March Link Love: Evil plans, making conversation and wearing the boss hat

 March reflections + link love

This month is coming to an end, and it’s time for a bit of personal reflection. And some link love, of course.

Let’s see, what’s new in my life…

A month ago, me and my fiancé got ourselves membership on the gym across the street from where we live. We were tired of feeling weak and sluggish, and it felt like a waste not to take advantage of the convenience of having a gym that close by.

I have this love-hate relationship with strength training. I’ve always figured I’m more of a running + yoga kind of person. But every once in a while I get cravings for lifting heavy stuff. Strength training really does wonders for your mood and confidence. It can be very therapeutic.
But strength training often involves going to a gym, and in most gyms, there are people. And loud, obnoxious music. Both of which I have issues with as a highly sensitive introvert. 😄

But, since we live in a small town now, and this gym is relatively small and secluded, none of those things are a problem. We have gone almost every day for several weeks and my afternoon gym workout is the highlight of my day. I love feeling myself getting stronger.

I’ve also found myself falling back in love with copywriting after a multi-year slump. I’ve always loved writing copy for my own projects, but have often dreaded client work. It usually entails lots of research, meetings, editing back and forth and struggling to do my best work while pleasing people with a wide range of opinions. It can be exhausting and frustrating. But it’s also such a fun challenge to help others communicate better. Especially with clients you have great chemistry with.

I have two copywriting assignments right now that I find very fun and challenging, and clients that are absolutely delightful. So naturally, I enjoy the work a lot more. 

I guess the lesson is: no passion is ever consistently exciting. Don’t freak out if you suddenly start to dread your favorite work. It happens to everyone and might be because of a lot of different factors. Sometimes, all you need is a break from it so that you can re-discover your love for it later. 

Alright, enough about me.

I’ve read a lot of great stuff lately, and here are my top picks this month:

James Altucher writes about ten new reasons to quit your job. (They just keep piling up, right?) 😉

I especially love how he stresses the importance of having an “evil plan”. Not that you should aspire to be the next Marvel super-villain, but plotting your escape from a drudging job kind of feels like making evil plans, doesn’t it? That’s the feeling that kept me sane when I suffered the most in previous employments - plotting, scheming and planning my future empire. Mohahaha…  

“Always have an evil plan.
Every day list ten possible evil plans. Give it six months of doing that every day.
Consulting you can do, a gig you can do, take online courses and build skills, think of books to write, or businesses to build.
Skills and ideas are the new currency. Not certificates and titles.”

Read the full post here.

Jen Carrington writes about the two main roles you have as an entrepreneur: the boss and the employee. This is a very effective way to view your career when you’re the one wearing all the hats. It keeps you focused and productive.

When I first became self-employed, I was overwhelmed by how much I wanted to do. I saw opportunities everywhere and wanted to pursue them all at once, but there was never enough time in the day/week/month. I felt like a lone sailor on a ship with no captain. 
It wasn’t until I developed the necessary split personality-mindset of the entrepreneur that I found my sense of direction, and thereby, my ability to get things done.

“Have a ‘CEO Day’ at least once a month, if not every two weeks or so, so you can be constantly checking in with the business and making purposeful and intentional plans of action so you know each month, week, and day what needs to be done.”

Read the full post here.

I enjoyed this article by Lauren Sapala on why INJFs often have trouble writing, even though we love it. I never considered these things before, like how thinking in images affects my ability to put thoughts into words. 

“INFJs negotiate the world primarily through our intuition. We communicate this externally by saying we have a “feeling” or a “hunch” about someone’s character or the way a situation might unfold, but what happens on the inside is that we “see” things in sudden flashes of insight. These flashes manifest in images that follow one another rapidly through our brain, with each image containing data embedded in it. That’s why it’s sometimes so hard to explain our gut feelings to others.”

Read the full post here.

This article by Gregory Peart, on Quiet Revolution, so perfectly explains why we introverts struggle with making conversation.

Most of the discomfort of small talk can be summed up in that feeling of waiting to find something to contribute to a topic you don’t really feel confident about. Of being at the group’s or the other person’s mercy, so to speak. 
The point Gregory is making is that by taking charge of the conversation, steering it in the way we want, we will instantly have more to talk about while also feeling more confident. 

It’s so true and I experienced that just yesterday while in a client meeting. The more I dared to take initiative in the conversation, the more easily I could open up and relax, and the better our conversation flowed. Like an upward spiral.

“A shortcut to immediate confidence is simple: go first. Be the first to ask, “Hi, how are you?” Acting first in any situation instantly boosts how confident you appear to others and, in turn, boosts your feeling of confidence. Poor conversationalists are normally reactive as opposed to proactive. They wait for something to happen to them. Exceptional conversationalists go after what they want.”

Read the full post here.