Today is my birthday. And 365 days from today I’ll be turning 40.
It’s kind of depressing really. How did that happen? And so quickly!?!
Perhaps this Whisky knows…
Nope. But I do feel a little better about things.
First things first; what is the point of this blog?
This, friends, is a public accountability diary – of sorts. I am going to share with you what I’ll be doing over the next 365 days before I turn Four Zero. Not every day, just every so often – because if I’m waxing lyrical on here telling you all the things I’m doing, then I’m not actually doing said things.
How did I get here?
For context, I’ve been an advertising copywriter for over 16 years.
And 6 weeks ago I quit my job as Creative Director.
It was two days before Christmas. I walked out the door with a gigantic card and a firm handshake. I’d only been at that particular agency for about 11 months mind you so you can’t really expect to be leaving with much else.
What’d I’d realised that I’d left behind though, was 11 months of my life.
I’m not talking about working there for 11 months.
I’m saying that in this instance I had physically sacrificed 11 months of my LIFE; for the job, the agency, the people, the clients, the daily running of the business.
It was everything.
10-to-12hour days were the norm. Weekend work was a regular occurrence. And if you’ve ever been a creative in this business you know that you don’t ever really switch off; you’ve got your note pad by the bed, your eyes always open and mind always on.
This is especially true when you’re trying to rapidly build an agency. And we did. In the time I was there we went from 10 people to 45. No small feat.
In the 11 months I was joint CD there I probably did some of the best work I’ve ever done with my long term Art Director and CD partner Brian Jefferson.
And we’d helped build a great agency.
It was hard. Exhausting. Emotionally debilitating. But we were and should be proud.
Problem is, that I for a long time – years in fact – I’ve had an itch that I need to scratch; things I’ve wanted to do that agency life simple doesn’t afford you the time or energy for. And, if I’m honest with myself, the business I’d loved for so long just didn’t fulfil me anymore.
So I’ve left the ad game.
And I’m terribly nervous, but ultimately happy about that decision.
So for the next 365 days, I’m going to publically scratch my itch.
I think that now is the best time for me to be doing this.
I’m not married. Have no kids. And no debt – if you don’t count the mortgage I have for an investment property in Tasmania, but that basically pays for itself (And for the record, I’ve never actually been to Tasmania but we’ll leave that for another post, shall we?)
Most importantly, thanks to 16 years of being a creative in the ad industry, I know a lot about a lot now.
That’s one of the advantages of working in advertising; you learn how to creatively solve problems, you constantly dive deep into a myriad of different businesses and industry sectors, and you can basically sell anything. All good skills to learn!
So here we are. A year before I turn 40.
And the question becomes; what can be achieved in a year?
12 months. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525,000 minutes.
A year which I begin as 100% unemployed.
Time to expose the itch.
Here’s the loose plan. This will obviously evolve and adapt, but initially the plan is that before I turn 40 I am going to:
Create an online t-shirt design business
I tried this last year but didn’t have the time to pursue it. Now, I have the time.
Launch a simple cleaning product.
I have the product in mind but have done little else about it.
Run marketing and branding classes for startups
Not sure how I’m going to do this yet, I just think it’d be great to help businesses who would otherwise never be able to afford to get close to me.
Get a rescue dog
This will require me moving out of the flat I’m in, but I really want a dog.
Launch an app
I have two in mind. They’re both big. Bigger than I could ever manage on my own. So I’ll need help here. I guess a feasibility study is first.
Get at least two other product ideas off the ground
I have ideas all the time. Ideas are the currency of the business I’m in. And it drives those around me nuts. “That’s an awesome idea, just fucking go out and do it!”, is what I’m often told. To those people, know that I’ve listened.
Run 365 kms
I know Mark Zuckerberg ran 365 miles but he’s a billionaire. Plus I don’t know what 365 miles is in kilometres.
Make $356,000 AUD
Yep. Fuck it. Why not?! That number works nicely. Not sure where the money’s going to come from mind you. I could always freelance. But hopefully the things above this, will lead to this.
So that’s the plan over the next 12 months.
And that plan will no doubt change. I’m going to learn a lot. I’m going to freak out. I’m going to fail. But at least I’ll be scratching that itch.
Right now though, I just want to go and enjoy my birthday.
Thanks for reading.