Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Finish Line

I'm glad you posted something Riani, so that the last _3_ posts wouldn't all be mine. :)

I agree. We really haven't been holding each other accountable enough. We talked about this at the last meeting that we finally had again, but now with Nick overseas too this blog takes on additional importance as a way to keep everyone up to date with whats going on. Well anyways, next meeting will happen June 29th or 30th I believe we decided.

Everyone knows where I'm at -- Release is on July 4th, and I'm scrambling like mad to make it all fit together. But things are looking very up -- next meeting we'll talk more about the marketing side of things, but I had a really good talk with Danie about the ways I've been failing to market the product so far, and ways to dramatically scale up the impact of the release.

Off to Yellowstone for a week tommorow for a working vacation, then back home and the next meeting!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's June already.

Wow. Six months has flown by and I have nothing to show for it. Crazy huh? I think all of us are lagging behind and we're not being good about being accountable to each other... How can we fix this?

Here's what I've done and my plan for the next thirty days. Let's all get on each other's asses and make sure we stick to our game plan, ok?

  1. I decided to start with my line of stationary, called "dear uncle stu" because it's simple, easy to ship and something really personalized. I will be posting my first-draft collections to this blog by the end of the week. Please scream, kick and yell at me to make sure I get this done.
  2. I've booked a meeting with a supplier of stationary for Friday morning at 9am sharp, so that I can start planning the finances on how to get the project off the ground. I'll be calling and meeting with one more, just to make sure I'm not getting screwed with the price.
  3. I'm sourcing a web developer for my store, since I'm looking for someone to create the "skin" on an already existing system. There are two likely candidates at the moment, I'm reviewing both their resumes.
  4. I'm making it a point that my next trip out of the country will be to Thailand, where I'm going to buy the first lot of sample jewelry that I want to sell on the website. I'm going over this with my boss.
So those are four things that I have lined up, I'll post again in a few days. How are things going with you guys?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Doldrums of Zeno's Paradox

We STILL haven't had a meeting lately. I'm feeling the lack most keenly as they are great mileposts for me to set progress by.

In any event, my personal TAP report is here:

As of today, 5/19, code is about 98% complete. There are still some fair bits of polish that I really need to attend to, mostly in Layout View. But the real work is pretty much completed.

I've changed my attention to documentation efforts for the moment, still putting in a side order of bugfixing and polish as well. There are 2 weeks left before June -- I want to be effectively done with all work by June 1st and be able to announce a release date for the sometime soon after that.

Can I finish all this crap up in 2 weeks? We'll find out!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Emotion Vs. Ration

This week has been one hell of a ride, as I feel both loved and lonely at the same time. I'm struggling to "settle down" and find peace within myself, which is making it hard to concentrate on my objectives. I miss the ease of hanging out with you boys, and regret that I took it for granted. =(

My ability to think rationally, I've found, relies on my emotional stability. I'm frustrated with myself, but as my (new) great friend Homer (as in Iliad, not Simpson) said - I've only been here 3 months. I need to give it time. So, for the next week I'm going to try to book appointments with my new friends. Friendships are easy to strike for me, but getting them deeper has always been hard.

On a business front, the first batch of photos for the website are done. They are in post production and I'll get them on Monday. I'm working on the website, and it'll be ready by the time Monday rolls around (at least that's what I'm telling myself). I'm meeting with the folks at FedEx next week too. Wish me luck.

Lonely but at least not homeless. =D

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Period 4 -- A Diplodocus

A Parable for Accountability

Once upon a time there was a big dinosaur. It ate lots of food in the form of leaves and bugs and grew big and strong. There were plenty of trees to eat from, and life was good.

Then he ate all the trees, so all that was left to eat was insects. The bugs didn't taste nearly as good as the sweet tasty nectar from the feature tree.

Now he's trying to eat all the bugs quickly before the tyrannosaurus arrives and swallows him whole.

And that's this month in a nutshell!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kuala and Bali Count?

