Finding Time For Your Passions

Passions can turn into hobbies that can turn into ventures that can turn into something that you never dreamed could ever happen when it was a small little passion.

Finding time for your passion, when it’s new, untrustworthy, hard to figure out and fraught with so many unknowns can be even trickier.

So here’s the secret to making time for your passion.

Use your latest handheld device or old-school calendar.

And schedule the time.

Don’t worry about what you accomplish, just schedule the time to put time into your passion.

Start off small with 30 minutes a day and hit that target every day for a month before tweaking.  Don’t get worried about what you accomplish during that time, simply schedule the investment, once you’ve grown your passion to a hobby, then you can focus on inputs/outputs and results.

And that’s it.

A follow-up on the Gatekeeper

A quick follow-up to last week’s post on being Getting Past the Gatekeeper.

If you ARE the Gatekeeper, it’s not a free ride for you either.

In front of you, there is this candidate which probably can do a number of technical things you can’t do (or might even care to do).

And that’s okay (you’re not the developer).

But on top of identifying who they are and whether they are a good fit for your company, it’s on you to make sure that their interest never wanes and they are excited to join your little corner of the universe (yes, even Microsoft and Amazon are little corners of a much larger universe).

To do this, you must know what they are interviewing and what it relates to.  You won’t keep them interested in buzzword bingo alone so you must know the “what” of “what” they want;

  • the growth opportunities
  • the team culture
  • the projects
  • the development toolsets
  • other company benefits

If you can’t convey these “whats” when acting as a Gatekeeper, then you will lose the potentially amazing candidate sitting in front of you.

(and yes, that is the correct order for which they should be discussed)

Listening to the Experts

I work with a number of people who call themselves experts.

Some are, some aren’t.

The thing I’ve learned is that the people who do not call themselves experts, are the ones who truly are.

And they are good, scary, scary good.

And when they are that good, it’s easy to be intimidated by them and thinks you can’t do what they are doing or it’s too much to change to the way they are approaching problems.

Maybe it is or maybe you (we) are simply scared of listening to someone who is more of an expert than us.

Listen to them, learn from them.  There is no need to follow blindly, but there are takeaways that will help you grow.

The Late, Late, Late Arrival

You’ve arrived early, waited patiently, planned what you are going to say for the umpteenth time, wondering what else you could have been doing with all this time and then finally they show up.

It could be your customer, the doctor, a colleague, anything – but they are late.

They have stomped on your time and held you back from what you could have been doing.

Maybe they have a reason, a valid one.

Maybe they don’t, it’s simply who they are, what they do and what they will do the next time you get together.

So if that’s the case, what are you going to do next time?

Tell them to meet you there earlier so they show up when you do?

Deliver early, let them know it’s ready and put the ball in their court as to when they want to discuss?

Bring something to do, work with a different customer, while you are waiting for them?

Any of the above?  All of the above?  Some of the above?

But the real question is whether you will do any of this in advance or will you wait for them to be late again asking yourself the same questions over and over again each time.

Listen Up (assuming you want to get better)

There is only one path to getting better at whatever it is you are doing.

And it starts with listening to those around you.

Listen to their suggestions.

Listen to their ideas.

Listen to their feedback.

Listen to their experience.

You don’t need to accept it all, but you need to do more than hear it, you need to listen to it, you need to process it, you need to think about it.

And then you need to put your own twist on it.

You’re not alone but if you can’t take feedback from others, you always will be.