Riding two horses

This is probably an obscure click-bait title too far, but oh well, here goes nothing!

This is a setup…

Rush.

Adrenaline.

I was having a discussion with one of my business partners last week and we were talking about the opportunities in front of us. Whilst there are many, there are two stand out options for us to consider;

‘Go fast’ or ‘Go slow’.

Why am I even saying this? It’s obvious that these are the choices available to any small business. But which do you choose?

Discussion ensued about the opportunities and what each would entail and we came to a wonderfully brilliant and simple solution.

Choose both.

Going fast often comes with risk and insecurity. Going fast also applies a lot of pressure to those involved. You often spend (waste) time just trying to catch up with yourself and the business. Important things can get left behind. Processes can fail. Going fast might get you to the end quicker, but the cost is that the end may not look exactly like what you expected when you started.

Going slow also comes with risk and insecurity. Whilst the pressure might be lower, the time you are under that pressure will be longer. You have time to deliberate, but in that time you may get lost trying to correct your course. Whilst you will likely make it to the end and that end will be what you expected, you may be just as tired from the journey and now with less time for the next series of opportunities.

Choosing both is hard.

It requires you to keep moving everything along at the slower pace, whilst keeping involved in the faster paced activities.

Whilst looking back on these discussions, it came to mind how my life at present is essentially riding two (if not more…) horses.

Tell me that everything will be alright…

Many of you will have read or heard my (double) introduction. How I’m this seemingly incredible accountant with experience for days; yet also ‘just another guy‘ trying to make sense of life whilst living with depression whilst also trying to put some good into the world.

It’s a good introduction that I genuinely spent hours writing and preparing.

I do still lead this double-life and it is tiring at times.

I’m riding two horses.

I have no idea whether ‘Life is a Four-Letter Word‘ and my continued work on ‘Breaking the Stigma‘ will lead anywhere. I have no idea whether the book will sell at all, or whether people will continue to invite me to speak in the future.

The only thing I know is that it relies exclusively on me and how much I believe in it and in myself.

So why do I keep going with so much uncertainty?

Why do I keep riding two horses?

Purpose.

I was wrong…

In ‘Life is a Four-Letter Word‘ I talk about finding your ikigai. It’s a concept about your purpose in life. To summarise you should seek to find the intersection of four abstract questions and if the same answer fulfils all of them, then you have found your ikigai.

Those questions;

Are you good at it?

Will someone pay you for it?

Does the world need it?

Do you love it?

Remember though. It’s not the abstract version of what your answering. It’s your specific version of the answer. So saying the world needs ‘used gamer girl bath water‘ is fine, but do they need yours!

I won’t spoil the book too much, I’d like you to buy it after all, but being an accountant is not my ikigai.

It fails the first question marginally; I don’t consider myself good at accounting, even though countless others seemingly do. I respect their views, but I know deep down my strengths lie elsewhere.

It fails the last question a lot. I have no love for balance sheets, cash flows, tax or treasury. I understand them. I keep up to date with them. But I have no love for them.

So what does answer all these questions for me?

Helping others.

I was right…

And that’s why I will keep riding two horses.

Not for myself.

Not for my back pocket.

Not for the scars.

Nor the stories.

Certainly not for any fame.

I’m going to keep riding two horses for as long as I can to help guide other people through the storm of life. Life is unfair; it has ups and down, snakes and ladders, swing and roundabouts. It’s easy to get lost. If I can help people along the path they walk, then I am living my best life and being my best self.

Through reading this rubbish, listening to my blabber and maybe even purchasing a copy of my shitty little book with its overstated title, you are supporting me in achieving my ikiagi and bringing real purpose to my life.

The least I can do in return is to help you find and achieve yours.

Andy Salkeld

just another guy