EPI-62: Herding Satellites
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It Starts With Big Sleep
Every now and then, I sleep in an almost comatose fashion.
The loss of working time the next day often frustrates me.
But I learned long ago that these “Big Sleeps” usually result in a “Big Work” day, in which I get an incredible amount of work done, at scale.
As I pondered this reality, it reminded me of an article I wrote on my old site back in 2012.
So that’s what today’s episode became: the discussion of that article, what it meant when I wrote it and how it applies to the way I work now, both for myself and for you.
Here it is:
It’s all about herding satellites for me. As I’m developing an idea, be it to satisfy the need of a larger project, start a new project, or find a new path when it all gets too murky, I become aware of the “herd” of satellites that start coming my way.
They appear, need to be directed, and then utilized. This one thing – the herd and what to do with it – is my number one skill set.
But I can’t give it context. That’s my partner’s job
So, this is a two-parter, really. First, the herd.
I’m writing this because I feel there are many out there like me; people who have great ideas, see the bigger picture, know where to get all the parts to make it a success but can’t make it all go, once assembled.
In my mind, when I begin to tackle a problem or develop a new plan, the goal is to gather. I gather knowledge. I quiz people who are specialists in their field. I confer with those who are already successful at doing what it is I’m attempting to build.
I sit quietly and think and ponder, A LOT!
Silence is like medicine to me. I look forward to trips in my mind the way others do when they go on vacation. I can’t wait to see what inspirations and “a-ha!” moments are going to hit me as I let my mind wander. There is a deep pleasure for me in making the necessary connections between all the pieces.
This is when the actual herding begins
I am huge on metaphors. They’re my favorite way to convey an idea or explain a concept. The one that I started seeing, back when my projects started become quite large, was the satellites orbiting a planet.
The ideas, the wisdom and tips, the tools, the services and existing infrastructures, the joint venturing, my skills, and more all start to swirl around the planet that is my main goal.
They’re spread apart a bit and traveling in a wide arc around that planet. As I test certain hypotheses, learn more from people ahead of me in the game, consult with my partner(s), and do that heavy thinking that I love so much, the satellites start to tighten up their grouping.
The gravitational force of the main idea becomes stronger
Some satellites end up being removed as I realize they don’t fit or were outright incorrect for the job. The rest get prioritized based on relevance to achieving the main goal or in relation to the amount of work that will be required to get my money’s worth out of their use.
And they all start to get much closer together as the basic plan begins to make itself known. The picture gets clearer. My confidence in my ability to understand what I’ve built and my ability to convey it to key individuals connected to the plan, grows.
Then it all becomes part of the main mass
All the satellites come crashing to the surface of my “idea planet” and become absorbed – become integral, working pieces of the operational whole.
The herding is done.
Now the farming can begin
And this is where my partners come into play. Details give me a headache. More like, they tire me. I’m talking about the ins and outs of implementing all that I’ve gathered. Not my job. I’m the guy in furs who’s armed to the teeth, who hunts alone. I leave it up to the village elders as to what to do with the resources I bring back.
Maybe this is you. Maybe you’re an idea guy or girl. The abstract appeals to you more than the physical. You get the ball rolling. You scrounge, dig, and shop for what’s needed and leave the battle planning up to others.
If you’re a smart, big thinking, yet unsuccessful business person then find your other half
My main partner does what I can’t. He sells, builds the marketing plans, and strategically lays out all the little lines and details of how all the satellites I gathered will work together. The day to day routines. The ways of making the plan understandable to the various third parties involved. Turning my big idea into a functioning resource that we can sell. Helping all the satellites to understand how they will work together with one another in a way that allows everyone to win.
So, don’t give up if you’re that dreamer – that smart, interesting person who everyone likes but whose life no one envies. The person whom everyone admires in some vague way but is pitied or ridiculed by those same people, behind your back.
I’ve been there and seen it all. But I found the one satellite that had been furthest from my reach – the person who makes my abstract value a tangible commodity. You’ll find yours too, once you understand that you need one. Took me 15 years. You might want to save yourself some time and frustration and find yours quicker.