work-life parallel > work-life balance

10-plus years in the making.

At first, I didn’t even consider actually pursuing work-life parallel. I just thought it was a neat idea. I mean, think about it—instead of keeping work and life equal, yet separate, and constantly at-odds for balance, the two align and become leverage. What’s not to love about that?

I started by chasing the money when I graduated college. Good experience. Bad idea.

I tried finding a job that was car-related—but wasn’t sales or service. I washed (and sometimes rented out) cars for Enterprise. I sold aftermarket parts and shitty body kits for Motorweb. I ran early CRM, ERP, and SCM communities for Toolbox.

Believe it or not, I was fired twice between graduating college and Toolbox. I think both times were on V’s birthday, too. (Not the best memories, to be sure, but to show it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows.)

I wasn’t cut out for waste water engineering head hunting by cold calling in the Carolinas. And the new management at Toolbox didn’t think online community leaders should participate in the online communities they were leading. (Might explain why you’ve never heard of them.)

Over the course of the decade, my thinking evolved—

  • from “work-life parallel is a neat idea” at Apollo Group
  • to “work-life parallel is possible” at LeadMD
  • to “Holy shit. I’m work-life parallel” at ClearVoice.

So what is work-life parallel?

It’s where what you do for a living is what you would otherwise do for fun.

But it’s more than that. I love drifting turbocharged, AWD Mitsubishis on dirt roads—but there are precious few paid seats available for that train. I like writing, publishing, and marketing—and I’ve been doing it on the side for years. Now I spend my days helping fellow marketers get things written and published through technology that empowers freelancers to be their own bosses. Win-win-win.

But it’s more than that, too. It’s a framework. It’s a way of looking at ourselves and the world around us. It’s a way of figuring out where we are—right now—so we know which direction to go next.

Reflection > Exploration > Discovery > Action > Documentation. That’s how you do it.

Guess what I’m going to be talking about next week…

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