Where Will I Be in Five Years?

March 19, 2016

Today I am representing Operation BBQ Relief at HPBExpo.

Today I am representing Operation BBQ Relief at HPBExpo.

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.

Where will you be in five years? Do you know? Do any of us know? I’m just plan on doing what I love.