What’s Been Keeping Me Busy?

I haven’t posted anything to the blog in four months but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I thought I’d share a few thoughts as I return to my blog.

Professionally

I continue to work “at the day job” on a handful of projects with a lot of help desk support squeezed in as requested. My primary projects include the deployment of a new document management system (DMS) and the redesign of our website.

Nearly 14 years ago I was part of the consulting team that helped implement the existing DMS and now I’m working with consultants on migrating the data from the previous system to iManage Work 9.x. As with any project, there are real challenges that come along with change but I’m doing my best to prepare the new DMS as much as possible so that the transition is as seamless as possible.

I am also working on the switch over from our existing website to a re-design site hosted by the same vendor. My role is more project manager with a lot of quality control mixed in. Our switch over to the updated site will be completed in a few weeks and like the DMS project, I’m taking the lead in making sure the content is migrated properly and the user experience is the best it can be.

In addition to the projects and the general help desk support I provide, I was also a speaker at our internal conference. Prior to my employment at the irrigation district there used to be annual training days. The idea returned and a team of volunteers organized the event and presented as speakers in multiple sessions throughout the day. I volunteered and presented on networks with an overview of our business network and IT infrastructure.

network presentation

Network 101 Presentation

I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the anxiety I had preparing for the day. I received some nice compliments on my presentation which helped reinforce how much I enjoy public speaking and helping others better understand topics that are not part of their everyday world.

Personal Growth

In the world of personal growth, there is one person I’ve given nearly all of my attention. As I commute or complete mundane tasks I listen to or watch Gary Vaynerchuck’s online content. I aspire to work with his level of enthusiasm but more importantly, I do my best to live my life with the same positive attitude and level of optimism that he has. If you aren’t following Gary I highly recommend that you do.

Very recently I’ve also been working hard to be better about managing my time (also something Gary speaks about and the fact that if you want something you have to make sure you’re making the best use of your time). To help me with this endeavor I’ve returned to Nozbe. Nozbe is the task management tool and service I’ve relied on for a few years and although my use of the product ebbs and flows I’ve been very consistent now since the New Year. To that end, I’ve been studying other Nozbe users through YouTube and Twitter to gather ideas of how to efficiently complete my projects and tasks. I love that it is available on all the platforms that I use and that it has a nice integration with Evernote.

Coaching and Volunteering

Since August of last year, I’ve been head coach (or in baseball terms, manager) of one or more teams at any given time. As of today, I’m actively coaching one basketball team, two indoor soccer teams, and managing one baseball team. I know to some that may seem like a lot but youth sports is becoming a passion of mine and I enjoy working with the kids in helping learn the game and more importantly helping them build their confidence. I often receive words of thanks and appreciation which feeds my ego and wants me to do my best with every kid I work with.

Aside from coaching, I’m serving my second year as Registrar for Roseville Pony Baseball and with baseball registration over I can finally breathe again. Registration opened last October but the “season of intensity” lasted all of January into February. I’d spend 3, 4, 5 hours a night assisting fellow board members, managers (coaches), and most importantly parents interested in registering their son or daughter. There were many days I’d spend more time on baseball than work or family but it was a labor of love and now I get to shift to focusing more on other things like coaching my boys and their teammates.

As my Registrar tasks taper I’m getting to also focus on the league’s social media presence. By doing so I get to have two of my worlds collide with youth sports and my desire to improve my social media expertise.

Personal Brand

Along with the above, as well as being a husband and dad, I continue to skirt around the idea of building up my own personal brand. The challenge of “putting yourself out there” for the world to see and perhaps scarier, your family, friends, and coworkers, is a daunting thing to overcome. There are a couple of things Gary Vaynerchuck has said that has made me less fearful.

  • “Document don’t create.”
  • “You’re going to die.”

“Document don’t create.” In other words, don’t spend time worrying about generating the perfect content. Instead, use Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, etc. to capture what you are doing and share what you can that gives value to your audience.

“You’re going to die.” As a fan asked Gary for some motivating words he spit out “you’re going to die” and what could be more motivating? I mean, really. If you aren’t happy with the way your life is then now is the time to realize that one day you won’t have a chance to change it. Live a life of no regrets.

And so I replay those words over and over in my head to push me to get past the barriers I’ve lived with for a long time. I know I want things to be different in my life. I love what I do but I think I can bring value in different ways and so I’m exploring my possibilities and plan to bring you all along for the ride.

Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you with your journey.