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Friday, January 31, 2014

31 Days into 2014 Resolutions: I'm vowing to dig a deep hole this year

I am not usually one to make New Year's resolutions, but truly, one that I did make to myself was that I decided to be more consistent in posting on my blog.   Looking back at the post date of my last blog, I clearly did not deliver on that one and for that I apologize to my loyal readers.

The good news is that as I look back at how I have spent my time in the three weeks that this blog has been "dark", I know that I am focused and "digging the deep
hole" that will yield what is really important for me in 2014.

This metaphor comes from a blog that Seth Godin wrote called the "Law of the Little Shovel". 

I will paraphrase (and at the same time elaborate). 

In this story, my seeds are my dreams and the shovel is what is needed to plant them.   My neighbor

As I have seen this story play out in my own life, I have been the one that comes out of her house in the morning, bright and early, bag of seeds and shovel in hand, loading the car and heading out to "do my work". 

As I leave the house, I see my neighbor's house.  His shovel is leaning against his garage and he is no where to be seen.  Deep inside my head, I congratulate myself for getting out and doing something about my dreams. 

I stop all over town, digging a little hole here and there and planting seeds.   As I plant each one, I hope it will grow and some, I vow to water regularly and others I leave to the rain to water and nourish.   At the end of the day, I am tired and can't see the fruit of my labor.  Ever so briefly, I voice the word discouragement in my head, but just as quickly begin thinking about the seeds that I will plant tomorrow and which ones I will go back and water and which ones will get the precious amount of fertilizer that I have in my trunk.  It is hot, and I am thirsty.

When I get home, I see my neighbor out in front of his house, sitting under the shade of a tree that I don't remember seeing when I left.  The sod at its base is disturbed a bit and I realize that while I was gone, he must have planted the tree.  He is sipping on cool lemonade.  As I unload my shovel and seeds, I am at once jealous and envious, but push those thoughts down as I complement him on his tree.

You see, the neighbor focused his energy on digging one deep hole and instead of planting a seed, he went out and bought a mature tree.  That tree required the deep hole to accommodate the mature root ball.  He was able to plant it (likely with a little help) and restore the ground and the sod around it and was able to enjoy the shade it provided. 

This blog and the other things that keep me busy most days are the seeds that I continue to plant around town.  And because of who I am, the most important of those seeds (the blog, the Executive Girlfriends' Group and helping friends with early stage companies) will still get water and fertilizer.  And grow they will.   No doubt about it.  But none of them will provide the much needed shade from the heat of the day or shelter and respite for the birds of the air.

My deep hole is TripPlanz, a technology tool set that got its start with the launch of HotelsbyHospitals.com, back in 2007.  I have invested a significant amount of time and money in rebuilding the platform so that it can be implemented by organizations on a private label basis for their venues and events and this is the year for that business to flourish.  In 2013 we did a pilot with Tributes.com, trip-enabling their obituary product for people wanting to travel to funerals.  We are about to launch a pilot with Children's Miracle Network for people needing to get to someone's side due to illness or an accident.  We are also investing in building out some new modules to allow us to expand into building out microsites for various categories and also for event venues and the events hosted there.

Soon, you will definitely see me sitting under my shade tree, drinking lemonade.
What is the deep hole that you should be digging right now?  What are you doing to make that happen?  What do you need to stop doing to get there?

Stay tuned for stories about my progress.





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