Hi boys,
in these last two weeks I've:
  • Gone to Kuala Lumpur to hang out with some girlfriends. This has been good for my soul because it let me recharge and be around strong women entrepreneurs. It's given me the energy to push me again to start my online boutique.
  • Gone to Bali for the weekend. This was good because I met a lot of locals in the area, and some that own villas there but live in Jakarta. I'm sure that if worse comes to worse, I can go work for one of these guys. In Bali. Not too bad me thinks.
So really, I've just been playing tourist. But having a great time doing it. I have however:

  • Scrapped my old provider for my boutique. I found a better one which is easier to use, and on which I can build my own visions without too much fuss. I should have it up and running by the end of the week.
  • Secured the US wholesale rights for a local jewelry company coming out with brilliant designs. I'll be able to sell them at retail and/or wholesale within the US market and anywhere else I want. I'll add that to my collection, which allows me to save money by not buying inventory.
  • Contacted a guy who makes these awesome rattan bags, hopefully I'll be able to photograph them and add them to the site, and sell them at retail price. (I'll negotiate for wholesale pricing).
  • Contacted a business development manager at Pasar Raya, which is a huge department store. They have beautiful stuff, and I want to see if I can start selling some of their stuff online.
My goal is to get product on the website, sell it online and ship it from Indonesia. In a couple of months when I have a better idea of the sales velocity, I'll ship to the states and have a fulfillment center take care of all that crap.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll update you guys when I've started. =D

Friday, March 28, 2008

Watch Out! Unicorns abound!...

"The unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful. He could be captured only by unfair means, and his single horn was said to neutralize poison."

What does this have to do with accountability, you say? I'm not sure yet...Give me until the end of the post and I'll come up with something. I surely couldn't pass up using this sparkleiscious graphic.

As for productivity over the last 2 weeks...

I recovered from two months of painting for the first week
I was sick for the second week
I got a bunch of small things done, but not much progress on the macro-goals
Grade: C+

Things for next time (2 weeks this time, dammit!)

Post my to do list...I'm doing that now
Develop specific curriculum and materials for spanish test
research spanish test requirements

Contact deck painting client
Research and act on photography income/display
Create new '100 things I like...'list
Try to fill out days with specific events
back to the gym
plan trips

begin planning/implementation on evil present blog and car painting blog
help parents plan/schedule home restoration project
fix car...again
finish mustang!!!
photo/document/internetize/sell mustang
review other online pursuit ideas

The unicorn is there to inspire and symbolize our not-so-selfless, but valiant efforts to 'neutralize the poison' in our lives...or maybe we're just horny.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stephen - Period 3

And a month later...

I met my work goals for the 2 week period from last meeting.. however, thats not that impressive since we took a month between meets this time.

Beta-9 is out and 1/3 of the Big-Three done. The remaining Big 2 are really umbrella issues that contain a dozen or more things each. Ouch.

Things that I still suck at: Good customer conversations.

My goal notes:

1) For the next two weeks, focus exclusively on bug fixing and re-enabling things that had to be disabled for B -9. Two weeks of solid effort should resolve the vast majority of bugs that need fixing before release.

a) Make a priority list of bugs, and solve them in-order.

b) ONE thing at a time only. Do NOT have the dozen-in-flight modifications that were plaguing B-9.

2) Reply to a couple of the backlogged emails every time I check work email.

3) Try putting my coffee maker in/next to my room, with auto-brew for the morning. Knowing there's coffee brewed and ready will greatly help me get up at the same regular time each morning. Funny how excited this idea makes me. I still like the idea of the caffeine watch though, guys.

Accountability, What's That?

Before I post my goal list, a few thoughts.

So as I mentioned at the meeting last night, we all suck since we missed an entire 2 weeks for no real reason. I guess it sort of brings up an important point: that alot of the time, our 2 week progress indicators will just be "Same ol, Same ol". It's hard to be dedicated when you don't have anything happening.

Three solutions are possible then. 1) Actually make Interesting Shit happen every period (perhaps impossible), or 2) Broaden our meeting scope to accommodate more (identifiable, actionable) goals, or 3) Move to a monthly format to allow for more things to happen. (reasonable for some times, but at other times is too few).

Anyways. Just wanted to throw out some ideas to help keep us regular. Because, you know, that's important. Otherwise, we just become metaphorically full of crap.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Andrew - Period 2

Okay, I am not coming in last for a second time on my own damn blog... Unfortunately, my bulleted lists aren't nearly so pretty as everyone else's... Seems I've got more internal house-cleaning to do before I can embark on Big Projects (tm). That said, I'm trying to take a different approach with stress from work: do only what I can, be more selective about the projects I choose to involve myself with, and play Mr. Teflon to the high-pitched nonsense coming out of my superiors. (Wait - isn't this supposed to be a bulleted list?) Fine, here are the rest:

  • Continue with the Importing class - start thinking about implementation steps, as there are only 2 more class periods left...
  • Gym/Running - 3 times/week for each, though I'm not going to feel bad if a weekend run turns into a day of downhill skiing...
  • Start the day early - This is going okay, though it could use a bit of improvement. If I want to get off work early, I've gotta arrive early and not dawdle at home.
  • Schedule time for reflection - This is the one I didn't get to, insofar as I didn't schedule any specific time free of distractions. I'm thinking a self-imposed lunch break at work might do the trick...

