See the first post in this series here.
As I begin to implement my holistic management writing business plan this week, I notice that taking the very first step – defining the whole I want to manage – naturally leads me to action. It turns out I don’t have to make lists of priorities. Using the model itself dictates the natural, logical, next effort.
Unfortunately, the natural, logical, next efforts are precisely the ones I was hoping to avoid ever having to deal with!
I wrote recently about solutions sometimes becoming a bigger problem than the problem itself, mostly because we don’t take the time to fully understand what caused the problem and focus on solving that. It’s easier and quicker to slap a Band-Aid on symptoms of the problem and move on as fast as we can.
Defining the whole has led me directly to some of the ways I’m self-sabotaging and obstructing my own progress. It doesn’t seem like wrestling with such uncomfortable issues is forwarding my plan, but I recognize there’s no point in creating a plan if I’m not going to fully commit to it.
As I consider resources, I mentioned last week I listed numerous human resources in my life and called it good. It wasn’t until some time later I realized I hadn’t listed myself. I am right in the center of the whole I want to manage.
I still don’t naturally think of myself or my work (of any kind) as having value. It takes an effort of will to think outside my old frame. I can do it, but it’s not my default.
I’ve struggled with my sense of self-worth all my life, so my discomfort around recognizing myself as my most important resource it is not news. Doing so provides another (unwelcome) opportunity to realize how powerfully my lack of self-worth undermines my dreams and desires.
I don’t want the opportunity. I want to make a plan, implement it, and move forward, and I want to do it quickly and cleanly.
But I can’t. My thoughts and feelings around making a living creatively, successfully contributing my writing, and shaping the kind of future I want are at the heart of my management plan. Pretending they’re not there won’t work, and neither will speeding past them.
The other thing I notice about working with my resource list is I’m not making the most of my technological resource in the shape of this blog. This is also not a news flash. I have for some time felt an increasing tension to begin monetizing the blog in small ways.
One option for monetizing blogs, of course, is advertising.
Here’s more discomfort I’d really like to avoid by just not going there.
I absolutely hate advertising. I hate it so much I won’t watch commercial TV.
On the other hand, I spend a lot of hours online, and nearly everything I read is monetized and has ads. Some are more obnoxious than others, but generally I ignore them as best I can and work around them.
The fact is I might be earning a few dollars with this blog if I chose to research and implement some options. I’ve known that since I started, but I’ve resisted facing my discomfort around taking definitive action. That resistance is all about me, not learning curves, financial investment, time, or the difficulties of life in general (like I’m just too busy).
In defining the whole, I’ve deliberately looked at every single resource I can come up with and asked myself if I’m making the most of it. Certainly, I’m not making the most of myself if I’m holding myself back or keeping myself small. Likewise, I could be adding to the value of the blog. I don’t have to, but I could. So if I choose not to, what is that about? I can’t want to manage the whole in order to go forward while refusing to manage the largest part of the whole – myself.
Working with Savory’s holistic management template gives me exactly what I need to slow down and take a logical step at a time, no matter how small, while continuing to create content. I don’t feel overwhelmed when I look at only the next step, and I don’t have to search for it. It falls naturally into place as I begin to shape my plan.
I’m uncomfortable, but I’m also amused. It’s so easy to get validated in this culture for all our intractable problems. Who doesn’t understand feeling limited by money, feeling we don’t have the time or energy to do what we really want to do, or how disempowered one can feel by simply getting by for another day?
Yet each of us are central to our own problems, and refusing to address the ways we hold ourselves back guarantees inadequate and ineffective problem solving when we seek to manage, plan, or achieve a goal. We are an inescapable part of the whole. In fact, we are the only ones with the power to address the very core of our individual problems.
I began this project of planning for the future I want economically and otherwise with resentful feelings about all the ways in which others and the world refuse to meet my needs. I started reading Holistic Management by Allan Savory and did a lot of journaling. Within a couple of days I remembered again what I’ve discovered over and over before.
It’s not about them. It’s about me. Again. Still.