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Coming up with your next successful strategy – before you need it

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Hi! Last week I mentioned my quarterly review. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this Mid-
 

Work in Progress

July 13 · Issue #43 · View online
The newsletter about work

Hi!
Last week I mentioned my quarterly review. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this Mid-Year Review by Tiago Forte. It’s a great example of how an honest review can drive better decisions – super motivating!

I read somewhere on Twitter that once you’ve built up a modest following, there’s a chance you’ll start sharing more of what you think those followers are interested in. Instead of pursuing your own interests and creativity.
I’ve been thinking about that lately. Do I do that? Whatever else it may mean, it also means you run the risk of repeating yourself.
There’s a kind of expiration date for any work venture. If it’s no longer fresh and exciting, your creativity suffers. It can become formulaic. And that makes your work less interesting for followers and clients alike.
Here’s where the difficulty comes in: Things can go quite well for quite some time. You shortchange yourself if you don’t benefit from what you do well, for as long as you can.
So you have to start thinking about your next step ahead of time. And that’s daunting. If you’ve got some expertise in one area, setting out in a new, unknown direction can be a little scary. You’re also liable to disappoint lots of people. The more successful you are in your current field, the harder it will be to let go and leap. And some loss of momentum is unavoidable. On the other hand, the benefits can take you far beyond your current level.
Seems to me a good question to ask yourself today: Is your work fresh and inspired in your primary line of work? And I don’t mean did you sleep well last night and start the week out energized. I mean do you have the feeling that you can put your whole self into what you do?
What next? Come up with an experiment: Alter the form of your work. Or think up a novel approach. Maybe you could find some new folks in your field to admire, or an expert who can weigh in on what you’re working on. Perhaps it’s time to take that class you were considering, to build out your skill set or deepen your expertise. Or sometimes it’s better to just stop and make a change. 
Whatever the case may be: don’t expect your results to change without you changing tack.
Of course plateauing can also serve a purpose. Maybe you’re planning to start your own business and would like to save up for a year first. Or maybe you’re going through a trying time in your personal life and are happy to just be cruising along at work. That’s fine – take the time you need. Just make sure you’re not using circumstances as an excuse for postponing the tough choices.

Have a good week, 
Rick



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