A reflection on a pivotal date

Today is 11 September. It has different significance for me than it does for you. I reflect today on what it means and where I am.
Birthday cake

Today is the 11th day of September.

Today, my business (in its current form) turns three.

This day, three years ago, I waved goodbye to my last stint as an employee and decided to work for myself again.

No doubt you’ll also recall that this day 16 years ago, the Americans duped their own people (and much of the rest of the world) into believing that some people flew some planes into some buildings.

I chose 11 September deliberately, when I went to work for myself. It was partly because the timing was just so perfect. I had to give four weeks’ notice, and the eleventh was the date at the end of the week. But it was also partly because of historical impact of that date. You can’t mention the date to people without it having some resonant impact on them in some way. It seemed to me that if I was going to go into business again, after having burnt out so hard the last time, it had to be done on an explosive date.

And so it was. Amazingly to me, not one person picked up on that significance.

If you recall this previous post, I am not celebrating this third year. I’m focused on where to next. It was interesting to me that I woke up today and felt better about things than I have for a while. I have a focus and interest in things that has been absent for, seriously, four months.

It comes at a time where I feel like there are other things I also want to do, and see that there is perhaps an opportunity for a while to stop striving for growth. The striving creates a condition of suffering, because all you see when you strive is a gap. That condition of striving explains my inner life for much of this year, and perhaps explains my inner tension. I meditate a lot, and let a lot of things go, but striving is hard to let go. It’s almost a defining shape of a first-born child: Strive, strive, strive, strive, strive. Phew! No wonder it’s exhausting.

The explosive nature of the date could be why I woke up today in an explosion of creative desire. Surrounding me are all the things I want to do, cook, sew, plant, create, draw, write. It is perhaps an indication that this creativity has been shoved into the background on a daily basis for too long. My Patreon patrons know that the activity, after an early-year splurge, kind of sputtered and fizzled. That’s a direct result of The Striving.

Too much to do
Not enough done
Too much to do
Sit and read and think
About all the things to do

Also, curiously, it being my Pixie’s birthday, yesterday I discovered that my company structure is not what I thought it was. That happened due to a lack of knowledge on my behalf, and a total misunderstanding during the structuring phase. The result of this has been the overnight realisation that striving to grow and sell is pointless, because of the pissing around it would take in order to sell it. Essentially, even though on paper I own a company with shares, I don’t really. I own a trust.

Selling it off would mean a big pain-in-the-arse restructure, with associated tax bills. It’s not difficult. It’s annoying, because suddenly I feel like this brand, which I had wanted totally separate from me, is inside my skin. When I was told that all I could sell would be “goodwill”, I felt deeply offended. All that IP, all those content and brand assets, all the structures created, are considered “goodwill”. Fuck you, traditional business world that doesn’t value businesses like mine.

What this means is that today I woke up with what people fondly pat on the head and call “a lifestyle business”. Like, isn’t that cute. It’s not at all where I imagined I’d be. Then again, this time three years ago, I was in roughly the same place, thinking the same thing.

And so, here we are on a pivotal day, and I can’t help feeling that the whole world is conspiring to get me to relax and just let things run… and indulge the creative side of things that I’ve perhaps neglected for far too long. And perhaps this notion of the ‘lifestyle business’ (shudder) is subconsciously where I wanted to be all along.

In any case, it’s pretty well out of my hands. The thing that isn’t is how this opens opportunities for me to grow. Will this ‘lifestyle’ business change my relationship to it and to the other side of life? Will it change my attitude about growth? Will it change my relationship to my creativity?

Stay tuned for how this all unpacks.

Pivotal days indeed.

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