At the end of each year I take some time to look back. It’s not an evaluation in the strict sense of the word, but more like a brief pause on the side of the road and a short glimpse back to see how far I came. Or how far I’ve been derailed. Anyhow, you got the idea.
I did this many times. A few years back I took the time to identify and evaluate no less than 100 things I did that year. In time, the number of things I did in just one year decreased. But something else increased. As I slowly leaned toward being, and not doing, I started to enjoy more the experiences, not the things. I started to enjoy more the blending of it all, and not necessarily the separated ingredients.
As I became interested more in just being than in doing things (or owning them) I realized there are a few switches. Very subtle switches. Experiences that are shaping the course of my life at a very profound level. Experiences so fundamental, so intense and so far reaching, that their ripples are still embedded in my actual course of life.
These are the experiences that I want to identify, describe and share in today’s post. And, this year, I had only two of them.
1. The UltraBalaton
Let’s put it very briefly here: UltraBalaton was a life changing experience. For those of you who don’t read my blog on a daily basis, UltraBalaton is a 222 km long race. A running race, that is. Meaning is a race that you have to run to finish it. Not to drive, not to bike. You have to run.
If you want to read the race log (and the aftermath) I invite you to have a look at this series of posts. They were written a few days after the race and they’re still infused with all the emotions and feelings I experienced back then.
Ultrabalaton happened at the end of May this year. Almost half of the year. So it’s safe to say that one half of the year I prepared for it (it was more than that, but let’s put it like this for now) and the next half I tried to understand how this experience shaped my life.
Ultrabalaton taught me not to quit. Even if you are in pain, just keep moving. Pain is not you. As counterintuitive as it may seem, pain will eventually go away, wether you’re stopping or not. That’s mind bending, I know. But that’s the bare truth. The fact that you move is causing you pain, but, if you keep moving, the pain will eventually go away. It just works.
Ultrabalaton taught me how to keep my promises. A few days before the race I told my daughter that I will run a 222km race and she was kinda bragging about that to her school mates. There were times doing the race when the look on her face while she was talking about that to her school mates was the only thing keeping me from crashing and stopping. Yeap. Keeping my promise to her kept from falling down.
Ultrabalaton taught me to be persistent. Like, you know, just stick to the damn thing until you do it. Just stick to the damn thing until you do it. And, in case you didn’t get it: just stick with the damn thing until you do it. There’s nothing spectacular in persistence. Sometimes is boring. Sometimes is tedious. Sometimes is the last thing you want to do. Just stick with the damn thing until you do it.
Ultrabalaton is still going strong in my life, although the race ended seven months ago. Oh, and of course, I registered for the 2016 Ultrabalaton.
2. The Inner Switch For Business
If Ultrabalaton was an isolated event, lasting exactly 31 hours and 30 minutes, the switch I am gogin to talk about was more like a process. It started sometimes in spring and it unfolded gradually, gaining more power as the months went by. Sometimes the process was clear and I was able to actually do stuff about it, sometimes it was just a mix of emotions. If I would have to explain this mix, well, it was a deep desire to change, an urge to reposition, to go “home”, in a way.
Let me explain.
For the last two years (almost) I was very, very involved in a project called Connect Hub. Some of you may already know about this. It’s a coworking and event venue in Bucharest. I already wrote a few times about it.
But what you may don’t know is the level of my involvement in this project. I’m pretty sure you have the mental representation of what 100 percent means. Now, I want you to see this representation and multiply it by five. Oh, scratch that. Multiply it by ten.
That’s how involved I was.
In the first few months of the year, until the summer, I basically ran the business all by myself. From writing invoices to buying toilet paper. From doing sales and marketing, to hosting events. From negotiating with suppliers to searching for investors. I was doing pretty much everything and whatever may came after that.
In and by itself, this wasn’t something bad. As a matter of fact, it was a tremendous learning experience. But, from a specific point of view, it was alienating.
And this point of view is my online presence. Namely, this blog.
Because Connect Hub took all of my attention span (and then something), I had a very hard time focusing on anything else and this impacted my work on the blog. The traffic is still going strong, but the interaction with my readers, the posting speed and the overall value created through this channel were affected.
And I don’t like that.
But the good news is that, sometimes during the spring, something happened. I can’t put my finger on it, because I don’t think it was a specific event, or a trigger. But the process of coming back to the blog was ignited. Going too deep on the “real life” business of Connect Hub, hustling day in and day out only for that, well, that created a lot of tension, just like you stretch a piece of rubber too much. Now the rubber is starting to get back and it’s doing this really fast.
The best outcome of this entire experience is that now I can integrate on the blog all the insights, all the experiences, all the lessons I learned during the birth and growth of Connect Hub.
To make a long story (very) short: not only am I back to the blog – and the overall online channel – as a mean to create value, but I even created a new venue for this. An online venue, of course.
It’s called The Space. And not only because the domain name is DragosRoua.space, but also because it was thought as a space for exploration and growth.
I think the closest definition for this channel will be “a community”. But I really want it to be so much more than that. Just go ahead and read for yourself.
Also, if you read my blog for long enough, you know I don’t fancy aggressive sales letters. But I do want to reward you in some way.
So, if you want to do something crazy and subscribe to this space (it sounds weird, I know, but I like it 🙂 ), I have a coupon for you. It will expire in 10 days and it will give you a 33% discount. I already prepared a nice link for you, just click below and you’ll have the discount already applied (the coupon code is “2016”, just in case).
It may be the last crazy thing you did in 2015.
Because 2016 is just hours away.
Happy New Year, my friends 🙂