Scott’s Personal Update: March 2015

In yesterday’s Morning Pages, I reflected back six months to see how my life has changed.

I’ve accepted that my personal happiness is my responsibility, and by recognizing this responsibility, I’m a much happier person. People around me have even told me I’m much happier. It’s very gratifying to live more presently in each moment every day. I still experience plenty of moments of anxiety, stress, fear, regret, and anger. It’s more about reducing the magnitude of these negative emotions and the time I spend in these emotions.

Six months ago:

  • I was barely walking normally after knee surgery in early September.
  • I was about to embark on a crazy work travel schedule that brought me to Dallas eight out of nine weeks leading up to Thanksgiving
  • The idea of doing workshops, coaching, or speaking gigs seemed in the very distant past and very distant future.
  • The only time I could spend with my family was on the weekends, and even then mostly with B so that Lena could spend the weekends working on her dissertation.
  • I was generally excited about my work at Blend, though that attitude preceded the massive travel schedule I didn’t know was coming. By November, I was feeling pretty burned out and frustrated.

Today:

We’ve hired a customer success team at Blend to take over the onsite implementations for our Dallas-based clients, including a project manager and three relationship managers. They are all kicking major butt in their own way at Blend and it’s enabled me to extract myself from the day-to-day project management and focus on pure outbound customer development and selling activities. It’s better for me because that’s the work I enjoy the most and it’s better for Blend because that’s my superpower. We’re seeing the fruits of this transition with two new customers on boarding through June, two new customers eminent, and numerous new customers in the pipeline including several significant lenders – some of the top lenders in the country. This gives me a renewed sense of excitement about Blend and my work after some tough times last Fall.

This is giving me a huge boost at home. I’m traveling far less now, and while I’m good with some travel and even enjoy it because of the solitude and the face-to-face time with customers and prospective customers, last Fall was a little ridiculous. I’ve been much more present at home, and Lena told me the other day that B in noticeably happier in the last couple of months.

I split my weeks – three days in San Francisco and two days working from Davis. On the work-from-home days, I get up with B, make breakfast together, take him to school, pick him up, make dinner, and play together in the evenings. It makes me so happy when I can be present and appreciate the happiness in the moments like stirring eggs, making coffee, reading a book, and playing “catch me” at the playground.

It’s also a huge boost for Lena because on the work-from-home days, she can stay on campus longer and get more done and now there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for her.

B caught a nasty cold in January, then again in February and I was the one that took him to the doctor’s office. I took a couple of days to work from home when he too sick to go to school so that Lena could concentrate on her research. This gives me a certain sense of pride that Lena and I are truly sharing the parenting responsibilities.

2015-02-22 11.20.33

We rented a cabin near Clear Lake in late February. Benjamin called it the “cabinet.”

I’m racing again. Registered for the Donner Lake 70.3 in July. I took the motivation offered by a friend. She’s gunning for an Ironman before she turns 40 and this race will be her first triathlon. I’m registered for 70.3, a distance generally referred to as a “half-Ironman,” which is a grand disservice because 70.3 miles and 5-6 hours swimming, biking, and running isn’t half of anything.

I got back in the saddle for a couple of short rides this weekend, and started swimming a couple weeks back for general fitness anyway, especially after my surgically-repaired knee felt a little balky. I was up to 18-20 mile running weeks and more recently, have felt some throbbing and discomfort so I’ve laid off the running for a couple of weeks, replacing it with swimming.

All in all, I think I’ll be plenty ready for the race at the end of July. I’ve got four months and the 70.3 distance offers some freedom in my training to skip a day or two per week without serious repercussions. I’m not going for a PR or anything, especially considering it’ll be my first race in more than two years, not to mention the altitude at Donner Lake (7500’). The goal is to have a healthy, solid race day and feel like I was ready for the challenge by race day.

I also registered for a swim to Alcatraz. It’s a 2.5 mile swim from Crissy Fields to “the Rock” and back. Will be serious fun to get out there and look back at San Francisco from the Bay. There are no sharks in the Bay… There are no sharks in the Bay… There are no sharks in the Bay…

This also means that Ill be packing all of my gear from travel that does arise – cycling shoes to take spin classes at local gyms, goggles for swims at area YMCAs, and running shoes and my Garmin for runs. This is fun for me. 🙂

I was invited to do a couple of small speaking and coaching gigs with startup organizations, including Startup Weekend Sacramento: Women’s Edition, the TINC/Nordic Innovation House, BelCham and Stanford University starting in Fall.

So far in 2015, I’ve now done startup selling workshops at Hult and SARTA, and am invited back by TINC in April for the same. In May & June, I’m teaching an extension campus class through UC-Berkeley at LinkedIn. Fun, fun, fun. I love how the workshops stretch my brain to develop new ideas to apply at Blend for our customer development and sales work there.

I’ve expanded my daily routine from six months ago*:

– I’m continuing my daily practice of Morning Pages + meditation. I’ve realized that there are three things each day, that even if I do only these three things and nothing else, I’ve had a successful day: 1) Morning Pages, 2) Meditation, 3) Workout. That’s it. On any single day, those three things alone make me happy. At a minimum, I almost always do at least two of the three.

With the neighborhood pool open now, I can find time for swim or at home I can drag myself to the back patio for a 15-minute Cross-fit workout of some kind.

 – On city days, a workout is tougher so I focus on morning pages and meditation as my two important things. On occasion, I stay overnight in San Francisco if I have back-to-back days. This offers one of my favorite runs – early morning through San Francisco and its hills – Telegraph Hill, Lombard Street, Gough, California, to name a few…

– On weekends, I don’t always get to my Morning Pages because I try to sleep a little later. I can usually do a meditation in the afternoon while B is napping. – On city days, I arise early so that I can do my Morning Pages and meditation on the train or sometimes at home first before hopping on the train. Once in the city, I either work from the Ferry Building or a coffee shop near to the office before diving into the office for very full days there.

– On the bus ride from the Amtrak to the city, I’m listening to podcastsTim Ferriss, James Altucher, and Tara Brach. Same on the BART ride from SF to Richmond before I catch the Amtrak home.

– On the Amtrak ride home, I generally work until I get to Fairfield, the last stop before Davis,  then I close my laptop and then do my Evening Journal entry to record all that I’ve accomplished that day and it’s always gratifying and a little surprising to see what I’ve done that day. Then I engage in some self talk to transition from “work” mode to “home” mode so that when I walk in the door at home, I’m 100% focused on Lena and B. I’ll even turn my phone to airplane mode sometimes when I walk in the door to resist checking email passively and relinquishing my focus on things at home.

So yes, my life is very different in a good way from six months ago – much more focused and absolute time at home, more positive mental stimulation, more diversity in my days and weeks, and continuing to build on my daily practice. Life is good.

Wondering how things will be by September… 🙂

* I know I’ve described much of my daily routine in previous posts – just sharing for those that might have found me for the first time…

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