Recently I wrote about how deadlines can be liberating, but as someone who is taking a risk and doing something for the first time, there is more to be said about making explicit agreements with yourself.
Currently, my income is not completely predictable, and my primary income in the coming months is still an assumption. In this reality, it’s very common to have a sudden, panicked rush of thoughts along the lines of, “What the hell am I doing?” followed by, “holy shit I need to get moving now.”
If I allow that train of thought to dominate my day-to-day, there is no way I could approach the work I need to do to prepare for the public launch of Unreal Collective with clarity.
Back in April when I left my job, the first thing I did was do some math around my budget and the current status of my bank account. At that point, I made a deal with myself that I had until July to start offsetting my personal burn.
Said another way, I was giving myself leash to not bring in any income or revenue through the month of June.
Having done the math allowed me to make this mental contract with myself because I first proved to myself why it was viable. And now, when I have those panicked thoughts, I am able to recalibrate them.
Since April, I’ve brought on two paid engagements that (though short term) have already offset my monthly expenses for May, and made a ton of progress in getting Unreal ready for prime time. (More on that finally next week!)
But without making that explicit agreement and expectation with myself, it would be very easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal and waver in my focus. It’s incredibly valuable to set expectations, even with yourself.