For the last interview of National Clock Month, I’d like to introduce you to Andy, a Someday client who went from a job he hated to working for himself and being one of the leaders of the groundbreaking Location Independent Professionals Roundtable program. With (several) new businesses on the go, let’s take a look at how Andy handles the clock…
Who: Andy Hayes of Travel Online Partners and Sharing Travel Experiences
Andy is a travel industry entrepreneur, working with small businesses in travel and tourism to help them with online technologies at while also a prolific travel writer, published author, and editor of a popular travel website.
Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
Just one? 🙂
Before working full-time in the travel space I was working in a technology job inside a very large corporation and I was the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Days and nights became a real struggle and the issues I was having with not being satisfied at work started to bleed over into my personal life as well.
I pretty much went into meltdown, dreading getting up every morning to face the day. I was working on a few small writing projects which was my only glimmer of hope for the future. But I was stuck – frozen into position – so deep in an emotional well that I couldn’t see the forest from the trees. Pretty soon it felt like nothing in my life was going right – which in some ways was true, because I was letting the bad situation I was in control my every move.
It didn’t feel like a failure so much as it all just felt like “what’s the point?” I was very negative and not a pleasant person to be around!
Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
At the time I didn’t know. I think in retrospect I had hoped that in those depths of despair would come clarity, or at least someone to come along and say “hey, what about this?” Which is kind of what happened…
Tell us what you did to break up the pity party. What actions did you decide to take? Did someone help you buoy your spirits? Push you along?
I didn’t – at least not on my own. I got help. With Alex providing a unbiased and clear outsider perspective, I got a huge push to start getting realistic and start doing something to change! It was a pretty fundamental shift of thinking for me – a touch as light as a feather but that’s all I needed to stop looking down at my feet and start looking up at a way out. I had to make a plan ASAP to leave the job I was in, no matter what. I ended up handing notice in about 2 months later.
It’s appropriate timing being Time Management month as it’s really taken a lot of exactly that – well-managed time – to make things happen in the speed that I wanted them to. I needed out, FAST. So I had to make every moment productive. I mean, I was still working a full time job I hated and yet wrote an entire book in three months that was published in August. Crazy. I couldn’t have done it without (emotional) help though.
Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
I’m now well on my way to a successful small business owner, doing stuff that I love and working with people that I enjoy immensely. So I couldn’t be happier. Looking back on events that aren’t more than 6 months ago, it’s hard to believe I was the same person.
I remember the event very clearly that was when the shift happened. It was one of the Someday Syndrome exercises where I had to describe my future. I described it in detail but I’d also peppered it with a few blocks – things I thought would never happened. But once Alex asked some hard-hitting questions, that’s when the walls just came crumbling down. All of that negative energy started flowing and turned into positive energy to support positive change.
It’s still not easy, and again on the time management thing, at times I think I’m busier than I was before. When you decide to take your life into your own hands and live more, it comes with strings attached. You’ve got to take decisions and make things happen.
Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
I was obviously playing into the Someday My Ship Will Come In, but now I’m on board and sailing. However living your dreams can be a pretty busy experience, so I sometimes get overwhelmed with the detail and fall into the I’ll Get Around To It Someday trap, unable to prioritise and instead choose nothing. I have lots I want to achieve but never seem to give myself enough time to do it. A razor sharp organisational scheme is a must have. A tip for someday readers: From a good to do list, to lots of shiny email folders – whatever it is that you need, get it and use it.
Examining your Someday Syndrome problem, what are you currently doing to resolve it and eliminate it from your life?
Well I’m still working with Alex to keep focus and get some perspective as I go through so much change. I’m trying to stay realistic so that I can make sure I’m doing what’s important and not just doing stuff because I don’t want to do something else. It’s hard because with such a radical life change you find yourself occasionally trying to do things based on the old paradigm, and I don’t want to end up back in “that space.”
Many people suffer the same problems you do. You’re not alone, and neither are they. What would you tell people in your situation right now to help them avoid what you’re going through?
Don’t be afraid to get help. Help doesn’t mean your weak – it just means some outside perspective. Even strong people need that. Smart people thrive on feedback. You need someone who will be honest with you, though, and someone who will follow-up with you and challenge you to aim high.
If you could ask for one thing, right now, to help you overcome your Someday Syndrome, what type of help would you ask for?
A good dose of patience for me is all I need, so I can have the clarity of mind to make sure I stay on track to my ideal future dreams.