I’ve been so focused on the end, I don’t know what the beginning looks like.

Monday. My first real day of not working for the World’s Worst Company. There is no more paperwork, no more emails, no nothing. My job now is to take control of my new life and drive it forward in the right direction so that I don’t end up in a state of career malaise again three years from now, or less than that, god forbid. Let’s see what’s changed.

15 Months With The World’s Worst Company: Lessons Learned

  • Apparently I have a lot of values around things like delivering good quality service, taking care of customers and making an effort. These are good things to know about myself. Especially considering that my motivation hit somewhat of a low point following the violent crime of 2014, causing me to wonder whether I had any effort left in me. It is ironic that I ultimately responded to this state of affairs by taking the most demanding job I’m ever likely to have.
  • What I learned from doing superhuman amounts of work and achieving impossible things for 15 months: I am tenacious. I have a lot of energy. When I know I am doing the right thing, I will let nothing stand in my way. I am capable and can deliver against as many targets as I need to, even if that means surviving on 3 or 4 hours of sleep at night.
  • What my customers taught me. It’s okay just to be happy to be alive. The past is another country. History is far less important than the future. Not every new invention needs to redeem humanity or save the world. Some inventions are there just to bring small moments of happiness into people’s lives and there’s nothing wrong with that. Angst is out of fashion, so is introspection. Capitalism may or may not be inherently evil, but it is what we have and there’s no point wishing otherwise. Health is irrefutably important and is a moral duty, to society as well as to yourself individually.
  • I value my time and I like money. Life without a steady stream of money is scary and depressing. A stream of incoming money makes life brighter and happier. Doing things with my time that do not match its monetary exchange rate pisses me off. If I’m going to invest large amounts of time in work then it needs to pay me at the upper limit of what it is capable of paying. It is important to have some time off work and some sort of life outside work. Doing otherwise leads to compensatory behaviours like smoking and buying too many clothes and other wasteful personal luxuries.
  • I am fantastic with large audiences. I am incredibly engaging and passionate and can hold the attention of large groups of people. I am a crowd-pleaser. I please crowds. I am funny as all get-out and I know how to make everybody feel loved.

Small Amounts Of Time With My Commercial Clients: Lessons Learned

  • I want to work with people who are happy and ambitious, who like their jobs. This is very important.
  • I love business travel, it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. A business trip to a new country can give a lift to my entire year. Going to a new country and staying in a nice hotel solves any and all emotional problems.

Graphics from when I was doing life planning in 2015, prior to taking the job at the WWC:

What I see from the big plan, the one with all the squares on it, is that the structure of this thing is unchanged. I hoped that the job at the WWC was going to solve my problems by turning the red zone of the plan (everyday business activities) into something that lined up with the blue zone (my personal values, mission and philosophy). Of course, that didn’t happen but it did give me a boost of energy and shake up my point of view, which is why we have all the above discussion about values, in light of the experience that I’ve just had. When I look at the detailed lists of values that I made in 2015, it’s all very worthy stuff. Quite a serious frame of mind is evidenced. I see now that some things hold good – integrity is a big one – but some things are missing that I can now see are really important. And these things include getting paid at a level that I think is commensurate with my skills, taking and enjoying opportunities such as travel, and having fun. I don’t see a lot of fun in that 2015 plan, but I learned that fun is really important and I am good at making it, even in adverse circumstances

What I need to do as a next step is take a look at that red zone of everyday business activities because it has reached another point of change now that I’ve finally escaped from the World’s Worst Company. I need to take a fresh look at my everyday work and career and make some judicious decisions about what those things need to look like.

What I need to do immediately, as in right now, is get on top of the financial situation. The WWC was chaotic from a financial point of view. It brought in some money but it was also very expensive and it left me with no time to do my own financial planning. I need to pay urgent attention to this task list:

  • Get some outstanding invoices paid. Plus at least one new invoice to issue.
  • Get an overview of the upcoming tax situation, send stuff to my accountant.
  • Mortgage and pensions guys are waiting for things from me.
  • Personal finance – take a look at a loan that apparently is still outstanding.
  • Generate some new business to keep the money coming in later in 2017.

This means poring over bank statements, so I’d better get on it.

Note to self: when I started this blog, I used TLYW Achievement Points to propel myself along. It was successful in getting me to go to the gym and do all manner of things. So I might re-start that, I could have a new page for it. But I need to attend to financial matters first.

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