Notes

My Head is in My Way

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I don’t know how it is with you, but I am usually a positive and motivated person, trying to motivate others to start new projects and if people are back and forth with whether to start something or make it perfect before starting it, I usually encourage them to just start and polish things along the way.

Well … I am the worst person when it comes to doing this to myself. I started a podcast in German language a while ago and got stuck, re-branded the whole thing, since the original name was somehow always something that bothered me (plus the new name just follows the theme I started with beyond tellerrand, Stay Curious and so forth). Now I was motivated to continue, but then I thought “Who is interested in this?” and did not get going until yet. Even though I really want to and am enjoying all the process. It is my head that is in my way.

For the time we are stuck in this damn time with Covid, I am trying to start a membership program. Some way where people could help keeping beyond tellerrand alive even in financial critical times – that never really appeared to me until a world wide pandemic hit us. I had a look at various platforms and decided that I like Steady by the sound of it. I was thinking about tiers and how people could benefit from becoming a member or supporting beyond tellerrand in general. Then it got me thinking again: who is interested in this? Is it more work I add to my plate where the plate never is near a situation where it is empty enough to be stuffed again? Would people actually really benefit from anything in those paid tiers? What if people don’t like subscriptions and continuous payments and would prefer a one time payment? Where I usually was really good at, starting things in the first place and then start thinking, I am bad at now. Thinking too much. Too much self-doubt and self critique and maybe underestimating the “wealth” of what I have created during the last 20 years. I think, my head is in my way.

I had a conversation with Basti recently and we spoke about things I can do, things I have on a list to be started and how to use the time and things I do in between the events usefully. He said something about a YouTube idea, where he could see me and what I do. I loved the idea, but did I start it until now? My head is in my way again.

And these are just a few examples where my head is in may way. Where I think too much, before actually starting something. For a while I thought I started to become lazy, but no, I am not. I am restless and want to do stuff, but I think too much about it and get angry with myself not getting anything done. The rare times, when I meet people these days and speak about any of the ideas I have, they are encouraging me to do this, since they like the sound of it and the times I speak about it, I think to myself ”Yes, it really sounds nice and I should start.” – the moment I am back at home, sit down and think about, the spark of positive energy and motivation is gone again.

So where is my gut feeling that usually was my driving force behind most of my decisions and always had been stronger than my head? I don’t know. I know that the last two years made my gut feeling weak and my head always arguing that we need to make money, before I can start something that would not make money in the first place. But that is stupid. Nothing I have done was ever about the money in the first place. The last two years have taken away parts of the child in me. The easiness of getting things started, done and out of the way. The lightheartedness of starting something without any fear to fail, since if it fails, I would have just learned another lesson and move on with other stuff.

So, yes, the head is in my way these days, but to end on a positive note, I really also recognised one thing and I am sure I said this before: I love running events and also attending events. I miss it and I miss meeting a lot of people. Speaking to them, listening to them, encouraging them to start things and giving advice, if they ask for it. To learn from their stories and getting advice for myself. I miss it. And therefore I have to fight those darker moments, where I tell myself everything is crap and won’t return to the times pre Covid. I will fight. Definitely. But it costs so much energy that I’d rather use for other things.

Hugs!

Happy Birthday Kirby!

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Time flies and Kirby CMS, the CMS I love to use for any of my projects, turned 10!

A collage with three screenshots showing the three different Kirby versions from v1 to v3 from left to right

Not only do I love the product and use and advertise it wherever I can, I also know the person who started all this quite well and am happy and honoured to share a lot of memories with Bastian Allgeier. During the last 10 years Bastian and I went to and met at a lot of events, he is a steady guest at my little beyond tellerrand events and whenever I can and it makes sense, I am happy to host, organise or help in any other way with workshops, online and offline events for Bastian and Kirby.

During countless nights in my kitchen, hotel bars, his dining room or similar meeting places, we shared a ton of stories. Me about beyond tellerrand related things like fear, the way I see and run my business and many pieces that usually no one takes notice of. And Bastian about the same kind of things. We quickly noticed, that – event though our “products” are different – we share a lot of common approaches, problems and stories and it is great to have someone likeminded to share those stories and experiences with.

For this reason and because I love Bastian and what he does, I rise my glass and say: on to the next 10 years!

Happy Birthday, Kirby.

Bastian has written a lovely story about the ride of the last ten years with the Kirby rollercoaster. Well worth your reading time.

Yearly Running Goal Achieved

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Despite all the things Covid managed to destroy or at least being in the way of, it wasn’t able to stop me from achieving this year’s running goal of 1000km.

Screenshot of my Strava account showing that I reached my 1000km running goal this year

Oh, and thanks Andy. For listen to and running with me 3 times a week!

