I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I need to focus.
The way I see it, if you want to do something well, you need to devote a lot of time to it. I've spent the last 37 years messing around with all sorts of things. I like being a Jack-of-all trades; my interests tend to wander. But if I want to be good at something, I feel like I should focus. The good news is that after all these years, I've got it narrowed down to five professions.
I have a master’s degree, and hope to have a doctorate, in this field., so being an instructional designer is definitely a front runner. I love this kind of work. I wouldn't mind teaching in this area (hence the doctorate), but if I want to continue to excel in this field, I need to work at it. I haven't done any doctoral work for over 2 years. I don't read up on the field like I should. Of all the possible professions, this one has been neglected the most.
I guess technically I am an author, since I've had two books published, but I can't support my family on it. If I want to be a serious author I need to spend more time on this profession as well. I haven't written for over a year. I have a novel complete and I'm shopping it around...ok, who am I kidding--I haven't sent out a query in over 6 months. And I've only sent it to 13 agents total. If I want to get this book published, I need to spend more time on it. And I need to spend WAY more time writing.
So if I haven't been spending time on the two professions above, what have I been spending time on? Well, I have a few business ideas. I think they're pretty good, and I've shared them with a few friends. The friends think they're pretty good ideas as well, so I've been spending a lot of time pursuing this profession. Although actually what I've been doing is spending time on contract work so that I can fund these ideas. What I really need is a business partner who can help out, since all my time is spent coming up with capital. But how does one go about finding a business partner. Any out-of-work MBA graduates out there?
I love teaching. I mean really love it. I’m currently doing some work for the Open High School of Utah, and there is a chance I could teach for them. I would LOVE to be involved with this organization on the long term, but I don’t think I can make it work financially.
Once I get my doctorate, I could also end up at a university. But I’m not sure if that is what I’m cut out for. I don’t like the ‘publish or perish’ side of academia. I would enjoy the teaching side of things, but don’t know if I would enjoy all of the other things that professors have to deal with.
The rest of my free time has been taken up by my tinkering. Tinkering is important. If you don't want to be left behind, you have to play with the latest technology. To this end, I started a web site on a whim. I called it TwHistory, and the general idea is reenacting historical events via Twitter. The good news is that it has generated a lot of interest. The bad news is that it's generated a lot of interest. You see, there is no real revenue stream tied in with this, but it’s such a cool idea, I can’t seem to give it up. I’m working on a few grant proposals, hoping to make the site what it needs to be to really get off the ground. I’m glad that the idea seems to be resonating with people, but it is taking up a lot of my time.
And then of course there are all the little things in life that need to get done. Shovel the walk, fix dinner, clean up the house, play with the kids, hang out with my wife, etc. It’s no wonder that I’ve been averaging about 6 hours of sleep each night.
You know, in looking over this list, if I could come up with one more possible profession, then my troubles would be solved. I could number them, roll a die, and let chance dictate the rest of my life.