You remember that old Lucile Ball segment with Ethel
and the chocolate factory debacle?
At least once a week, I feel like Lucy.
You see, I can only put 100% of my mind and effort toward what’s in front of me right now. Like a conveyor belt, I’ve found that each travel event, each speaking engagement, each workshop is slowing rolling toward me, each day getting closer as I deal with the current date and event right in front of me at that moment.
This is a new thing…at least within the past 2 years.
When I was in the classroom and even when I was spending 14 hours a day, every day, starting a school from scratch, this was not the case. I could look ahead to events and do some pre-planning. Perhaps the conveyor belt panic wasn’t an issues then because I had the same clients (students, parents, and colleagues) each day with each event growing upon the ones previous. But that’s not how this current job is.
This keynoter/speaker job has a new location, a new set of hidden and explicit rules, a new set of host contacts with their own separate styles and expectations, and each travel agenda has its own adventures. Sure, I’ve been at this long enough to recognize that each event I’m asked to attend has a similar flavor, but some are things I’ve only presented on a few times, while other things are my weekly “bread and butter.” And every single one has people with definite expectations.
But I’m finding I can only deal with one thing at a time. Each event, each location, each audience deserves 100% of my mind, 100% of my concentration, and definitely 100% of my attention and that means that I might have some trouble looking even 2 events, sometimes even in the same week, down the road. I’m finding I’m also getting calls for 10-15 (or more) months down the road where my attention keeps getting pulled to then. That’s tough. While I look up from the conveyor belt to answer a call for some person asking about an event nearly a year away, something right in front of me slides by.
Lucy begins eating the chocolate. Hiding the chocolate. And inevitably, some chocolate slides right on by into the trash.
I can’t have that. I think that’s the worst part to this job, staying dedicated to who/what’s in front of me while calming people who like to do a good deal of preplanning.
Anyone else having this sort of fun?
No lessons here for you today. I’m just trying to make sense of the lessons that are floating around me which are still hidden in the hazy distance right now. And if you’re someone who’s waiting your turn on the conveyor belt, thanks for your patience. I’m 100% yours when it’s my turn with you.