Part-timing PdP: Pursuing A Personal Passion
Just came from @arriane_’s Blogworthy workshop today and I was inspired to write a Nomad Manager post because it’s been a while since I wrote something related to the purpose of my blog. So read, and hopefully enjoy.
Unbeknownst to most, I shared with my team that I wanted to take a less active role in Punchdrunk Panda effective May 2012.
At PdP, we always talk about the pursuit of passion, and support people pursuing their passions in graphic design, music, film, photography and entrepreneurship. After working on the business full time for 3 years now, I finally realized last year that I was foregoing some of my own passions because I was so immersed in managing PdP.
An Entrepreneur’s Malaise
As a business owner, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of working on your business 24/7. Even when you’re done with all the concerns of running the business’ day-to-day operations (meeting with suppliers, checking products, marketing, accounting, bazaars/events), cogs still keep on working to think up new products or concepts or collaboration; you still get an urge to research on new trends, tweak the business’ website, or update Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, improve systems, or check your e-mail every 5 minutes.
That’s exactly what happened to me, especially when my co-founder Gail left for Canada in May 2010. Work became more intensive, and yet, I had no one to back me up. Fortunately, Nica joined us in March 2011. I constantly primed her for my eventual distancing from the business, so I can allow myself to go on relatively extended travel, and devote more time to other hobbies too.
Super Slashie / Part-time Everything
I’ve kinda pretty much diagnosed myself with ADD from the time I learned about the disorder. And I remember that when I was younger, and people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I’d have super slashie (or dashie, whichever you prefer) answers like: I want to be a writer / interior designer / painter / fashion designer / photographer / jewelry designer / musician / chef / filmmaker / housewife. I basically wanted to be a part-time everything. Whether that just means I’m a lost and hopeless scatterbrain, or I have a rich fascination in a broad range of interests, or both, up until now, I don’t believe I’ve really figured out what I want to major in in life.
However, I personally feel that doing any one thing full-time just sucks the life out of you and clogs your brain. And once any hobby becomes a full-time job, it’s not soon after that you get a disillusioned about promising prospect of making money doing something you love.
Enter: Nomad Manager
In spite of my varied and sometimes wavering interests, one thing I am sure of is my passion for travel (or at least to be elsewhere, anywhere). All my life, I’ve consistently worked toward travel. I create strict budget plans (which I more or less get to stick to) so that I can fulfil my financial goals (i.e. travel). I try to allocate 30% of my monthly earnings for travel (I highly recommend MoneyWell for Mac users). I forego excessive clothes, bags, shoes and accessories in favour of promo fare tickets.
Having finally acknowledged my passion for travel, I decided to stop putting off my painful desire to pack up and leave. This is not at all without difficulty because I had to work a year on basically gearing Nica up for my departure. Furthermore, as a staunch believer of saving for a rainy day, I felt a lot of apprehension in making loads of travel “plans” (i.e. booking tickets), as these seriously deplete one’s bank account. But I decided to throw caution in the wind, knowing that if I didn’t do this now, I would wind up pulling all the hair off of my head.
So now, instead of M-F 9-5 work + overtime + weekends, I’m down to T-W-F 9-5, more or less, plus e-mail on M and TH. Still trying to get used to it and seeing how Nica will respond to it too. In the meantime, people, you can commission me for freelance work. :)