The slow evolution of an independent work career
Ever since I launched TheSimplerLife.net in the fall of 2009 I've been slowly developing and evolving the vision I have for my professional life. My online presence has evolved from that original site (and honestly, several aborted attempts prior to that one), to SamSpurlin.com, to a re-designed SamSpurlin.com, and several offshoots along the way (namely the now defunct processoverproduct.com and gettinghistorydone.com). One way to look at this meandering path is through the lens of indecision. Evidently I just can't stick with one thing long enough to actually see any kind of success, right? You could interpret it that way, I suppose, but I think there has been something much more adaptive going on.
I've experienced a lot since 2009. I taught two years of high school. I coached a college hockey team. I went to graduate school and got my master's degree. I started a PhD program. Given the scope of the past 5 years it would be a little strange if my understanding and vision of what I'm trying to accomplish didn't change.
My struggle with SamSpurlin.com
All of this is to say that I'm finally in a place with my online identity that I feel really, really good about. I've always struggled with the scope of what I should write about at SamSpurlin.com. Work stuff for everyone? Work stuff for indie workers? Should I be writing about coaching more since that is the primary way I make money? And isn't my coaching more personal development -- not work-related -- meaning I should write about that instead? I've been conflicted for awhile.
The other aspect of writing at SamSpurlin.com that I've struggled with is the fact that my professional identity is growing to be much more than just my coaching and website. I've started an organizational consulting firm, I'm doing research, I wrote a chapter for a book with Dr. Csikszentmihalyi, I'm contributing as a freelance writer at other publications. I wanted to create a "hub" that would allow someone to get a snapshot of my work and the most logical place to do that is SamSpurlin.com. However, I couldn't really do that when SamSpurlin.com was also the main outlet for my writing and the primary place I do my coaching.
Now what -- and what the hell is a workologist?
All of this is to say I started a new website called TheWorkologist.com. This made up word of "workologist" actually encapsulates my interests incredibly well. I'm fascinated by the process and experience of work. I'm studying how people interface with their work on a day-to-day basis and how it affects the rest of their life and this is where the vast bulk of my writing falls. My vision is to create a collection of thought provoking and useful resources for anybody who is interested in improving their work lives -- whether as an independent worker or not. I've seeded the site with some of the best writing I've done for SamSpurlin.com over the past year but I'll be leaving 98% of my writing behind and starting fresh.
If you've been following SamSpurlin.com and you join me over at TheWorkologist.com you probably won't notice much of a change because I've been writing about this stuff for awhile now. I'm just moving this aspect of my professional identity over to the new domain and changing SamSpurlin.com into my "digital résumé" and hub for all my other work. I'm also revamping my newsletter writing to a monthly issue that you can subscribe to here. Subscribers have the opportunity to download my new e-guide called "Work Better" which is all about applying positive psychology to your work life (it is essentially the e-course I used to offer condensed and cleaned up into book form). The file comes with PDF, .mobi, and .epub versions of the guide so you can read it on your device of choice.
Thank you to all of you for being supportive of what I'm trying to do with my writing and coaching. I'm extremely excited about this next phase of my professional life and I'm pumped to have you along for the ride.
Thank you and see you over at TheWorkologist.com!
Sam "The Workologist" Spurlin