If you have been anywhere near me over the past year, you’ll know that in the last 8 months I have went from being an industrial engineer, to a freelance industrial engineer, to blogger, and now to an employee working as a web designer and marketing manager. For me, the biggest struggle is not in the 3 big moves I’ve made professionally, but the big moves I considered, but didn’t take. I’ve been working on idea, after idea, after idea and running with it much too fast, burning myself out in the process. In many ways, this has been a pattern for me; a loop that I can’t seem to break free of. Over the years, I have a graveyard of half-finished projects in my wake, and I don’t like that.
I recently learned my personality type is ENFP, which when the topic of careers comes up this is said:
Can’t I fly helicopters AND be an oceanographer who writes songs and cooks?” It’s a big world out there — perhaps even a little too big.
as an ENFP, I’m an “idea guy”, and get very excited when I have what I deem is “a good one” (hint, I think they’re all good ones.) As you can imagine, this leads to me jumping headlong into a project, only to find that it is not what I expected it to be. Making this issue worse, rests my utter discomfort with the thought of complacency setting in. This creates a sense of urgency, where I feel anxious if I’m not working on “the next big thing,” I’ll just whittle away, with no retirement, no future, working until the end of my days. It has been like this for a few years, really, and I think I’m finally coming to realize that not only is it unsustainable, but I’m spinning my wheels in the process. So, I’m stopping.
Coming Up for Air
I’m forcing myself to stop trying to use the internet to earn money. Ultimately, that’s where my new ideas stem from. I’m not a greedy person, I just want to be able to spend time with my family, and truly work on my terms. Every day that passes that I am not working in this manner, I feel is another day lost. The reality is, I can always come up with ways to make a living online, to me those ideas come naturally. The real problem is, I have been trying to build a product and force myself into the market, and usually lose interest before it gets anywhere. I’m tired of trying to push myself as a specific persona. I’m tired of telling everyone that “I’m an expert at (whatever)”. I feel like, in my push to try to tell everyone who I am, I forget to stop and actually figure out who I am for myself. I hurry into things, and bite off too much because, well, I’m in a hurry! I see now that being in this rush is preventing me from having free exploration. As a result, I have decided that my new motivation for the future is not to generate prospects, network, or create opportunities online. Instead, my motivation is to explore, learn, and truly take the world in. I need to grow personally before I can move to the next level. No more committing to any marketing regimen, or idea. I’m posting on Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, CodePen, WordPress, Medium, Tumbler, and anything else for me, and that’s pretty much it. I’ll continue to offer services on a contractual basis, but from now on, I’m not “an Industrial Engineer”, or “a Web Designer”, or “an SEO Expert.”
I’m just Alex. And there isn’t anyone else I would ever want to be.