Start, Stop, Keep Going
I’m not really one for new year’s resolutions. But I do firmly believe that it’s important to take a step back every once in a while to assess and evaluate what’s working and what’s not, whether it be at work or in your personal life. At the same time, you can look at what brings you joy, what’s a drag, what is a good investment of your time, and what isn’t giving you the return you would like.
There’s a concept in business and talent management that is sometimes referred to as “Start, Stop, Keep Going.” It simply asks you to look at all the things you’re doing and evaluate what you want to start doing, what you should no longer focus on, and what you want to continue to work on.
A friend mentioned this idea to me years ago and I like to come back to it every now and then. Also, posting this publicly will help to keep me accountable. 😊
So, here are the things I plan to start, stop, and keep going ahead with in 2023.
I noticed in 2022 that I had a lot of events and projects I was working on that all fell within a few months of each other in the fall. I was wrapping up my Kickstarter campaign for Relics of Rajavihara’s expansion: Montalo’s Revenge, launching my next campaign for 14 Frantic Minutes, planning for Protospiel North, and setting up the Board Game Design Virtual Summit.
Something had to give. So, I did what was necessary and moved the Summit to February 2023 to allow myself more time to get everything in place and not worry about cramming so much into such a short window.
That’s really just the long way of saying that I’m going to focus more time on planning ahead and ensuring that projects and events are better spaced-out throughout the year.
I also noticed that with everything else going on, I would often shift my game design time to make way for other tasks. So, in 2023, I’m going to dedicate more protected time for game design and hold myself to this better.
I’m also going to start pitching my games to publishers more regularly. I looked back recently and realized that I had pitched games to several publishers a few months prior and never followed up. I just got busy with other things. So, I will dedicate time every month to assess the state of my games, prepare and pitch games that are ready, and follow up earlier with publishers.
Overall, I will start planning better and hold myself accountable to these timelines and tasks.
The outcome of planning better and spacing out events and major projects will necessarily lead to me stopping the bad habit of cramming things together. I have not always allowed myself enough time to dedicate to these important tasks, so I plan on stopping this cycle. I’ve already been doing this more in November and December, and it has definitely reduced a lot of stress.
I also feel that the courses that I have created and continue to offer: the Board Game Design Course for new game designers; the Creation to Publication Program for designers looking to pitch their games and find a publisher; and my latest, the Crowdfunding Success Course; cover mostly everything that others need help with in the world of board game design.
So, I plan on not creating any new courses in the foreseeable future.
I will of course continue to support those who are taking the courses, through the private community and twice monthly Q&A calls, as well as adding any relevant new content to the course. I just won’t be creating any brand-new offerings.
In addition, there are plenty of things that I plan on continuing with.
As long as there is interest and excitement for it, I will continue to host the Board Game Design Virtual Summit and plan to continue this tradition annually. The next one will be happening in February and I’ll be sharing more details about this shortly!
As mentioned, I will also continue to support course members, because I love helping others bring their dreams to life.
I’ll continue to work on my games, playtesting and developing them to the best of my ability, pitching some to the right publishers and publishing those myself that fit my brand of puzzle-y games that make you feel clever.
I’m going to open myself up to more development work on other designer’s games as well. I’ve worked on some projects in the past and I’m working on one currently. I enjoy helping other creators to make their games even better and I want to dedicate more time to this.
I also still love writing and sharing what I’ve learned in my journey as a game designer and now as a publisher. So, I plan to continue writing books to help others as long as the topics are relevant. The 2nd edition of the Board Game Designer’s Guide will be released this March, with some updates and an entirely new section on how to turn a good game into an amazing game, tackling innovation, simplification, balance, mechanics, your games as a product, and a whole lot more.
I’ve also begun work on my next book on successfully crowdfunding your game, which I’m really excited about. This book should be released in the fall.
Wrapping it up
I’ve decided to reduce my workload in some areas, focus on my main priorities, and do a better job of planning ahead and spacing out events and projects to avoid overload and possible burnout.
It’s a healthy decision that I feel will be better for me and for those I want to help in their own game design journeys.
What do you plan on starting, stopping, or continuing with this year?