- A What? - Took 2 months off to regroup and work on whatever I wanted.
- How I Spend My Time
- The Programs - Building An Intentional Life & Build In Public Fellowship
- The Processes - Built a simple, but slowly evolving morning routine.
- The Output - Too much to list here. Go read the section.
- What’s Next? - BuildMyMVP.co, continuing writing, and more.
- Asks - Looking for referrals to BuildMyMVP.co
The last 2 months have been fun. But this past week was the end of what I’ve been referring to as my “mini sabbatical.”
After leaving Able.com at the beginning of April, I knew I was going to need to take some time to recover and re-acclimate myself into self-employment and whatever came next. After discussing with my wonderful wife, we agreed that I would take two months to explore whatever I wanted and spend my time on anything I liked before redirecting my focus back to a targeted method of making continual and reliable income. I was excited to get to follow my fancy and see what came of it. I already had a couple of ideas brewing, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Now, traditionally, sabbaticals are paid leaves. And much longer (hence the “mini”). This wasn’t that. But it helped me contextualize and explain the transition period to others in a way that seemed a bit more intentional and deliberate. Because I wasn’t just goofing around. Most of the time.
How I Spent My Time
Building An Intentional Life Group Program - In all honesty, I had just wrapped this up when I started my sabbatical, but I’m mentioning it here because it was such an incredible program and so foundational to a lot of what I’d do during the next 8 weeks. Without the foundation laid here, I probably wouldn’t have been as deliberate and intentional with my time and decisions. It helped me ensure that I was regularly asking “Is this in line with my values and in service of my 10-year goals”? I highly recommend it to others that might be interested. I hope to have some more posts about it soon.
Build In Public Fellowship - This was the bulk of my focus during the sabbatical. The purpose was to (1) get back into a habit of shipping and (2) get better at regularly communicating about the things that I was working on. I think it did that in spades (as you’ll see from the rest of this post), but the surprising takeaway from this program was all the amazing relationships I developed with everyone that was a part of the cohort. Some truly impressive people that I’m so grateful to have in my life and circle now.
As a direct result of partaking in both of the above programs, one of the most helpful takeaways for me was the idea of “chaining” as it related to habit formation.
This chaining idea has been incredibly helpful with building my morning (more honestly a “start my work day”) routine to help me get into a good rhythm at the beginning of my day. For me, my mornings start by making sure my wife has everything she needs and is off to work and my son is fed, is clothed and is in good shape for his nanny share. There’s rarely consistency around time and routine here, so it’s really only after that’s all done that I’m able to start my work day.
To do this, I like to kick things off with a hot relaxing shower. It’s where I do most of my best thinking and helps me really start the day fresh. From there, I’ve chained on @SahilBloom's 5-5-5-30, but evolved it a bit (it’s currently 5-5-5-30-30-30-30-30-5):
5 pushups 5 lunges 5 squats 30s plank 30s child's pose 30s camel pose 30s toe touches 30s door jam chest stretch 5 pull-ups
This has helped immensely with energy levels and has acted almost like a meditation session to help calm and center me at the start of my work day. It’s also been immensely helpful to combat the negative effects of sitting and working at a desk all day and week. Big thanks to Tracey Kreiling for her recommendations here.
I’m still trying to figure out a good evening/end-of-day routine, but it’s been difficult to consistently wrap my day in the same way, as often I’m cutting things short to help with family needs. But the beauty is that I’ll continue to evolve my routines and figure out what works best for me.
Untitled AI Project - Wrote an unfinished proof of concept domain knowledge base AI tool that will likely be evolved into a new service offering (or two).
ProjectGarden.co - A personal project that I built and launched the first most basic version of in about 2 weeks as part of my “Build In Public” journey. Still have a lot to do with it and will get worked on sporadically, but has been fun and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been tracking the journey on Twitter and via its own newsletter.
LeaderBird.co - This was another 2-week project that came out of my “Build In Public” journey. What started as a random request from KP, resulted in a fun experiment in quickly building a fun little tool that has been super helpful for a bunch of people to consistently post to Twitter.
2-week vacation in Ireland - A greatly needed recharge and reset adventure with family (but we’ve already been over that).
BuildMyMVP.co - I haven’t chatted much about this yet, as it’s brand new and still being developed and fleshed out. This is a new productized consulting offering that I’m preparing to launch, with the goal of bringing the parts of my work I love the most - taking an idea and making it a usable tool - to folks who need it.
Posted more than 500 times and at least once a day for the last 60 days on Twitter.
Wrote 8 posts over two newsletters for 8 weeks straight and totaling over 7,100 words.
And let’s not forget about the friends we made along the way…
So all in all, I’m pretty pleased with what I was able to produce. As you can see, it’s been a pretty fun-filled two months. In addition to being able to be the type of father I’m hoping to be, I’ve been able to evolve my routines and reliably ship. All it took was getting rid of the full-time day job. Here’s hoping I can keep it up.
All this has been fun and while I wish I could continue the experimentation of following my whimsy, it’s time to get back to intentionally building ways to help support my family.
In the above Output section, I mentioned a new project: BuildMyMVP.co. While it’s still in its infancy, it’s an attempt to package and systematize the parts of building that I love the most. My hope is that there are enough people that see the value in an offering like this for the business and trust me enough to go through the journey with me. The hardest part is getting the first client, so my week is (hopefully) going to be filled with sales calls as I talk with and learn from more people about their objections and their needs.
But aside from that, I’m going to keep up the daily writing on Twitter and this newsletter. While a bit burdensome at times, the writing process has been incredibly satisfying and cathartic. I’m grateful for all those that have subscribed and even more thankful for those that have replied to the various posts. It’s nice to spark those conversations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
I’m looking to talk to people that might be interested in BuildMyMVP.co. My ideal clients are non-tech business owners (or potential founders) that have an idea but need someone to help them figure out how to validate the idea and build the first version of it.
If that’s you or someone you know, please let me know, but as always, I’d love to hear from you about whatever is on your mind.