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July 9, 2024

In Development

It's sabbatical month, and I've been asked what that looks like.  In academia, sabbaticals are paid breaks that allow profs to deep dive on special projects, research, books, etc. In Dodiodo, a sabbatical means something different. It means space to explore, ponder, research, and connect with others.

I block out July and December, because these are months when at least two weeks are lost to pre- and post-holiday distractions. I take advantage of this window during which my clients typically cancelled anyway, to build a full month away from client-facing engagement. Any special projects in development include these windows in timeline planning.

What I actually DO during sabbatical varies with my priorities. I intend to fully disengage from all work ultimately in future years during which I also intend to continue to create what is fulfilling by my ever-evolving criteria. But at times it means furthering strategic changes that require immersive focus.

This July, it's all about packaging IP. I'm finishing packaging assets for the B2SMB market, so I can kickoff market experiments to short-list viable buyers. I'm also preparing for a new development alliance that will begin in August to for transmedia market for my flagship property and few other assets I have in development.

Best of all, during sabbatical, I don't yield to any schedule but my own, and I'm allowed to digress as it's productive or restorative. So days begin with a ride before the heat sets in, leaving the afternoon for unfettered creativity.

During the interim months, I've created more mini-pockets, mocking Bill Gates' monthly week-long Think Week where he immerses in research, reading, and space to...yes...think.

It may sound indulgent. But it's become essential to progressing what matters most. My work is about knowing what is next and how it connects to what's happening now. That's a thinking job more than doing. So I don't consider this "time off" that I must afford. It is non-billable work, certainly. But I build that capacity into my sales goals to assure this time is as intrinsic as my office supplies, accounting software, and team mates.

Advisory

Super fun conversations lately with prospective advisory clients who want strategy and ongoing advice to leverage their existing archive of assets, develop new IP, and take it all to market across multiple platforms.

Saddle

Nothing is more validating than the praise of a discerning trainer. I'm lucky that mine is always enthusiastic, and as one peer pointed out, provides constructive feedback in the same tone and joy as kudos. It makes the feedback neither "good" nor "bad" but all helpful. It's always ongoing, so we're ever-refining performance. It is a good model for getting the best out of ourselves, our animals, and our people.  Yesterday, I got "he's never looked more sound," which is a huge compliment for the horse that had to take a couple months off to recover from a stress injury. Add in that we're shrugging off our Arena Rat persona to hack beyond the walls more, and it's a joy full week in the saddle.

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Listening, Reading, Watching

Barbara Kingsolver's Demon Copperhead to read; now 1/3 of the way into another masterful work. But the main character, so likeable, endures so much strife, it's unbearable. You need only know that it's an Appalachian setting riff on Dickens' David Copperfield to know it's going nowhere happy. I'm going to atypically abandon the read and move on to what is more palatable. Even though it is Barbara Kingsolver.

Kitchen

Tried Amaranth Greens, a local immigrant farmer's staple for Caribbean and African cuisines. It's rather chard-like with cooked-celery textured stems, heartier-than-spinach leaves, and a deep green flavor. Stewed, they were perfect with a cold plate of summer cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and corn. Here's the recipe to try - just the addition of mint is a fresh take for whatever greens you!

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