Given the pace of some of the other projects being floated around here, I might have to start adding some side projects with some of you... All told, the future is bright!

Stephen -- Period 2

So all of us had lets say less than exciting goals for the next two weeks, seeing as they basically boil down to "get shit done".

As frustrating as the last couple weeks were, these next two are shaping up to be awesome, as I feel my productivity hitting a marked upswing and being invigated by a dash to the finish in terms of coding work.

More specifically, goals for the next 2 weeks for me are:


1) Continue the 4hrs/day all week on a BIG-3 ISSUE time commitment. This is most easily measured simply by doing this work at Zoka, and making sure I'm there for 4 hrs+ a day. They must love me there.

2) Continue waking up early(ish). This is a work in progress still sadly.


3) Dealing with customer email backlog in the morning, after waking and food but before my brain is fully ready to code. This works well because in the evening I'm sick of working.

I also brought up at the last meeting that, once this stage of the project is done (BIG-3 completed), its time to shift to the more interesting work -- that of ramping up everything for the product launch. That involves website, documentation, marketing, advertising, advocacy, etc. I'm seeking and taking help in any and all areas of the above. I want to make as big a splash as possible -- I haven't spent two years of my life for a lukewarm project launch.

Cheers to the rest of you! Let's kick some ass this period...

Update on my progress...

Hello boys, I thought it was high time I write you again. Here's what's going on.

1. I finally have good internet access. Actually, better than yours - I can get online in the taxi, at restaurants etc because of my little dongle. It's a little wireless device that allows me to be online no matter where I am. Boo-yeah.

2. I got a headset - so we can actually talk to each other. Please get skype, because I miss all your melodic voices (natch).

3. I'm going up to Bangkok this weekend, on a visa-run (when you have to leave the country, so you're forced to take a little R&R). I'll be buying samples of jewelry etc to photograph and sell for

4. I have another project I want your help with. I'll outline it in another posting to you boys. It's called - I want it to be Indonesia's leading place to look for local hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars, etc... Because there isn't a good place yet, the market is BLEEDING for it!

5. I finally feel like I'm starting to belong. I have a good set of friends in different spheres, and I'm constantly meeting new ones everyday. =) But that doesn't mean I don't miss you boys like crazy.

Alright - back to work. I have to get the office boy to make me some tea. I have a special pot and everything. =)

Much love,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Latecomer - Session 1

Wonderful, I'm last... Even Riani posted before me! I'm in a somewhat strange place for this group, given certain issues outside my control (boss out of the country until March, etc.), so my goals for the moment are pretty simple. I'm taking my Import class at the UW, and that will provide a way forward, though for the moment the goal is... to attend! The rest are just an effort to get my life in order:

  • Gym - 3x a week
  • Run - 3x a week (for Patty's Day Dash)
  • Be at work before 9am every day
  • Schedule time for reflection - no distractions!
So far? So good! Am I forgetting any?

Period 1 -- Stephen

So, one week late in posting my TAP-1 results (now it sounds properly tech-ish, with a sweet sweet acronym).

Micah, I'm not sure if I agree that we should post our lists as comments -- for one thing, comments are not editable that I can figure out, and so we can't do strike-throughs or any other updates. I suggest we simply each post our session results every two weeks and title/label appropriately.


The issues I'm facing in the short term we all know from the last meeting. Here's the list of actionable things that I set forth to make happen:

1) Work on the Hard Stuff -- effort-based goal of 4 hours per day working on one of my remaining Big Three problems. I can work >4 hrs per day on WM obviously, and those extra hours can be on other issues/funner stuff. But 4hrs a workday must go into fixing the 3 issues that haven't been done for years..

How to hold accountable: Daily planner, record time spent working on a big-3 issue.

2) When to Call it Done -- When the big-three are done. Not a time-based goal, which I suck at holding too because they don't fit the situation.

How to hold accountable: Don't let feature-creep happen!

3) Die Perfectionism Die.

How to hold accountable: Well, you guys can beat the shit out of me whenever I start talking about making things awesome with just one more thing...

4) Email Management -- Check once a day, reply for support emails. Add an auto-responder to all other emails to give myself breathing room to reply within a 1wk timeframe.

