Since going freelance (I’m loving it by the way although I’m surprised by the number of people who assume this means I sit and watch television all day), I’ve recognised the value of keeping contacts of mine ‘in the loop’.
This stems largely from a number of different coaching clients who have discovered one of the simple steps they need to follow to develop their careers. In short, tell people:
- what you’re working on;
- what you’ve achieved;
- where you want to go next.
The insight is (drum roll): people won’t know unless you tell them.
I started with an idea by Simon Tyler (‘Keep It Simple‘) in which he suggests drawing up a imaginary personal executive board of real or fictitious individuals with whom you can hold yourself personally accountable.
Only rather than making them imaginary, I’ve insisted on making them real. And I email them from time to time – short rapid(ish)-fire updates.
And rather than calling that collection of real people I email an ‘Executive Board’ (which has far too many connotations with my BBC past, I’ve called them an ‘Executive Team’. My ‘Personal Executive Team’. My ‘PET’.
The real boon about my ‘PET’ is that none of them are paid a fee, and they’re not entitled to claim expenses either. So that’s all good.