#92Mar 13, 2023
21 Whispers is 7 years old this week 🥳
I’ve learnt (and re-learnt!) many things. These are personal to my circumstance but I thought you might find some parallel insight in some of the lessons that stand out.
1 - Commitment creates time
We’re all busy and finding time for everything is a continuous challenge. As a small business owner, finding the time to get everything done that needs doing feels like an impossibility on most days.
However, once I committed to something time seemed to magically appear. 3 years ago I committed – for a year – to show up every week with some written content – my Weekly Whispers. When I committed I didn’t feel I had enough time to spare to write weekly posts, but the commitment somehow made me find the time. I made it work. I committed publicly and somehow every week turns over and I’ve completed the next Weekly Whisper.
2 - Making progress versus being busy
I’m busy. You’re busy. Everyone is busy. There’s usually more busy-ness left at the end of each day waiting to be picked up again tomorrow.
So, instead of wearing the busyness badge with honour, I’ve swapped it for a making progress badge.
When people ask “Are you busy?” I reply with, “I’m making progress”.
I’m definitely a work in progress but it’s helped me focus on the more important and valuable elements of my role, rather than the endless list of functional tasks.
3 - The grass isn’t greener it’s just a different shade
When I first launched 21 Whispers I thoroughly enjoyed the space and freedom that being self-employed brings. Today, I feel fortunate to still have enough of those things. However, 7 years in, the space and freedom have definitely been countered with the consequences of space and freedom.
I hope I never have to complete a timesheet again however I’m less disciplined with my time.
I hope I never have to commute again but I enjoyed the occasional bike ride to and from work.
I prefer to create on my own but I miss colleagues to bounce ideas off. I can do what I want but I miss being part of a team.
4 - Sometimes enormous effort produces minimal results and vice versa
I’m rarely happy and content with the content, products, and services that I provide. That ‘kaizen’ mindset has driven me to continually improve what I do, what I produce, and what I send out into the world. Whilst that is normally a good thing sometimes it can feel like a mountain to climb when a client asks for a proposal containing certain elements that I should have but haven’t done so far. It can take an enormous effort to get things moving and going without anything obvious in return. The client changes their mind, my contact moves on, the market shifts, the attention goes elsewhere and it can seem like a waste of time.
However, to counter that there have been occasions when it’s been effortless and I almost feel guilty that I haven’t done enough work to deserve the results.
I’m getting a little better at accepting both.
5 - Staying in the game
For most of the clients I work with, I’m a discretionary spend. They don’t have to invest the time and money but choose to work with me to progress an organisational agenda or objective.
It’s easy to get disheartened when you, your product, your speciality appears sidelined for the latest new thing.
I’ve learnt to ride the ebb and flow. I’ve learnt that I might not be today but I could quite easily be tomorrow. Hence, I’ve stayed in the game. There’s been a few times when I’ve considered a pivot into something else but here I am. Still producing, still helping, still provoking.
6 - The work is never done and that’s never an excuse to stop
When you immerse yourself in personal development and commit to sharing some of those lessons there are no days off.
Maybe it’s just me and mostly I love it but there’s always another distinction to be made. There’s always another and often better question to ask. There’s always another framework to share to shine a light on a problem.
There’s always plenty of work to do on myself so I can show up as the latest best version of myself.
That work constantly evolves and is never done but I won’t use it as an excuse to stop.
7 - 21st Whispers are happening to everyone, everywhere, always
I believe life whispers to us but when it shouts we tend to do something about it. The 21st Whisper is the point we get to when something cuts through and causes us to think or behave differently.
In the 7 years of 21 Whispers there have been untold numbers of people I’ve engaged with that have had a 21st Whisper moment – and that’s only the examples I know about. It’s rarely something to do with me but something I’ve said, referenced, pointed them to or shared that has resonated. I also rarely find out as they continue on their journey but now with new eyes.
I’m incredibly humbled, grateful and fulfilled that I get to do this work.
For the full origin store of 21 Whispers click here
Freedom Fridays Podcast Episode #68 featuring Jim Steele
Catch up on Episode #68 before our new release this week.
Pete chats to a long-time colleague, author, and fellow Ironman – Jim Steele. They dive deep into Jim’s latest book Unashamedly Superhuman exploring the possible balance between performance and well-being. Often perceived to be polar opposites Jim explains how certain aspects of our well-being can support high performance and vice versa.
In Jim’s words, the book moves the reader ‘beyond strapline to strategy’ and shares some simple performance and well-being hacks that might surprise you. If you’ve ever been interested in getting into ‘flow’ by design and not by accident there’s plenty to take from the conversation.
That's all for this week. I hope you enjoyed Weekly Whisper #92.
As always, reply to [email protected] to send me your feedback and let me know your thoughts.
GET YOUR WEEKLY WHISPER
AND GIVE A LITTLE TOO
IT MAY BE THE WHISPER YOU NEED TO IGNITE A CHANGE
21 Whispers has partnered with B1G1 and each sign up to our Weekly Whispers Newsletter will help break the poverty cycle by providing a day's secondary education to a child in Vietnam