How to hold accountable: Close email during the day.

5) Get up at 9am each day.

How to hold accountable: 3 alarms, nature helping out (sunlight through the windows)

6) Make some &*#$ business cards (late addition...)

How to hold accountable: Spent time after my big-3 chunk to research best cheap cards option.

So, since I'm posting this a week late, how am I doing at these?

Bottom line, I'm sucking at them. You all can rip me apart at the next meeting, there are extenuating circumstances but that's no excuse. This upcoming week has to make up for the missed time last week that i couldn't control. I've ordered the replacement laptop power supply, won't be here till the end of the week but I can grit it out and work from home for the week as best I can.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Accountability - Session 1

As per our agreements we all are supposed to post the things we are working on until our next meeting. So far only nick has posted his. I suggest that we post our own goals/projects in replys to a common post from here on out so we can easily go back to a specific session. So below I'll post my projects/goals (a week late)

To Riani: Thanks for the updates and the postings. Eventually we want to get set up with webcams so we can hold our biweekly meetings wherever we are (whether vacationing in Holland or working in Indonesia) I don't know how much you've been filled in about our first meeting, but it went well. I'd encourage you to post any/all projects/goals your working on in the short-term - partly for us to review your progress, but mostly for ourselves. Let us know of the biggest challenges or struggles you are facing and we can spend some time in our in-person meetings discussing possible suggestions (at least until we get video conferencing up and running)

From the Big Durian

Hello fellow bums with a business card,
two weeks into my Asian adventure and I thought it's high time I posted... I've been off the radar for awhile, but I still read all your posts and wish I were there for game nights and afternoons full of coffee and colorful banter. But since I'm here, I might as well give you an update.

1. I have a permanent place to stay now, close to one of the offices I work in. It's in a Rumah Kost (boarding house) but its pretty awesome. I have a bathroom with huge closets, a shower and a bathtub. That's really all a woman could ask for. I'll post photos later so you guys know I'm not living in a cardboard box on the side of the street.

Funny story: The first night I came "home" I freaked out though, because my stuff had been moved around. I thought someone had broke into my room, but then I realized it was just the maid - who came to clean my room and pick up my laundry. How cool is that?!

2. I'm building my networks. Through Phil (my mentor/boss/business partner) I'm meeting a lot of people that will help me build a strong future here in Indonesia. I also have been forcing myself to go out every night to meet people - it's paid off. Every time I'm out, I set a goal to speak with 5 new people. So far it's yielded great results. I'm hanging out with Embassy staff, journalists, PhD candidates and CEO's and directors of companies. It's also allowed me to "have a life"... as I'm going to the Jazz festival next month, which should be amazing!

3. I'm getting ready for the first phase of my company launch. I still don't have a working website, but I'll be going on a buying trip to Bangkok at the end of the month. (I have to leave the country anyway on a Visa run). I want to get a good idea of what we're going to sell and start getting photography together.

Which is another reason I wanted to post. The more I work on this, the more I realize that I need your help... Working on projects is more satisfying and fun when you're working with a great group of innovative, creative people. (Yes Andy, I'm even talking about you).

So if you guys want to get involved, please let me know... But I'm surviving here, and hopefully going to thrive pretty soon. =) But it can get lonely, and having a great army of talent makes it easier to bear the hard days. Jakarta can be very isolating.

Messages to all of you

Stephen: Send me the website. I'll help you position it maximum exposure and marketing. You need to get it launched so you can get your ass out of the country for awhile.

Andrew: Go through in your mind what you think I'm going to need help with. I know you're feeling a little uneasy with work right now; perhaps helping me will make you feel empowered. (I could use all the help I can get).

Micah: Thank you for putting things in context for me, our random conversations have made a big difference in the way that I conduct myself here. Don't think you haven't been a great inspiration. This forum allows us to keep pulling each other up, and I hope it continues. =)

Nick: Hope you're glad to be home. (At least for awhile). I'll start putting things together for you to look at (for the website). Hopefully you're still interested in working on that.

Alright boys, I have a meeting to go to. I'll be thinking of you and this incredible opportunity we have... here's to empire building!

- Riani

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where's my banana?

So, the first meeting went well. I think sharing our longer term goals and exposing our immediate and pressing issues is an excellent way to orient ourselves in relation to the progress we want to achieve.

There were a few comments as to my 'having my shit together', which I can virtually guarantee as being the first in history. While I definitely feel that my spoor is on track and less spurious than usual, I'd say I have a ways to go before until I've got my feces well framed.

