March 12th is when everything stopped – and I didn’t start.
The Saturday before is when the email came.
“Adam, can you call me?”
I was flying out to the east coast on my usual 7:00am SFO to JFK flight on Delta.
It was my ‘usual’ because I’ve been taking that flight twice a month for the past two years, along with so many hundreds of other flights too. So often and so regularly that you start to build relationships with the flight crew. If you fly weekly you know what I’m talking about. They expect you, they know your name, they know your favorite seat and they smile and hello like you’re friends – it’s a nice feeling!
I made the call and heard the word – CANCELED.
Covid-19 had made its way to our country and was starting to have a large impact, more than I’m sure most of us felt it would have, disruption was coming and there wasn’t a thing we could do to stop it.
I landed in New York Sunday afternoon and the flurry of text messages started to come in.
“We need to cancel tomorrow and Tuesday?”
“Hey, your Thursday event may cancel?”
Whoa….I’d just flown across the country and it was getting worse.
Four days of speaking and consulting in New York and New Jersey now looked like I was going to be staying at the airport and hopping right back on a plane to California.
No rental car. No hotels. No speaking. No consulting. No money.
Thankfully the three existing events went through without a hitch and I got home Friday morning at 2:00am and haven’t been on an airplane since.
I used to look at my Delta app – Every. Single. Day. Multiple times a day, that’s how much I flew.
None of that has happened since March 12th.
I came home.
Slept for a few hours.
Took my kids to school on Friday the 13th.
And I haven’t done enough since then.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done a TON with and for my family.
We’ve done house projects. Gone on family field trips and to Lake Tahoe. Spent countless hours playing chess, board games, reading, learning how to knit, playing the ukulele, and just spending amazing time with my family.
I just haven’t done enough for my professional self.
To be completely honest on March 23rd just a week after my events started to cancel and reschedule, I knew this was going to be a long struggle.
The ability to predict trends and look out to see what’s going to happen around you is important. I had a feeling this was going to be a long haul and I haven’t done enough.
To think that my former life as a traveling speaker and consultant is going to go back to any sort of normalcy like it was ‘before’ at any time in the near future – in my opinion is false.
I’ve known it.
I’ve talked to my family and friends about it.
I’ve had the topic on my mind non-stop since the middle of March.
And I’m not waiting around any longer.
I’m still going to spend amazing quality time with my family, but it’s time to turn the screws on my professional endeavors and that starts today.
My newest book (Teachers Deserve It) is coming out sometime this month and my co-author and I (Rae Hughart) are of course beyond excited to release what we’ve written. There are plans for a study guide, book specific podcast and much more.
But it can’t stop there.
Events are still canceling and postponing. I’m doing some virtual work that bring in a little money. But it’s not enough.
I’m going to start doing more.
Fewer videos on YouTube.
Less time on Twitter and Instagram.
More blogging on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Instead of writing a new book, I’m going to write chapters and release them as I write.
I’m starting a new podcast and don’t know what the topic is, but it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’ll be a lifestyle podcast, or about leadership, or just a smattering of a bunch of things. It doesn’t really matter – because I just need to do more.
This is a great time to try something new.
Reinvent yourself into something different
Dabble with some ideas and different projects.
Cold email some people that you look up to and ask them questions. Maybe you can collaborate on new projects or even get a job offer. They may never respond, but it doesn’t cost anything to send an email.
Stop procrastinating and just do more.
It’s time to plant a new tree and see how it grows. Because if I had started planting new trees on March 23rd, they would have already gotten four months of growth and I would have been that much farther ahead!
It’s game time.
It’s on me, and I’m going to change it.