Modern life is incredibly complex and overwhelming. Adulting is hard enough without having to remember a million things.
I always thought I would wake up one day and be an adult. I would suddenly understand everything and know exactly what to do all the time. I'd be a great friend, a helpful colleague, and have a happy, balanced life.
You're probably laughing because you know that we're all just doing our best. No one has all the answers.
What is being an adult anyway? How is it that one day we're living a carefree lifestyle and then next day we have bills, income, personal health, family obligations, pets, kids, homes, transportation, cooking, cleaning, friendships, hobbies, and more?
It's honestly hard to keep track of it all and I know there are some areas where I need to learn more before I figure out what I even need to be doing (e.g. I've always aspired to meal prep, but never quite figured out a system that works for me).
I spend much of the day remembering to remember things:
10am--(going through my emails and trying to stay focused on that) I need to remember to file that form
1pm--(in the middle of coding and don't want to lose my momentum) I need to remember to file that form
5pm--(finally have some free time) I need to remember to file that form tomorrow, it is too late now
This would be easy enough if there was a small amount of things like this to manage, but everything has its own cadence and there are hundreds of them. My insurance and phone bill are charged 1x per year and I need to review my policies before that, my Invisalign trays are switched out every 10 days, in Winter I need to shovel snow and in summer I need to weedwack. There are 4 bdays I need to remember every month. Am I connecting with my grandparent enough?! Are my pets happy? The list goes on and on.
Balance is hard
Sometimes I feel like I'm killing it at work with my startup, but during those times I usually feel like I'm slacking on my HOA duties and personal relationships. I do think that's okay--there are different seasons of life and sometimes one thing takes up more of your time. There's never going to be a perfect balance.
My issue is the overwhelming feeling that there are so many things I aspire to do and it is hard to keep track of them. They're not all "to dos" either (e.g. "think through next steps in my career" is important but has no deadline). How can you prioritize things when you can barely keep track of them? How can you make more space in your brain for deep work, reflection, and doing things that you love?
Product market fit blues
For Goblin, I've been trying to figure out how to help others feel less overwhelmed. I want to chip away at things you need to remember, remind you at just the right time, and throw in some fun/whimsy so you don't have a list of 40 things that are giving you anxiety that you don't want to look at.
Finding "product market fit" is hard. Running a company is hard. I've been struggling a bit over the last couple of weeks with all of it--it just started to feel really difficult. I handled it by reaching out to my founder friends and being vulnerable with how I was feeling. They were fantastic and supportive. I did a couple user interviews today. I'm asking for help and finally feeling energized and motivated again instead of overwhelmed.
I think the most important parts of running a startup are:
1) Being resilient (shout out to the incredible Jeanine for introducing me to that term). Learn from problems, grow from the experience, and move one. Keep going especially when it feels difficult.
2) Having little to no ego. Making something and sharing it is scary. Not everyone is going to like it. You're going to get harsh feedback. You can't let your whole self-worth be tied into your work and you have to be willing to listen to all the feedback you get and keep moving forward.
Thanks for reading and for being a supporter of the Goblin app. I truly appreciate each and every one of you.
Waitlist: If you're still on the waitlist, I am hoping to onboard you in the next few weeks. Thank you so much for your patience.
Interesting blog post: WFH: From utter chaos to the best thing that ever happened to me
Great Founders Write: I've been in this writing cohort 3 times and I can't sing its praises enough. I've met a ton of cool business owners, improved my writing, and have been held accountable for posting regularly. Here's my referral code if you're interested in joining. The new cohort starts this week!