It’s official. As of today, I’m no longer the Entrepreneurs Guide at About.com. I’ve got a short version for those who just want the essentials and a longer version for my friends and colleagues who want to know a little more about what’s going on.
Just the Facts
I started as the Entrepreneurs Guide at About.com in November 2002, shortly after I left my last full-time employer and started back on my own. About.com has served me well over the past 6½ years, and I have served them well. Perhaps most importantly, I have helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs find, follow and fulfill their dreams of business ownership. I have also consistently grown the readership and produced some of the most popular articles on the web on a variety of small business topics, including:
- Choosing a Business to Start (#1 on Google for “choosing a business to start”)
- Create a Great Business Name (#1 for “creating a business name” and “picking a business name”)
- Pricing Strategy (#5 for “pricing strategy”)
- Make Money Online (Without Spending a Dime) (#1 for both “make money online” and “making money online”)
- Passive Income: How to Earn More and Work Less (#2 for “passive income”)
- The Real Problem with Network Marketing and Multi-Level Marketing (#2 for “network marketing”)
Some of my other personal favorites include:
- Swinging for the Fences: Risk, Reward, and Entrepreneurship
- Building Your Reputation When You Don’t Have Clients Yet
- Cash (Flow) Really Is King
- Time Is Money
- Juggling Multiple Streams of Income
- The Innovator’s Dilemma
- Business mentoring series:
So what am I going to be doing with all that “free” time? I’ll be spending it on my own entrepreneurial pursuits and other projects I’m passionate about, plus hopefully a little more sleep and time with family.
I’ll continue to write here, as well as at The Virtual Handshake, Linked Intelligence, Work.com, GTD Times and a variety of other outlets as the opportunity arises. If you are trying to reach me and only have my About.com email, you can contact me here. You can also find me on Twitter at @ScottAllen.
It’s odd. On the one hand, I wish I could say it wasn’t my choice to leave About.com. It would be nice to be able to blame them. It’s always easier to put the responsibility on someone else, isn’t it? 🙂
See, I was “fired” from About.com. But the fact of the matter is, even though I was fired, it was my choice to leave. It was my choice not to do the things they wanted me to do in order to continue as an About.com Guide. It had nothing to do with the quality of my work – in fact, they plan to keep most of my articles up on the site indefinitely. I just didn’t consistently meet the quotas they set for content production, site maintenance, etc.
They weren’t unreasonable, and I’m not really that disorganized. And I’m not so busy with other more important things that I was simply incapable of meeting the requirements.
So why would I sabotage myself?
It’s taken me a week to “mourn” the loss and get in touch with the answer to that question. Here’s what I’ve come up with…
I’ve come to a point in my life at which I simply don’t want to work in environments that don’t fit well with my own work habits. And I’ve come to realize that I really detest deadlines, I can’t stand quotas and I don’t like being measured against arbitrary metrics rather than real results. In fact, give me a quota, and it seems my instinct is to just barely meet it. But give me something I’m passionate about and I will far exceed expectations.
Now here’s the funny thing…I asked for this.
Back in December and January, I was starting to come to terms with these insights about myself. I began to visualize the kinds of projects I’d like to be involved in that I would be passionate about and that would fit my work habits. And one appeared. And then another, and now a couple of more are on the radar.
Meanwhile, About.com was stressing me out every week.
A wise person once told me that in order to receive something new in your life, you have to make room for it. While my conscious mind wasn’t willing to release the About.com gig to make room for these other things that are a better fit for me, my subconscious was. My subconscious knew that it wasn’t a fit for my vision of my future. I have no regrets, and it served its purpose, but frankly, I’m amazed I lasted as long as I did!
So my few lessons learned out of this experience that I hope may enrich your life in some way are:
- Find work that you’re not only passionate about, but that suits your work style. Failure to do so will be a source of constant stress. Life’s too short not to love what you do.
- When things aren’t working, listen to your subconscious. It knows what you need and will sabotage you for your own good if it must. Listen to it and you can consciously make those transitions on your own terms.
- Be careful what you ask for – you might get it!