How I’m overcoming commitment debt

It’s time to come clean:

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been scaling way back on commitments for the past 6 to 9 months. From a hyper-reduced role in the Dallas Startup Community, to stepping down at Launch DFW, to fewer interactions with the City of Dallas, and even fewer within my own neighborhood (currently, The Cedars) and our neighboring communities.

I may have been “doing a lot of things” (and you bet I loved them all), but I did none of them with the focus they needed and required. The commitment was there, the excellence was not.

Over the past few months, Heather and I have been working on what’s next (you all know it as Epic Mini Life), and I’ve begun to dig into inboundgeo – deeper than I have in a long time. This is all according to plan, nothing new here. I do two things: inboundgeo and Epic Mini Life.

What I didn’t account for in the the plan, is how many plates I’d let fall, and how quickly their shattered remains would pile up. Instead of weaning myself and correctly setting expectations with myself and the community, I gently opened the door, stepped through – turning around ever so quietly, listened for the click, stepped backwards… and walked away.

This has had several consequences, and not all bad frankly. I’ve chosen to focus on my business above all others. This is new for me, and it’s been enlightening. But I’ve let people down, and that feels shitty.

Here’s where I am today:

There are zero emails in any of my 7 accounts. I’ve moved all of them to tasks in Asana (again), and have filed or deleted the rest. They’re requests for intros, requests for product feedback, advice, inboundgeo feature requests, and all kinds of things.

I will work my butt off to maintain inbox zero from here on out. That means that any requests of me will either be replied to immediately, or they’ll be converted into tasks to be dealt with at a later time. I’m setting aside 1 hour per day to get through as many 5 minute tasks as I can (things I think will take less than 5 minutes, but require more than a quick/terse reply). If it takes longer than 5 minutes, it will be dealt with as a scheduled item.

Here’s a new idea… I’m considering including person that made the request as an invitee in the task in my calendar. Let’s say I think it’ll take a couple of hours to complete. I’d include you as an invitee when I schedule the task. You can decline it (or accept) but at least you’ll know when I plan to work on it. What do you think?

Here’s my request to you:

If I’ve let something fall through the cracks – intros, feedback, phone calls, etc., reach out and remind me: I’m happy to do it, and I hope this new system will allow me to stay on top of these things moving forward.

As always, thanks for your patience and your confidence.

Be you, and kick ass at it.

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Husband, father, epic adventurer, perpetually curious, rule breaker, startup guy, innovator, maker.

2 thoughts on “How I’m overcoming commitment debt

  • June 13, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Michael, sorry that you are physically moving away from Dallas, but I know you will always be around via your posts, blogs, Twitter, etc. That’s the great thing about technology now. You have influenced many more people than you realize including myself. Not very many people have this trait or can be such a great motivator and communicator as you. It was truly amazing what you did with Startup Week Dallas and I always look forward to attending and participating in this event every year, since the very 1st one you helped arrange. I know you will have an amazing life and adventure, no one deserves it more than you! I will be reading what you post, so you will never really “leave” for me! Best Wishes Always!

    • June 13, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you for such kind words, and for the encouragement! It’s been a blast. 🙂 I think you’ll really appreciate the next phase!


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