I am nearing the three month mark of my journey into entrepreneurship. Yes indeed - time has flown; and that in itself is ironic because part of my purpose with jumping off the hamster wheel in the first place was for it to slow down! I hasten to add though, that the speed has become irrelevant, and I have learned it is all down to the energy!!! I thought it worthwhile sharing with you some of my learnings, (many of them unexpected surprises) and how my future planning is so very different to what it would have been as a result. So here we go - in no particular order the three big things I learned in three months !
1) Ride with the waves
I didn't wake up in week 1 with a bounce in my step, but I did wake up with a pressing purpose. I had programs to write, a marketing plan to put together, people to meet with and a website to build. I had ideas ( a ton of them) and I had a deep seated drive to DO WHAT I WANT. So I did, I went at my usual breakneck speed for 5 weeks. I also slept in, worked from home, picked my kids up from school, volunteered, cleaned out cupboards, painted interiors and went to the gym (sporadically). By week 6 - I was jumping into looking for contract work to supplement things whilst I worked on the business, running myself in rings to work out what that meant and looked like and by week 8 I stopped. I looked around and finally sat in the back yard in the sunshine and just let my mind wander. FINALLY. I rested, rested my heart and my mind and let myself see what came to me when I did.
The lesson learned
Slowing down properly takes weeks. Mentally slowing down takes longer than you imagined. Grab the bull by horns by all means but allow yourself some time on your journey to do nothing, in nothing you can find amazing things and opportunities you never dreamed of before. It also allows you to think, and as a thinker who teaches thinking that was pretty important to me.
2 ) Personally redefine Networking
We are often told to get yourself out there and join organisations and go to their events. The problem is that this can cost money and for a start up cash-flow is in the negative in the early days. Plus how can you get anything meaningful out of a five minute chat nursing a cup of tea and a scone in one hand and your handbag in the other. (you can - more on that later). Also let's not get into how hard it is to walk into a room not knowing anyone, for the third time that week. It is exhausting. I had to find a way to do this that worked for me. I found most people would give you 30 - 60 mins of their time, (even some i had never met before) and were so generous with their ideas and advice about my programs in a one to one coffee ( maybe I had a few drinks in there too! ). I made new friends, reconnected with old friends, found new mentors and gathered so much value by just asking. Yes there were a few who didn't respond and that is absolutely fine. Moving on!
The lesson learned
Don't over-saturate your network or yourself. A few quality connections each week is enough, and really think about what you are going to contribute to the conversation. Keep an open mind at all times and listen to every insight. You don't have to adopt everything, just what makes sense. Always ask if there is someone they know who you should connect with and if they can introduce you, and always reciprocate. Its a big enough world for all of us to share.
3) Boundaries are all in your mind.
When I was working, I stayed in my lane. I went to conferences and events that made sense to my job or my prospects. I had to fill out forms and nail bite my way through process to see if I was "allowed". Usually that made perfect sense, these things cost time and money, and these are both limited. However all of a sudden the goal posts changed. I am in charge. My rationale can be whatever I want it to be. There are $limits ( of course) but time is mine. I have so far attended;-a fear of Failure Forum, an open day for a Transformation program at the ANU, an incredible workshop on Mastering Money Consciousness, an Agile Leaders Forum, contributed to a Podcast on Leadership, and had my mind blown at The National Fintech Cyber Security Summit. At every event I found extraordinary people and had wonderful conversations.
The lesson learned
Curiosity is a good enough reason to attend.
Looking forward to sharing more insights as this continues!