Facing the unknowns

For the past little while, I’ve had a nagging feeling, that’s been quietly whispering words of discontent.  Recently it’s become a feeling of anarchy, absolute chaos.

Over the past seven years I’ve become quite adept at dealing with chaos and unknowns – putting on a poker face when facing tumultuous choices and making executive decisions when required.  However now I fear that a poker face will not suffice and I will be taking more drastic action over the next few days.

A few things that I ask you keep in mind:

  1. I do not know how long this will take.
  2. It will take me a lot longer to respond to things like calls, emails, texts, facebook messages, invites; I may not respond in a timely manner, if at all.  If you’re just trying to find out how I’m doing or how’s business, I can guarantee there will be no response (I’m fine unless I write otherwise).
  3. If I’ve hurt your feelings through this process, I am sorry.  Once all of this is said and done, we can sit down and see what we can do together.
  4. You now know just as much as myself or anyone else about this.

I see this as an exercise in finding answers and seeking the truth.  It will be a while before I write here again.

Bon voyage.

Just remember:
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy……

 

Bon Voyage

Getting Some Gears

I’ve noticed over the past few months that it takes me a while (at least a few days) to change from Action Scot to Planning Scot.  I’ve just wrapped up The Nine Day Challenge (I think I was a gracious non-winner) and the culminating charity BBQ, and I find myself going into stimulation withdrawal.

It’s not that there isn’t tons of things to do – update the Gobi Capital web site (damn list of services), secure financing for clients (two at the moment), finish up consulting projects, return phone calls and plot a trip to Asia (for some time in the future – totally dependent on the schedule of someone else).  It’s just that none of these things involve the hustle and bustle of working towards an immediate goal that will benefit others.  Or maybe I’m just getting bored of working on my own.  Or maybe I need to get some gears in my life so I can quickly change between roles.

From Action To Planning:

1.  Debriefing – review what was good, bad and ugly.  Answer: what worked?  What didn’t work?  What were people unsatisfied about?  Where could improvements have been made?
2.  Physical fitness – do something – anything – to keep endorphins high.
3.  Ask stakeholders for their input on what was good, bad and ugly.
4.  Throw everything into a one pager or five slide presentation.  Send out to stakeholders for future reference.
5.  Start planning (see below)

From Planning To Action:

1.  Set a timeline on planning – minute, hour, day, month – current deadline is 12:30pm on Thursday June 9th 2011.
2.  Break everything down into parts / manageable chunks.  Create a Task List based on those parts.
3.  Work on formulating the steps, tasks, and milestones of each part.
4.  For each step/tasks/milestone, have a line stating: “This step/tasks/milestone is complete when _________.”
5.  Write out the overall goal.
6.  Answer the question – “Why should I do this?”
7.  Look at Task List and start with number one.

I’d like some feedback on this.  Am I the only one who has problems adjusting from action to planning?  Is there something that you do that makes it easier?  Are there any good books on this?

Why did you agree to do this?

I find myself in a unique position this morning and one that I haven’t been in for a few years – I am the underdog.

I don’t mind being in this position except that I’m down 183 to 59 and it seems to be a pretty big hill to climb – not insurmountable but definitely daunting.  I do wake up in the morning in a cold sweat wondering what I can do today to get more people involved in The Nine Day Challenge.  I do worry with every passing minute if we can raise the funds that we promised we would for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters (South Simcoe chapter).  Monday night, Krystal and I gave a pitch to their board of directors, and aside from some concerns about the humiliation part, they were in support of it. Now we have to deliver on our promise.

So the big question is – why did I agree to do a social media challenge with a 19 year old girl?

Yes, I realized when I agreed to do it that her generation lives and breaths social media with the same fervor that my generation adopted the PC.  Take into account that she had setup her page within five minutes and had ten ‘likes’ five minutes after that – I’m up against someone who is dedicated to win and knows what she is doing.

I agreed to do this challenge for two reasons: to help a local charity and to help a budding entrepreneur.  Six weeks ago, Andie at the Nottawasaga Community Futures Development Corporation asked if I would sit down with Krystal to talk about starting her business (Krystal Kares) and applying for the Summer Company program.  From our first meeting, I would see the potential that Krystal possesses.  The enthusiasm and passion that she has for wanting to make a positive impact in her community is contagious and I found myself asking “How can I do more?”

Ten weeks ago I was experiencing one of the worst earthquakes in recorded history while living in Sendai, Japan (as well as experiencing the emotional roller coaster of being on an island while two nuclear power plants melt down and dealing with dozens of aftershocks).  On April 1st, I was part of a team that put together Stories From Sendai to raise funds for Habitat For Humanity to help with rebuilding parts of the North-East coast of Japan.  I realized from that and past experiences, that many local charities have issues raising enough funds to keep their programs running (let alone maintain an office and staff) and have the much larger issue of getting people involved – to either sit on their Board as a director or as a volunteers to run / participate in the programs.  It was also from running that fundraiser that I was able to see how a marketing campaign and fundraising event could rapidly be crafted, fleshed out and then deployed within a very short time frame.

I know that for me, this Nine Day Challenge is exactly that – a challenge.  So I ask for your support in three ways:

1.  Go to my Facebook page for Gobi Capital and click “Like”.

2.  Go to The Nine Day Challenge web site and see how you can get involved.

3.  Take time today to think about what you can do today to make an improvement in your community.  Then act on it.  Pick up the phone, send an email, talk to someone.  I dare you to find your voice and ask a charity or not-for-profit “What can I do to help?”

Whether I win or lose this challenge, I know that I’ve done my part to make this community a better place.  Now I ask you to do yours.  Get involved today.