16-April-2013: Day One of the Rest of Everything

Check In

I’m sad I was too tired to wake up at my routine time and didn’t get to workout or do my language study.
I’m glad I was much more focused on clear outcomes and really fought distractions.
I’m glad I made time for things that normally distract me and I believe I limited their impact.
I’m glad that I did 20 pushups in each of my 10 minute breaks.
I’m glad I was much more relaxed today than I have been for ages. I feel less stressed than I have been for a long time – focus is great!
I’m mad that my test code for ChittyChat (which was a hack) leaves much to be desired and now I’m having to tread with care with the port to ServiceChat.
I’m very glad that @zurcherart, @auxbuss and @olaflewitz offered to help me to keep focus. Even if they don’t read this, I wrote it (which is what matters!).
I’m afraid that I may have to stop building ServiceChat (or another startup ) in order to go raise more cash reserves by consulting.

I’m in.

Desired Outcomes For Today


I came into today with 3 outcomes to try and achieve (the bottom 3 in the ‘Achieved’ list).  I created the ServiceChat blog from nothing.

Basically I was able to focus and manage distractions well enough that I achieved a fair bit more.  New options have opened up as a result.

3 Things I Learned

  1. Working for 59 minutes and taking a 10 minute break seems ideal for me – I’ll do more of this.
  2. Keeping a Gratitude Book – making note of things that I’m grateful for – I learnt this from the very amazing Deborah Hartmann Preuss (@deborahh on Twitter) – If you need a coach, she is one of the best I know.
  3. There is a niche yet untapped in the customer service world.  Most folk are still hung up on arms length ‘satisfaction’. Very little work going into ‘delightful’ service that is truly in the service of the customer.

3 Things I Will Improve On Before The Next Retro

  1. Do my hour of Spanish language study
  2. Do my 30 minutes of fitness workouts
  3. Read a customer service blog

Something I’m Grateful For

The opportunity to see the problem I’m trying to solve with ServiceChat everywhere and the privilege of being in Spain doing what I am doing.

Outcomes For Tomorrow

  1. Have  a rebranded  ServiceChat app that does atleast as much as ChittyChat does.
  2. Have 3 early customers researched enough that I can approach them.

Finding Focus and a Plea for Your Help.

Lately I have been feeling very bloated.  I don’t mean overweight (I am a little), but mentally bloated – with distractions, ideas, fears and schemes to allay fears.  But during a week in the UK visiting my daughters I had the opportunity to have some headspace and to retrospect and I found the determination for renewed discipline to finding the focus I desperately need.

One of my greatest strengths is the ease I have in having ideas, however I find that execution is difficult for me – yet I enjoy trying to go beyond the idea to the the product and beyond still, to a thriving business around the product.

As you may know , I am spending most of 2013 in Spain, working on my startup.  I am working on building a business currently called ServiceChat – which is aimed at helping online businesses enhance their customers’ experience and their business brand perception through deeper customer engagement.

But focus has been eluding me since my family and I got here.  A number of ‘other’ things have distracted me –  Wizetrader (my automated forex trading Expert Advisor), this blog, twitter, my family settling in, improving my Spanish and also trying to improve my wellbeing through exercise and meditation.  All the while trying to build my startup – ServiceChat.

Something has to give – either I focus or I forget the whole thing. The former is essential and the latter is not going to happen.


My 3 Things for 2013

I had a good chat with myself and we agreed that this year is about 3 fundamental things.

  1. The Startup
    Focus on customer discovery and development, find early adopter customers, get some funding, learn and build what my customers want.
  2. Get Conversational in Spanish
    We came to Spain to enjoy the country, to immerse ourselves in it. Language is a huge part of that immersion and experience and that is why this is important.
  3. Improve my Wellbeing
    I’m precious to myself, to my family and to the world. I have to take better care of my entire wellbeing. This means making time for exercise, improving my physical fitness (and yes, lose some weight), learning to be still and making time to play with my family.

That is it – everything else not directly connected with any of these is out.  This means:

  • Less Twitter and more @buffer (now made easier with my app @bufferdm);
  • Make my trial routine permanent (more on this soon);
  • Measure how I’m doing daily (make short term goals and track how I’m doing against them).


I Need Your Help.

I plan to retrospect on my daily experience around 10:30pm Central European Time everyday except Saturdays. Following my daily retrospective, I will  re-plan and set my goals for the coming day.

I commit to write a short blog post on what learnings and improvements I have made and the plan for the next day.

Please check to see I have and ask me about it if I haven’t.
Practically, this really means watch out for a tweet from me announcing the blog post (it goes out automatically on a post – hurray for WordPress).
You should expect it around 11pm (Central European Time). I would love if you would then glance over the retro post and if you think its flakey  – please talk to me about it!  I promise to keep it concise and digestable (and who knows, you might even find some of what I learn valuable for something you are involved in).

If you are willing to help, please tweet me with #HappyToHelp and I will add you to a list of helpers.  

It would mean a huge amount to me if you could help me to find and sustain the discipline I need to focus. I would be delighted to do the same for you.