Seth Godin dubbed the phrase “Connection Economy” to encourage meaningful relationships that inspire art, community efforts, and the pursuit of worthwhile work.
Right now it’s easy to feel stuck. It’s more important than ever before to be kind and present and approach others with consideration and respect.
We live in a moment in which the internet spreads information quickly (for better and for worse). We can use this to our advantage to help each other.
Task 1. Build a group
You want people who can call you out, people who can serve as your cohort and personal sounding board as you make moves (or sit on the coach and try to find a new Netflix series). We all have unique talents and traits to share; a group offers support, accountability, and the ability to help you level up. These people can let you know when you’re on track and nudge you gently should you veer off course.
Whether one other person or four, enlist a few friends. Ask, “Will you try something with me?”
Task 2. Designate a time
Set a day and time and commit. Make the details known.
Everyone is struggling with responsibilities, house work, inner battles. Make each other a priority and respect everyone’s time. You can choose to meet once a week or on Mondays and Fridays, for example.
Task 3. Finalize your reading list
You can find many books online. I’ve listed a few here as suggestions. If you have a book that has been important to you, use that one instead.
Poke the Box workbook
Business Model Generation
E Myth Revisited
4 Hour Work Week
Make Your Idea Matter
Host an unforgettable dinner party
Task 4: Put it into practice
The activities are designed to get you out of your comfort zone and reinforce what you’re reading. If you feel inspired to add your own twist, please do. The most important action is to set aside time for writing.
The writing prompts provide creative direction. Use what is helpful and change what isn’t. Not everything works for everyone.
Reading: Bernadette Jiwa’s Make Your Idea Matter
Project: Tear out photos, images, and words from newspapers and magazines. Look for anything that inspires you. Rearrange the clippings onto a new piece of paper.
Writing exercise: Set your alarm for ten minutes and choose one prompt:
- Imagine your dream life. Write down everything it entails. It doesn’t need to be complete sentences or thoughts, words are fine.
- Write a series of questions. Every question you can think of. They don’t need to make sense, and you don’t need to have the answers. Just ask.
Group discussion: What is the difference between storytelling and dreaming? Do you set aside time to dream? What are some of the stories you tell yourself about yourself?
Reading: Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week
Project: Do something new. Cook a different recipe. Sign up for an online class. Find a new place to explore using Google Maps.
Writing exercise: If you could do anything, anywhere, what would it be?
Group discussion: How do you define work/life balance? Is a distinction necessary? What helps you set better boundaries between work and home?
Reading: Seth Godin’s Poke the Box workbook
Project: Print out the workbook and try to complete it in thirty minutes.
Writing exercise: Notice areas of hesitation while you complete the workbook. Is a particular topic more challenging than others?
Group discussion: What stops you from shipping? How do you get in your own way?
Reading: Project Exponential’s Host an unforgettable dinner party
Project: Plan an online dinner party. Get creative.
Writing exercise: Set your alarm for ten minutes. Choose one:
- What are the traits you admire in others? What are the traits you’re most proud of in yourself?
- Assemble an imaginary Dream Team. You get five players. Who do you choose? What skills do they bring to your team?
Group discussion: What kind of people belong on your Dream Team? Who inspires you? Discuss how teams are formed and which environments contribute to their development.
Reading: Jess Pillmores’s Creatively Independent
Project: Challenge yourself to write the first draft of your very own ebook.
Writing exercise: Consider the uniqueness that you bring to your work, your relationships, and your family. What are the traits that single you out?
Group discussion: How do you stay inspired? What techniques have you found to be helpful during the goal setting process?
Reading: E Myth Revisited and/or Business Model Generation
Project: Brainstorm how you might turn $10 into $100.
Writing exercise: Write out a sample business plan. What would you do if you had no excuses, no responsibilities? Think back to the days of mowing lawns, selling lemonade, or babysitting.
Group discussion: How would things be different if you set aside time to write, dream, explore, or learn?
Modified from A Free Program posted February 26, 2013.