That said, one of the things that I've been doing over the past year is creating to-do lists and actually doing them. Basically, all of my lists consist of issues that are on my mind. However, I don't leave them at that: in order to be effective, a good list should offer a path towards crossing those items or issues off. As such, I break each issue down into the smallest possible 'actionable' step, and cross each step off as I move through the list. This accomplishes several things: First, it offers a fairly accurate picture of what needs to be done to free my mind (letting the rest follow). Second, it helps me visualize how well I'm actually spending my time. Third, it gives me a sense of progress which tends to bump up my enthusiasm for getting more stuff done. Fourth, and perhaps most important, it allows me to establish and mark 'cascade points' - that is, points in actions that push the realization of a goal forward. More clearly, this means that I can see points at which I can comfortably rest, knowing that there isn't much to be done and that it is a virtual guarantee. More often, however, this means that I basically end up saying 'Oh! That'll just take a minute...' and end up crossing more crap off my list. Which then spurs me to do just a lil bit more... which then... you get the point.

Finally, this process allows me to get to Step Three, but only after the most pressing item and least pressing item have been removed from the deck in Step two, and I can now add a third power line to a city in Phase 2, but only if there were two or fewer lines placed in the previous player's second Phase or the previous Phase of Step 2 in any other player's turn that did not violate the rule outlined above that is allowed in Step 3.

In the spirit of holding myself accountable to, well... myself, I offer my to do list for 02/23/2007:

  • Design Priming Booth
    • List of materials
    • Cost of Materials
    • Locate Materials
  • Build Priming Booth
    • Buy Materials
      • Wood
      • PVC
      • Plastic Tarps
      • Velcro
      • Lynch Pins
      • Box Fans
      • Lights
    • Assemble Booth @ Micah's
  • Book Painting Booth
    • Call 425 226 0930
    • Drive down to drop off payment ($300, $100 refundable deposit)
    • Booked For 7-10 March. Located at 333 Sunset Blvd N. Exit 4 off of 405 South.
  • Mail Dr. Arnuk re: Medical records.
    • Get address for Regence and Highline
    • Send to Regence
    • Send to Highline Hospital Claims review
    • Send to Me
  • Contact Lakeview for substitute positions
  • Open Curriculum texts and begin reviewing
    • Note down resources needed
    • Locate resources
  • Contact 3 people who expressed interest in Mustang
    • Find their contact info
  • Schedule Dr's Appt
    • Tests
    • Inquire for advice on Billing issues
  • Present for Pan Yone
  • Install One Note
    • Three Tutorial Sections
  • Read Getting Things Done
    • One Chapter
    • Two Chapter
    • Three Chapter
  • Apply for Unemployment
  • Purchase Coolant neck for Mustang
  • Re-seal valve covers
  • Complete Bodywork on Mustang
    • Strip exterior paint
    • Strip Interior paint on dash
    • Cut out old metal and rust on
      • DS Door
      • PS Door
    • Re-shape Hood
      • Heat, shrink metal
      • Body-fill as necessary
    • Re-shape DS quarter Panel
      • Heat, Shrink
      • Body Fill as necessary
    • Re-shape Tail Light Panel
      • Heat, tap, pound with dollies and hammers
      • Body fill as necessary
    • Wipe car clean of dust and grime
    • Spray car in Booth with filler primer
    • Spray parts in Booth with filler primer
    • Block/Wetsand filler primer and Body Filler
    • Wipe Clean
    • Spray Epoxy Primer
    • Block/Wetsand E Primer
    • Wipe Clean
    • Spray Poly Primer
  • Reassemble car to driveable state.
  • Email Jeff Hammet re:
    • TOK Conference times
    • Ticket date (May 1?)
    • Apartment available date
    • other qs?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Building Bigger Snowmen

Bad monkey! No banana!
For a so called 'accountability project' I haven't seen much word of any projects, let alone accountability' in 15+ days...and I blame all of you!

So without further ado, I want to formally introduce ad idea I've been working on for a bit; a sub-architecture within the accountability project to make it work better. An idea that will empower all of our future ideas/projects and give them a better fighting chance of survival.

Amongst our contributors (and I can think of at least a few more that should be immediately added) we've got a lot of skills and a lot of intelligence. I think it's high time that we start utilizing the power of collaboration to support our friends and to support ourselves.

It's one thing to write (and a good thing) to write about accountability, but true accountability comes through action, responsibility, and framework. Accountability is destined to require structure to utilize it's power to the fullest.

