Thanks to the power of Facebook memories I was reminded of an event that took place five years ago today. Reading this memory evoked so many emotions. How had five years gone by so fast? Did I use these five years wisely? And OMG what will happen in the next five years? You see, five years ago today, I was in San Diego, sitting at Midori Connolly’s dining room table, discussing the future of Seven Degrees Communications. We created a strategic plan and, for the most part, have followed it in terms of service offerings. I look at the hand drawn map and check that I am on target. Sort of.
During our strategic planning session, Midori asked me a question: “Where do you see yourself in five years.” It was the hardest question anyone has ever asked me. Five years? I really didn’t know and to tell you the truth, I still don’t know. I knew what I wanted the company to look like and live that daily. But, me? Where did I want to be? I was challenged.
Here is a bit about what has changed since that meeting:
- A month after this session, I left my full-time association job to focus primarily on Seven Degrees.
- I hired Stacy Hanas as a full-time employee along with Amanda Vazquez and Carol Malinky who are part-time.
- I moved out of my home office into The (Co)Working Space.
- I wrote Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People.
- I’ve traveled to many cities and spoke at events – averaging 50 speaking engagements a year.
- I’ve volunteered and taken on professional leadership roles in The Association for Accounting Marketing and The Professional Convention Management Association.
- I’ve joined the charity, Operation BBQ Relief, as Director of Marketing.
- I’ve strengthened by professional brand and even received some amazing recognition along the way.
- I launched a publishing company and have another brand under development.
What hasn’t changed?
- I still struggle with being productive and chasing shiny red objects.
- I still live in the same home, a place I thought I may have outgrown, but it works for me.
- The type of work I am doing has gotten more strategic and refined, but hasn’t changed drastically.
- I still spend free time with a lot of the same people and continue to make new friends every day.
- I still think where will I be in five years is a really hard question.
What I’ve learned.
Today, I accept and embrace that I am an entrepreneur.
I accept that I may chase a few dreams and reject them if they don’t feel right.
I accept that the future is very hard to predict and that’s OK.
I accept that I need to have a plan, but refining it is crucial.
I accept that I’ve accepted that the most important thing is to do what you love and it will all fall into place.
I accept that you don’t have to know where you where you will be in five years as long as you are learning and growing along the way.