Sunday, April 15, 2018

Month three, or is it four? Self-refection with SWOT Analysis

I managed to get myself back on track, slightly, during March with my self-refection efforts. Then I wound up sick for the first two weeks of April--cold and flu stuff, but still, it's sucked. I'm rarely sick enough to warrant my taking time off work, but I had to take a day off from both my jobs. Yuck. Anyway, my being sick derailed my efforts to complete my review of March's efforts to consider my life.

For March I opted to use SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis. I realize this is a method for businesses to make decisions, but I thought the different way of looking at my problem might be useful.

Strengths, Experiences, What makes you unique
  • Creative*--I'm a writer, reasonably artistic, a half-decent eye for what looks 'good.'
  • Reliable--I almost never miss a day (the last week excepted), never show up late.
  • Independent worker--I don't need constant reminders, or a hovering supervisor to get my work done.
  • Researcher and librarian--10+ year experience in academic research, with involvement in various stages and various roles of the research.
  • Small group fitness instructor--2 years experience in teaching aerial circus skills, speaking in front of small groups, class management.
  • Baker and cook--need baked goods?
  • Seamstress
After some discussion, Andrew told me that: "You are very good at doing whatever it is you need to do for the job in front of you."

I'm not quite sure how to sum that up, maybe: Gets Shit Done?

*I always say I'm creative, but what does this mean, really? How much of a strength is this? Why do I always think of myself as creative? I'm beginning to wonder.

Areas for improvement, resources needed, education required
  • Initiative--This may seem kinda of weird. I'm really good at doing tasks assigned to me and completing them on time. What I'm not so great at is, when I'm told something general needs to be done about this huge thing, figuring out what I should do about it, or where I should start. Being presented with an overarching or generic problem with no specific requests on how to fix it stresses me out.
  • Timid/Conflict Adverse--I almost always prefer to handle things via email if I can. Please don't get in my face.
  • Jealous--I constantly struggle with feelings of jealousy, especially when I see someone have an awesome opportunity open up to themselves, to which I have no share (but wish I could).
  • Insecure/Lack of Confidence--Seriously, my head is a mess.
  • No business sense--Hence why my self-published novels have sold very little.
  • No specific goals--I tend to think in generalizations...
Here's a thing I learned from doing SWOT: I've always been a dreamer. I've spent a lot of car and bus trips daydreaming. I used to spend a lot of boring nights as a child and teenager wishing something random and amazing would happen to me, at my house in the countryside.

Dreaming doesn't translate into success. At least not directly.

I have dreamed of being a writer for about at long as I can remember. I have three full novels sitting on Amazon Kindle doing only slightly less than nothing. I have failed to do anything about this. I haven't learned how to market myself. I haven't learned how to make a better cover for my novels to make them more attractive. I haven't learned how to use a Kindle marketing campaign. I haven't even stood on street corners handing out flyers for my books.

(I have, in fact, spent years sending my first to novels [Cimwai's Bay and The Cure] to agents and publishers, to mostly no avail.)

If I choose to take the artist's route for the rest of my life, I have to learn how to do this. Yes, I love to write, it makes me feel good when I've completed a (in my opinion) particularly delectable scene. HOWEVER. I would also like to make a small sum from my efforts.

I have to take initiative to make my dreams come true.



P.S. I'll finish the last 2 points of my SWOT Analysis next time...this post got long.
Photography by Alexa Baker--because she is awesome and makes me look awesome.

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