Three Lessons on Your Career From Some Fledgling Entrepreneurs
Yesterday was the first day of my Speedy Startup--a 12-week program I've been running in Bucks County, PA to help people who are unemployed start up their own businesses. We are super-focused on action and learning from doing, so they don't write a "business plan." Instead they set up a bunch of experiments and start testing the hell out of their ideas--seeing what works and what doesn't and pivoting when their original idea doesn't turn out to "the one."
This group is an especially ambitious crew. Several of them have already started working in their businesses and experiencing that learning by doing. How they are approaching their businesses can teach us a lot about our careers too, so I wanted to share some of what they've been learning.
Say Yes and Then Figure It Out
One of the individuals in the group is starting a cleaning business. A client asked her if she stripped wood floors. She said "Yes I do!" (even though she'd never done it before) and then went home and spent hours on YouTube learning how to do it. The next day, she went in and did the work.
There was no "I've never done that before" or "I'm not sure I could do that for you." She was given a stretch assignment, said yes, and then got herself ready for the challenge.
Make It Yours
Another Speedy Startup participant is starting up a fitness business. One of his offerings is called Club 10--it's a "club" version of working out, complete with club music and a DJ, glow-in-the-dark bracelets and strobe lights. He's taking the drudgery out of working out, making it fun and social.
Working out and fitness is nothing new. But he's putting his personal stamp on it, something all of us need to do in our work.
Work Through Resistance
One of the women in the group was a few minutes late to the session. When she came in, she told me that in the week or so before the class began, all these bad things had started happening--kids getting sick, stuff coming up that was distracting her from doing the pre-work for the course. That morning, she'd thought, "This is too much. I'm going to have to drop out."
But then she remembered a video I sent them in the week before we started that talked about Steven Pressfield's concept of Resistance--this force that rises up to distract us from and disrupt our most important creative work. Pressfield says:
We can navigate Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or purpose that we must follow before all others.
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it. (my emphasis)
So she fought the Resistance and showed up.
This can happen in our careers, too--we are disrupted from our most important work and get off course. But when we recognize that this is just Resistance doing what it does, then we can course-correct and go through it. We can show up to do what we're supposed to do. We can create what we're supposed to create.
I'm looking forward to learning with this cohort of Speedy Startup participants. Every cohort has something new to teach me or remind me of and already this group is no exception.
These concepts are best learned when you are young. Yet, they are of a different kind of value when you are mid-career and striving to climb, become more versatile and open up your point-of-view!
Thanks Michele and thanks to your Fledglings too.
Posted by: Karen Smith-Burden | September 08, 2015 at 12:08 PM
Hi Karen--I'm finding that these are life-long lessons--even when we think we know them, we can get off-course and need a reminder now and then. :-)
Posted by: Michele | September 08, 2015 at 12:16 PM