The world around us is always on the move and constantly changing. It can feel like no matter how fast we run, we are always falling further behind. We have more opportunities and commitments and offers than any other previous generation in history. Focus seems to be a challenge because so many things in the world are competing for attention. I don't know about you, but there are many days where I feel like Dug, from the movie UP.
Dug is a dog who is very smart, but who is easily distracted when he thinks he sees a squirrel. Dogs like Dug want to chase squirrels because they are moving targets that draw their attention. It's second nature to lose focus and chase that bushy tailed rodent. Like Dug, entrepreneurs or creative types can get enamored with chasing the squirrel -- the shiny new object or idea that is so compelling that we lose all focus on anything else. This chasing mechanism can be detrimental to our families, our health, our work, and our sanity. We might even spend all of our time chasing after "squirrels" only to discover that at the end of our day -or our life - we never even caught one! I don't know about you, but this scares me because I don't want to come up empty-handed in life.
I've had two great friends in my life, Cory Miller and Dustin Stearman, who have had the guts to tell me honest feedback that I needed to hear, but that I chose to ignore at the time. What is ironic is that I've been in business with both of these guys and that they said the same exact thing even though it was many years apart. They told me that my biggest problem wasn't coming up with successful business ideas, but that I had too many of them and because of it, failed in execution of those ideas. What they pointed out to me was that I chase too many squirrels.
This advice was difficult for me to hear at the time, and in some ways, it still is. I am a creative person who likes to explore, but I know that if I don't say goodbye to some sacred squirrels, I'm gonna come up empty handed. This week I've finally decided to put on the "cone of focus" so that it will blind me of the other ideas and opportunities around me.
Goodbye to Many Things I've Known and Loved
Giving up so that you can go up is never an easy decision. Walking away from lucrative opportunities to partnerships to ideas you're passionate about is painful. However, there are moments in life when we realize that we've gone as about as far as we can go on our current path. You have simply reached the end.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm called to a very big mission and that it is God's will for my life. To be honest, I'm scared and fear what is in front of me. I'm not sure it's going to work out and whether the people in my life will support the vision. I have to let go of what I've known and what has provided some degree of safety. I have to walk a completely new path that is unfamiliar to me, regardless of the cost. There is no other way.
I'm saying goodbye to using this website, personal blogging, and domain names I've owned for 10 years. It seems trivial, but in many ways it's not. I'm saying goodbye to freelancing and being the solopreneur, so that I can build a business that provides job opportunities for others. I'm breaking outside of WordPress and a community I've enjoyed being a part of, so that I can make a bigger impact for military veterans. I'm leaving behind relationships and partnerships that I hoped would work out so that they will not distract me from the mission. I am finally taking the advice of two great friends and going "ALL IN" this time and hoping that I win the game.
Hello to Happy Joe!
My heart and passion for helping military veterans is so intense that I can't stop thinking about it. There are many causes that I've contributed to over the years, but this one calls me every single day! I can't sit back and watch great people struggle and suffer, especially when they've already given so much to protect our way of life. While I might not be able to save every veteran from the hardships they will endure after their faithful service to our country, I can save some.
Happy Joe is going to put smiles back on the faces of our veterans and their families. We are going to provide jobs and training that help them make a great living. We will advocate for the benefits they deserve and have earned the right to. We will partner with the best companies and organizations so that we can extend our reach and impact for America's heroes. That is my promise to them and to you.
There are some incredible plans in the works for Happy Joe. We are going to bring together for-profit business ventures to fund the non-profit organization. We don't want to have to ask our friends and families for donations every single day, so we are going to do all we can to become self-sustaining in 2015. We will have a new web media business that provides jobs and benefits for veterans, in addition to another for-profit business, so that we can fund the free training and mentoring at HappyJoe.org.
My creative and web design services will be redirected to the new business site soon. It's all to support one cause and one mission! So for now, this is it ... my final blog post at JamesDalman.com. I appreciate all of you who have tuned in over the years and been a part of the family. Thanks for reading!
A few people have asked so I thought I should clarify. I am launching a for-profit branding & web media business that will provide job opportunities and benefits to military veterans. I will no longer be a freelancer -I will be leading a company that can go farther than I ever could go alone. I'm sorry for the confusion!