An Empty Diary

How will you know when you've 'made it'?  What are your criteria?

I used to think the definition of luxury was a business that ran without me.

I would know when I had ‘made it’ because that would be when I had an empty diary.

No marketing or sales calls, no client calls, no commitments of any particular kind at any particular time.  Absolutely nothing that I absolutely HAD to do.

Total freedom.

In early 2020 the world fell off a cliff and, due to some unexpected financial events in my life, I didn’t really need to keep my business going.  I also found it really hard to concentrate on marketing when our governents suddenly came out of the closet as sociopathic, if not psychopathic, democidal maniacs, rather than the bumbling, incompetent but ultimately benign fools we all thought they were.

I continued to work with new referrals and existing clients (which I did largely via email and one Live Q&A call a week on a Thursday lunchtime), but I just couldn't face marketing or content creation.

Maybe it was time to retire, start a hobby or two and perhaps write my memoirs.

I tested that out for a while.

Until I discovered how boring and pointless life becomes with an empty diary.  

Don’t get me wrong, I was very well able to fill my days. There was plenty of news to catch up with, wrongs to be outraged by, tweets to share and rabbit holes to investigate.

But I wasn’t achieving anything.

I wasn’t creating anything.

I wasn’t putting anything new out there into the world.

I certainly wasn't living the Stoic Way, where you don't get upset by anything you can't control.

It didn't help that I was suddenly struck by Empty Nest Syndrome.  Nelson went to South America then New Zealand and Phoebe moved in with her boyfriend.  I discovered that Empty Nest Syndrome was not caused by a physical absence of your children, but a moving on from the need to tell you about their lives, seek your advice, or come home for a roast chicken dinner regularly.

The black dog crept closer again, a companion I’d never encouraged in my life, but one that I became all too familiar with in the years after Steve’s abrupt demise. I had gritted my teeth and got through it, knowing it was just a phase and so I was convinced I could do the same again.

So I started reading and watching, learning new skills, tentatively creating new content, and making a tiny dent in the Universe again.

That empty diary started filling up again, and with every appointment, my happiness and sense of creative fulfillment increased.

I suppose my message for this post is, be careful what you wish for.  

Make sure it’s something you are quite certain you’ll like.

Perhaps you have to try things out to find out?

It's never too late to come back.  Even if the old band has moved on.


Tags

bored, creativity, depressed, empty diary, fulfilled, fulfillment


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  1. So very true. My music has always given me purpose and my definition of success is a healthy income from my creative work, enough for a very comfortable life and enough so that I can bring to fruition all my own projects; my film idea, my 'vanity' albums etc, without worrying about having to take on other work to make ends meet. I have so many plans, I will never stop creating. I semi-walked away some years ago, began teaching to pay a hefty mortgage. While I loved the kids, I hated the job. I felt trapped, shackled to a life in the 'rat race' just to pay a mortgage. So I sold everything I owned and I bought a boat to live on and build my music business and started again, very late for a muso!
    So, I just love this post. Especially the last two lines. May I use it? I will of course credit you! Caitlin xx

      1. I live on a narrowboat on the Leeds Liverpool canal.
        Most often, I cruise this stretch of the canal, never straying too far from Liverpool, as that is where my music biz partner lives & works.
        In winter, I moor up in one of the marinas. And yes, it is very safe living in a 60ft steel hull boat!
        It's a fab life, I can even record from my boat, unless it's a super complex song.

        But I have big plans to go into movies! A film musical, no less.
        So, I still want to book a consult with you. I will be in touch.

        Loving your 'new look' rebrand. Doing the same myself. Time to shake things up.
        Caitlin x

        1. Sounds great and your plans sound fascinating. Stay independent though eh? We are increasingly finding out that there is more to the movie and music industry than meets the eye! Thanks for the kind words about the rebrand, I’m loving it too.

  2. Careful what you wish for indeed Nicola!

    I tried early retirement and I was bored shitless after the first few days, so my 'retirement' lasted less than a week before I was buzzing with a new idea and keen to get started on it.

    The curse of the entrepreneurial mindset ey?

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