If I had to do it all over again, I would do things a little bit differently. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, right? I say it all the time. Seriously. All the time. Two years ago I told everyone I know that if I had to do it all over again I would have gone to trade school right out of grade 12 and now I would be a carpenter or a plumber or an electrician. A year ago I told everyone I know that if I had to do it all over again I would have gone to NSCC and taken programming and become a coder out of high school. A week ago I told people that if I had to do it all over again I would have gone to school to do graphic design with a web specialization. Detecting a pattern? I have a lot of ideas and a lot of skills I’d like to master. In the case of trades, I thought it would make me more financially stable. In the case of coding, it would make me an ideal candidate for hundred jobs at a thousand startups right now. And in the case of design, it’s because I just find it inherently beautiful and interesting. But there’s a secret. It’s all lies.
Every once in awhile I tweet out a picture of my empty inbox along with a pleased comment and the hashtag, #inboxzero. Why? Well, for a few reasons. First off, I’m guessing that less than 10% of my world ever actually achieves #inboxzero, even for a few moments. I’m proud of that fact, the fact that I’m able to achieve something that many are not. Second, I do it to inspire others about the possibilities. Most people have an inbox full of useless emails; subscriptions they don’t care about, newsletters they’ve never read, a chance to win a free vacation and Farmville notifications. Somewhere in there are important emails from your family, friends, and colleagues. So how do you manage it? Well you can’t just step right into the game. First, you need to train and practice. Here’s your preparation.
Lately I’ve been chatting with a number of entrepreneurs, mostly about their work style. Are they a 9-5, an inspiration strikes or a lolly gagger? Each of these have their positives and negatives but I’ve really been interested about when they work, how they work and why they work. The why might sound a little silly to some. Especially to those who aren’t business owners, but trust me, why you work is an incredibly important and valid question. The answer can help determine your “final resting place” as it were. Let me explain a little about why I work by first talking about my Mom and her desire to build a really cool table.