What I propose is a scheduled, regular meeting of said contributors to the accountability project. A specific time and place to present our ideas, our hurdles, our motivations - and get feedback on it. Once a week, or once every two weeks, we will get together working in an environment free from distraction and we take our ideas and projects seriously.

We all have ideas, some of which may already have evolved into projects. Any evolving idea or project, however, needs momentum to work. Every snowman starts as a snowball and no matter how perfect of flawed that snowball is, it can be shaped into something bigger and better. I'm pretty sure all of us here aren't particularly interested in making a collection of miniature snowmen or boxes of nicely started snowballs. If you ever hope to make big snowmen, you're going to have to work your ass of and keep pushing the snowball. It would sure help though if you were working on a downhill slope. And that's, metaphorically speaking, what I think such a meeting can do.

It would easy to approach this concept with a casual glance. It would be fun, and it would work - once or twice. But that's not good enough. That's why it needs to be a regular occurance, and there needs to a fixed structure to how we present and critique our fellow ideas and projects.

There should be formal attire - like a business meeting. Because we're in the business of assuring that our goals are successfully met. Formality indicates maturity and responsibility - it sets the frame of mind. I take my life's pursuits very seriously as well as all of yours.

busi·ness [biz-nis]
3.a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.

Imagine a place where you have to describe what you're working on, what you're having trouble with, and where you're your closest peers. That's self-accountability. Now imagine you can get constructive (and maybe not so constructive) feedback on what you're doing. A fresh pair of eyes and ears to lead you in the right direction and make sure you're still headed downhill.

With some of leaving, some of us already left, and surely more to leave in due time, the time is more than ripe to put something into place that will function wherever we may end up. We are the age of technology. No need to let a few thousand miles get in the way of getting stuff done.

I've got plenty more specifics in mind, but I'd like to hear from allz' yall.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Never stop learning.

UPDATE: So the notion of "never stop learning" has its applications even here... In my original post, I misappropriated an idiom (the carrot and stick metaphor). It's been fixed and the post probably makes a bit more sense now.

Word is gradually spreading about this little endeavor, and I'm getting some great feedback from all sides... One of the on-going debates that has always roiled just under the surface for me is the question of college. Grad school (and an MBA in particular, for me) has always held certain appeals for me: the prospect of better jobs, more "experience", and a credential to show to would-be employers... The fairytale comes crashing down, however, with the 6-digit debt and 2-3 year commitment (during which I would be working just as hard as if I was *actually* employed, all without making a dime). With so much uncertainty about my future direction(s) still looming, there is no way I could commit myself to that sort of academic term.

There are, however, still a few options... A good friend pointed me to some seminar-style classes at the University of Washington's Experimental College. They offer classes that run from one-night engagements to several week terms and teach everything from basic business principles (Patents/Trademark law) to entrepreneurial workshops (Real Estate development and Small Business Importing). They're cheap, offer a minimal commitment of time, and provide a perfect environment to get my feet wet, ask questions of a mentor, and give me a launch pad for further research/exploration. If I'm ever going to get a project of my own off the ground, this is the sort of background I'll need.

UW Experimental College

Friday, January 4, 2008

There's always time for a stopgap.

So how's this for turnaround time? Job sucks... so change your job description! It seems that all of this self-examination is coming at a very convenient time. My department at work is undergoing some staffing changes, and along with the new year there has been a push to re-evaluate the roles and responsibilities of myself and my coworkers. I took the opportunity today to explain my exasperation with the mundane and advocate for a change in my focus towards the more exciting areas of work. The meeting is preliminary, but I may soon get to go from Accounts Payable to Startup Logistics. My organization is growing rapidly, and they are opening new field offices in the 3rd world all the time. It looks like I may soon get to play a very direct and hands-on role in the establishment of those offices. That smells like travel abroad, increased responsibility, and a chance to take ownership of my own projects. And, if you haven't already noticed, those key words are music to my ears... The situation will develop over the next week or two, but my team seems supportive. Now, to tackle management and flesh out the possibilities...

This is definitely great news, and I'm excited for the prospects. It doesn't mean that I can rest on my laurels, though... The idea that I can turn the job I already have into one I appreciate more is encouraging. It's actually a great relief to realize that it might have some of the qualities that I'm looking for. Regardless, I'm still not completely sure of the things I want to do or the directions I want to take in life. The above key words are a good start, though, and I should probably take pains to add to and better define them. More to come!