Why am I not worried about my Klout score’s rapid decline? How is this affecting my one-man consulting business? And why is it making me so happy?
1. I’m Helping My 9-Year-Old Son Start His First Business
My son is the proud founder of a new business, Kosmo’s Cookie Club. The first Saturday of each month he delivers two-dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies to 10 anxiously waiting subscribers. He buys his own ingredients, bakes his own cookies, and packages each dozen in a roll of wax paper he twists at the ends like a giant Tootsie Roll and finishes each package with a label that reads, “Handcrafted by Kosmo.”
He makes more money in a day than some of his older friends make in a month delivering newspapers everyday. He has a growing waiting list of people excitedly waiting for new membership slots to open.
I can’t count the number of wonderful learning opportunities we’ve shared together. I wouldn’t trade 99 Klout points for this experience!
2. I’m Getting More Exercise (Doing Dishes & Raking Leaves)
I’ve spent more time washing dishes, sweeping floors, weeding flower beds, and taking care of the garden in the last couple months than I probably spent the previous 12 months combined. It began as a sort of test—just to see if I could do it. It’s not that I don’t like doing these things. It’s just that I love starting new projects more. The challenge would be whether or not I’d be able to resist the urge to jump ship and dive into something more exciting instead.
As I persisted, unexpected things started happening. My children started being nicer to each other. Our family would just hang out in the same room together. All three of my kids started doing much better in school. Our family felt more relaxed. Life began feeling balanced. My wife carried such a lopsided load of our household responsibilities for years in our home as I worked long hours and went to school full-time. I wanted to help fix that. In addition to the benefits of sharing more household responsibilities, I was getting loads more exercise. I was enjoying working with my hands and am loving the peaceful calm that comes from having a tidy home and yard. Klout can’t shake a stick at that stuff.
3. Adopting the Mantra: The Process IS the Goal
What if everything we’ve been working on for all these years has been for the express purpose of preparing us for where we are right now? So that we can do exactly what we’re doing right this second? One afternoon several weeks ago, as I crunched my way across a gravel lot close to my home, I stopped abruptly. The force of an idea hit me so hard I couldn’t move for at least two minutes. What if the goal wasn’t a new house or retirement? What if the goal wasn’t a dream vacation or even kids graduating from college? What if the biggest goal in life was to simply master the process? Life’s routine?
This is changing everything for me. I’m happy because I’m focusing more on the present. I still have big dreams. But dreaming for me is not the challenge. Working towards big goals is not the challenge. Recognizing that what surrounds me right now, were yesterday’s dreams, is the challenge for me. I try not to exert so much energy in making a better future life. Instead, I try to make it all about the cup of hot chocolate or the drive home from a concert or the goodnight hug or the words on a page in front of me. Whatever it is that’s right now.
I could care less about Klout. And apparently my business could too. My business is just fine. I only have a few clients anyway. And as long as my clients and I continue loving the work we do together and my family keeps enjoying the closeness and peace we’re currently blessed with, I probably won’t think much about that old Klout thingy ever again.
Klout Score ≠ Happiness Score
Fun Side Note: I listened to this Bon Iver album while writing this.