Syndrome, a bit of “what-if-this-doesn’t-work-out?” I worry. The key of it all is thinking: “What if this idea is not right?”

This is a perennial problem for me, but something that has helped a lot recently has been re-reading Poke The Box by Seth Godin, which I mentioned in a recent post. Previously, I would build up an idea, then stop, stop short of going through with it. What if it wasn’t right? I’ve had an idea for a new book – actually, for a series of books – and I thought that it was good. Great actually, if it’s OK for someone to say that about their own ideas!

And yet… What if it wasn’t right?


Book Review: Poke The Box

A few weeks ago I was sick. I had to take time off, pause and not really do much of anything. This is really hard when you’re in a house with a toddler. It’s one thing if you’re in the office and they’re in another room playing with your wife; quite another if you’re trying not to move too much in case you feel sick again, and they’re bouncing up to you asking to watch Frozen for the third time that day.

Being ill also coincided with feeling a little down. I don’t know why, but whenever I have to make decisions about the “what next?” for my business I feel a little down. I correlate it with thoughts of “but what if this isn’t a good idea?” and the doubts of “what if this really backfires or doesn’t go anywhere?” I was thinking about the coming academic year (which is out of sync with the business year by about six months, so it always feels a little odd when planning) and what new things I might do, when might I find time to write the next books and what shall I do about the projects on the back burner…

Doing all of this when feeling sick is not a good idea.

My wife, thankfully, suggested that I read an inspiring book to help find my mojo again, and after only a second’s pause I reached for my Kindle, curled up on the couch a bit more and started re-reading Poke The Box by Seth Godin.