I’m doing this year-in-review a little bit different. 2019 was quite a shift in how I’ve done everything – from life to fitness to business – over the last 5 years.
One of the main concepts I’ve focused on over the past few years is optionality.
It was done subsconsciously for a few years, but Taylor Pearson put together the optionality framework that made me realize that had been exactly what I was doing.
Taylor breaks this concept down to this:
So in order to “be free and wealthy” what you really need is not more freedom in any objective sense but to remain in a state of psychological freedom and wealth induced by a constantly increasing velocity of options.
And that’s what I was doing:
Over the last few years, I’ve been collecting options obsessively. Businesses, assets, projects, travel, domains, freedom, etc.
If you want to psycho-analyze me, it was probably an ongoing pendulum reactions o quitting my job so many years back and never wanting to feel like I didn’t have options again.
So I started collecting them.
Options for options sake. Freedom to choose. It was largely on ongoing reaction to quitting my job so many years back. I didn’t want to
I confused options and freedom. I had the ability to do anything, but the momentum to do nothing.
Turns out, when it comes to optionality – the ratio of action to options matters. There’s significant diminishing returns to options if they simply remain options.
The thing about options is that none of them matter if you don’t choose one of them. And I wasn’t choosing any of them.
So that changed this year:
2019 I’ve been selling options aggressively for traction.
- I got a year lease for the first time in….5 years.
- I’ve been firing myself out of jobs that other people can do better.
- I’ve been selling time for cash and big swings.
- I’ve said no to a ton more other ideas that have popped up and am tripling down on IMPOSSIBLE.
I covered this here. It’s been a good move. The contrarian in me wants to point out all the reasons Austin isn’t perfect – but none of that really actually matters. It’s been a good move. Period.
One of my goals this year was to hire myself out of the Ultimate Meal Plans business. Jan 1 – I’ll be there thanks to some awesome team members
I have a lot of ideas. One of the problem its figuring out which ones to do, which ones to do later and which ones to just sacrifice.
Selling time for cash.
So I skipped a point. Selling time for cash. That sounds aa little mercenary and it is – but it also works – right now.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of consulting for Woven (it’s literally the best calendar app on the market). I was a power user and it saved me nearly 5 weeks-worth of time this year. I wanted to help.
I’ve also been doing some ad-hoc advising, investing, speaking, and workshops with startups and established companies here and there (if you’re interested, get in touch).
But, I’ve made serious traction.
Yeah, there are tradeoffs.
I’m working a lot. I only hit maybe 5 out of 7 days (as an insane person, I need to be in the gym every day or I don’t feel good or sleep well – I’m basically a cattle dog with opposable thumbs who sheds less). I have a lot more constraints on my time and what I can actually say yes or no to.
But weirdly enough,those constraints have actually been helpful.
The gym isn’t really negotiable anymore. It’s a necessity.
I don’t have time to mess around with time-wasting meetings for meetings sake or excuses on why something didn’t get done.
I’m more ruthless with my time, but as Parkinson predicted, I somehow get more done.
I’m forced to do things that I don’t want to do and could previously rationalize (delegate and let go).
If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a loop or spinning wheels despite having a relative amount of freedom. I’d highly recommend looking into to how you can sell various options you’re holding onto consciously or subconsciously.
If you’re stuck and can’t seem to get traction – try something different. If you’re holding off making the decision, trying to keep your options open, waiting for the perfect opportunity.
You’re floating in a sea mixed of freedom and your bullsh-t excuses about why you haven’t made any progress.
At some point, your need to collect more freedom options becomes more paralyzing than any decision you could make would be – and you don’t actually do anything.
Maybe you need to look in the mirror and realize that your desire to “have it all” just means you’re bad at choosing the thing that you actually want.
For the first time in a while, I have clear eyes, grounded traction and ready to go to bat.
Postscript: Questions that have helped me get here:
A few things helped me to get to this point.
First, a 2 part question.
What do you actually want?
What are you willing to give up to get it?
If that’s not enough, to be more blunt with yourself, look in the mirror and have this conversation:
Everything requires sacrifice. What am I purposely and proactively going to sacrifice to get what you want?