A change of plans.

Oh, boy. There have been a lot of changes in my plans since November. Here’s the big one:

I’m not quitting software development.

It was a fun exercise, pointing myself in that direction. But it’s not me. I have software in my blood. Not because I’m obsessed with code but because I have the skills to make all sorts of insanely useful tools in software, and I’m obsessed with making my life easier.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been working at a certain software dev shop, and it’s been awesome. But at the end of the day, I just haven’t had the energy to write my own software, which means I haven’t been making the tools which make my life easier. Which means I haven’t been doing the part I’m obsessed with. So I’ve been just letting that part of myself die.

Which is kinda stupid.

I’m making time for my obsessions.

Once I got that, I tried to make time to build the things that my heart’s been crying out to work on. And, what do you know, it worked. I had to ignore a bunch of other stuff on my plate, but who cares? I got to do what I really care about, and it was awesome.

I’ll be releasing a beta version here soon.

I’m not workflow coaching anymore.

The plan was to stop writing software and start coaching people in their workflow process. So I started doing that. The problem was: as soon as I started showing other people how to do GTD and manage their personal workflow, I had to be right a whole lot more. I couldn’t give myself permission to suck. I had to know what I was talking about.

And here comes this obsession, this priority, this awesome project that I ant to drop everything else to work on. That’s exactly what I should be working on. But I didn’t let myself work on it, because it meant dropping everything else, and I couldn’t let myself slip, because I had to be so good at managing my stuff. I couldn’t let my inboxes pile up, or my action lists. I had to get through everything.

Now, really, I didn’t have to. Because that’s part of the process. Shit gets messy. You find something you love, you run after it with a passion, and you try to deal with the mess you leave when you take breaks. GTD and workflow management are the skills to deal with the mess. But while I was coaching, I wasn’t feeling it, so I stopped.

I’m looking for work.

I’m still absolutely moving to Western Mass and out of the NYC. I love the city, but I don’t love living here full time. I miss dirt and trees and grass and reality. And I think it’s impacting my health.

But moving away means leaving the awesomest job I’ve known, working at Pivotal Labs. That’s hard to give up.

I’ve been assuming I’d start freelancing, but now I’m not so sure I’m up for that. I’m not sure I’m ready to learn to do all the business work.

Instead, I’m looking for a development shop I can work with remotely. If you’re interested in a senior Rails developer who’s obsessed with making people’s lives better, drop me a line, won’t you?

7 Responses to “A change of plans.”

  1. Sacha Chua says:

    I find that moving my personal obsessions (coding, writing) to the beginning of the day instead of the end of the day means I have a lot more energy for them, and I start work even happier and with more momentum. Give that a try. It might mean waking up quite a bit earlier, but it’s worth the experiment.

    For coaching: You don’t have to be the expert. People often just need tips, inspiration, guidance, and someone to hold them accountable. You might even be able to make more of a connection with people if you show people how you struggled and how you dealt with those challenges. =)

    Hope that helps!

  2. Erin says:

    I love your drive to be awesome. Whatever it is that you decide to do, you will be following your heart and making yourself happy. Looking forward to having you nearby, as always.

  3. Peter says:

    @Sacha: Doing those things at the beginning of the day sounds like a good idea. I’ll have to see if I can make that work and give it a try.

    And you’re right, I don’t have to have all of the answers. Maybe I just had a hard time truly feeling that. Coaching has been very rewarding to me, and I look forward to getting back to it.

    Thanks for your comment!

  4. Peter says:

    @Erin: As am I. :)

  5. SarahKat says:

    If I had a company - anything, really - I would hire you in a heartbeat. Your drive and integrity about pursuing your passions is truly inspiring. I’d love to hear about your coaching adventures at some point; I feel like teaching and coaching are only baby steps away, and your perspective on how to communicate “rightness” sounds like something I need to hear and share with my colleagues. Go professionalism! (Also, having you even a few hours closer will be awesome.)

  6. Peter says:

    @SarahKat: Aw, thanks. I’d love to talk about coaching and teaching sometime.

  7. Joe Moore says:

    I didn’t know you were embarking on such an adventure! Very exciting and very scary. I’m in a somewhat similar boat, mostly because I’m so remote from the mothership offices, if you haven’t found any remote work yet you should definately bring up working remotely for Pivotal. Feel free to email me if you want to chat more about it.