For the better part of 3 years, I’ve completely fallen off the face of the planet. Why? Because in that time, I held my child for the first time. Life suddenly changes when you realize you’re responsible for the well being of this little creature. It changes the way you think about everything and has steered me on a very different path.
Prior to becoming a father, I was so obsessed with playing the business game. I had penetrated inner circles and got to hang with the “it” crowd. It was fun but quickly became impossible to keep up, to play the game, and stay on the inside. I noticed that the inner circles had inner circles. And those inner circles had inner circles. It was insanity derivative of a desire to gain power and prove ones worth.
When I held my daughter for the first time, I realized that this little being didn’t have anything to prove. She was full, whole, and complete the moment she took her first breath. There wasn’t anything she could do in her lifetime that would change the love I felt for her whether she became the president or a janitor. Her own desire to discover and pursue her well being was the only thing that mattered to me. This learning changed everything.
I realized I had been wasting my time in a pointless game that had no end. My business efforts weren’t actually about serving others but rather, trying to be a “someone.” So I made some drastic changes. I stopped blogging because everything I wrote sounded fake and lame. I stopped traveling. I simplified my business model. I stopped doing any networking of any kind. I canceled my overcrowded facebook page, stopped using twitter, and got off linkedin. I stopped hanging out in “politically minded” circles. I stopped reaching out to people. I stopped the madness.
Instead, I offered one service to clients only a few hours of a few days a week. I moved everything to skype so I didn’t have to travel. I focused my non-business hours on activities that bring me joy like writing, working out, and cooking. I started saying no a lot more. I set up a one page, one sentence website (jeffriddle.com). I focused my friend time on people who actually wanted to be friends- independent of our career paths. And perhaps most importantly, I doubled down on being really damn good at what I do. The irony (in the incorrect Alanis Morrissette use of the word), my business has exploded to the point where I often have to waitlist clients.
The concept of thegivegive (giving unconditionally) still holds true but I’ve realized I had it backwards. It’s not about giving to others first then you receive. It’s about giving to yourself so you have something to give. It’s about increasing your well being so much so that you feel compelled to give to others. I was on the right path but I was paying attention to the wrong thing.
So here we are 3 years since my last post and I’m back. But not because I care if anyone is paying attention or because this will somehow grow my business- it won’t. My work has nothing to do with the content of this site. But I’m back because I truly feel compelled to share what I’ve learned. I may not write often, in fact, I may not write for another 3 years. I have no idea what to expect moving forward. But I know for certain that whatever I share from here will be because it stems from my own well being.