Year of Reflection

Written by Vera Struck

It’s been a year since my last blog entry. An incredible year of reflection, learning, charitable giving, and lots of networking, coaching and interviewing. My skill sets are sharper than ever! I’m busy 55 hours a week drafting grants for non-profits, finding alternative funding for start-ups, helping non-profit trade organizations plan their events and helping arts organizations draft Strategic Growth Action Plans.

And with the remaining hours, I’m hiking, walking, swimming, reading, going to Advanced classes in programming, social media, technology, recycling, clean tech and knitting. Oh, and just for fun, a class in stand-up comedy! There just isn’t enough laughter in the world these days.

I have never worked so hard and played so hard, in my life!

And all without a paycheck. That’s right, no paycheck, nada, nothing in the bank. Let that sink in for a minute.

My evening hours and days are full of a tapestry closely and carefully woven with exercise, interviewing, pro-bono work for non-profits, classes, exploration and charitable events. My strategy: get out, get around, connect, build authentic relationships, provide value and service.

My typical day starts at 5:30, prepping powerpoint decks, collateral for meetings, speeches or interviews, answering emails and my daily digital maintenance (FB, LinkedIn, twitter, job boards). It ends after the last networking or Board meeting at 9PM.

Here’s a day’s footprint:

  1. Walking: 1 hours, 6 miles
  2. Coffee meetings with colleagues: (from a sippee) 2 hours, $24.
  3. Mileage (driven, via train, or carpooled):  2 hours, 123 miles, $38
  4. Time emailing,  digitally creating and landscaping:  6 hours
  5. Time coaching:  1 hour
  6. Classes:   2.5 hours
  7. Maintenance of home, body, spirit:  2.5 hours
  8. Sleep:  5 hours
  9. Board meeting, trade and networking group meeting attendance:  2 hours
  10. Water footprint: 9.8 gallons
  11. Carbon footprint: .017 tons

Not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up this rigorous schedule of working 16.5 hours a day, 7 days a week without a paycheck. Stay tuned.

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