Silence, Reasons and the Future

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As you might have recognised, it has been a bit silent over here recently. One reason was, that I have been running the tenth edition of beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf. I only had two month to prepare everything and confirm speakers, book their travel and hotel and so on. Usually this takes something between 8 months and a year for each event, but I wanted to use the chance and run this event. Well in short: it worked out wonderfully and everybody was happy that it took place.

But it also showed that my business financials are close to zero now on my bank account after two years of not being able to run proper event, but online events, which just cover the cost of itself. After paying all the bills for Düsseldorf 2021, I have been happy to having been able to finally run the event so many people were still holding tickets for. Now I am in the situation to decide what to do next. Since I do not have any money that protects me from any unsuccessful event left over – all the savings I was able to make during the last ten years are gone – I needed to decide whether I let beyond tellerrand come to an end or how I could try to get it on track again.

It is still very uncertain when Covid is finally coming to an end. So I have written all the long time supporters to see how they would commit for 2022. They are unbelievable and wonderful and I am happy to confirm that so far beyond tellerrand is safe for 2022 at least for now. Nevertheless I needed to make a plan about which event is safe to being organised since the money that came in so far only covers about 50% of the rental cost on its own. Not to speak about all the other things that add to the bill.

Düsseldorf and Berlin are long established events and safer to run than any other location. So sadly I needed to make a decision about Munich, which I love to establish as a third hub as well. But three points were critical to decide against running a 2022 Munich edition:

  1. Munich is the newest location and I need to work on making beyond tellerrand more known in this area. It was hard to sell out the 2018 event and with 600 people for the new venue, I would have to make some more noise even. Right now there is no chance to travel to Munich to attend other events and acquire sponsors.
  2. The venue and also the city are the most expensive of all three. With venue rental and base cost of €40.000 on its own, this is a huge risk in times, where I don’t have any money on my bank.
  3. Covid – yes, still Covid. Even if people say we are out of the fourth wave over here in Spring – and I think I am safe with May and September for DUS and BER – what about a possible fifth wave and corresponding restrictions coming with this? November in Munich … who knows what the restrictions are going to be, or, if people are in for an event with 600 attendees, just to mention these two points.

It was a tough decision, but yesterday I cancelled the Munich venue as I would have to sign the contract otherwise.

The plan is to run Düsseldorf and Berlin, tough. I signed both contracts for the venues and already have some wonderful long time partners on board with financial support. Next to this I will start a Steady account soon (similar to Patreon) to ask for support as well. I am still sorting out what to give back in return apart from the fact that it helps keeping beyond tellerrand alive, but one thing is to make Stay Curious online events free for example. More about this soon. Also have a look out what is going to happen in Hamburg ;) Not saying more right now, but smaller spin-off events might help to survive as well.

I also made a list of ongoing payments for micro-things and subscriptions and cancelled any paid subscription (software, magazines …) that I do not urgently need for business right now and might subscribe a later point again. It was tough to do this as I see this as some kind of support of wonderful things other people do. It was heart breaking to think of the people behind it, but I simply can’t afford it right now.

Anyways, I am grateful for having been able to do, what I did the last 20 years. And even though I am very down right now and really thought that beyond tellerrand might end, the last 4 days have given me hope and trust that things will be better again.

Love! /marc

New Podcast Reconsidering – About Making a Life While Making a Living

My friend Aarron Walter started a new podcast together with Bob Baxley and Meredith Black. The podcast is titled “Reconsidering” and it is about making a life while making a living. Meredith, Aarron and Bob step back to reconsider and rethink work, the possible future and expectations connected to this.

So far they released a trailer and their first episode titled “The myths of happiness” with Bill Burnett, author of “Designing Your Life”, which is already very promising and gives you a direction of what is coming.

Event Tip – Inclusive Design 24

Inclusive Design 24 (#id24) is a free 24-hour online event for the global community. It celebrates inclusive design and shares knowledge and ideas from analogue to digital, from design to development, from planners to practitioners, and everything and everyone in between.

Join the free event(s) here

Recycling is Failing

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Recycling is what you do, when you fail to re-use

A quote by Mark Adams I could not agree more to. And I bet you do as well, if you think about it.

For context watch his lovely talk titled Recycling is a Defeat – The Value of Eternity

Demystifying Public Speaking by Lara Hogan Now Online for Free

Back in 2016 Lara Hogan released her book “Demystifying Public Speaking” at A Book Apart. It is a great book with many good tips for anyone who starts giving presentations online or in front of an audience, but also holds man handy tips for experienced speakers.

Next to the links I posted in January 2020 with many resources about public speaking, you should definitely set a bookmark for Lara’s now freely available book.

Read online: Demystifying Public Speaking