Week Five – I got 5 on it

I’ve been just a bit underpowered this week – I had my Covid and Flu vaccines on Sunday afternoon (yes I am so old and feeble I get both) and as usual they knocked the stuffing out of me for 36 hours or so and I never quite got up a head of steam again.

That said it was still a busy old week – 

I did eight more of my open calendar sessions. Another real mix including friends who’ve been in the game almost as long as me to someone who’d never even heard of GDS to a recent graduate interested in user research in public service. I definitely felt helpful a couple of times this week but I think I need to do fewer sessions so I need to make fewer slots available. I really enjoy the chats but I suspect it is a bit of a distraction from building my business.

Alongside this I also was on the panel for three 90 minute interviews to be my replacement at the Department for Business and Trade. I find interviews a combination of interesting and intimidating when I am on this side of the ‘desk’ as it were. I am pretty comfortable when I’m the one being interviewed but I find the responsibility of being the interviewer a bit stressful…but I do love to hear how other people respond to scenarios and questions. I don’t know if it is helpful but I always work out how I’d approach answering the questions as soon as I get them – particularly looking for points I’d want to nail home. It helps me concentrate as once I have my perspective I love to see how other people approach the same problems – and thankfully in this at least I lack ego sufficiently to usually be impressed with their thoughts above my own! Is this common? Or helpful? I don’t know but it works for me.

On the day job with Open Referral I had a trio of great conversations with suppliers who have built products with (and without) Open Referral – I got some really great insights and really moved my thinking along.

I also MC’d the first of our open Show and Tells. It went really well I think with Ed, Adam and Mike really landing the research and emerging thinking and we got some really good leads from attendees. That said I was a little disappointed with the turn out but hopefully it will build in the sessions to come. 

I was chatting with someone about my ambitions to spend some time working from Canada next year but also about my growing realisation that it is too early for me to drift into some kind of part-time, semi-retirement as much as it appeals. If the working abroad thing doesn’t emerge – or even if it does at some point – I need to spend the years until I turn 55 optimising my income so I can ease off then. I’m getting ahead of myself! 2024 might need to be the year of Mercenary Matt (though this is soooooo far out of my comfort zone it seems unlikely!).

As an example of what might need to change – I did a little page on here about my side projects and I probably need to stop doing things that aren’t just free but cost me money if I am going to change my ways…but I just love the stickers, newsletter etc so again – seems unlikely!

I am at least doing something different tomorrow – I going to check out the Crepe City Sneaker event in Bristol where I suspect I’ll be the oldest person by decades and hopefully won’t come back with more trainers…but again…seems unlikely

Right that’ll do. Have a great weekend.


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