Lindsay’s In Business: part 20: YAY – WE REALLY HAVE A CLIENT!


What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Yes, as everyone says – it is pretty tough getting a new venture off the ground. Although we’ve had very encouraging responses since we started spreading the word in January, as just blogged on LinkedIn, two team runs were organized but then postponed at the last minute, due to one thing or another. So disappointing.

A couple of months back, I had been in to see a global electronics company via a contact of mine who is the HR Manager there. She talked about an innovation event with one of the teams there and how Mirror Mirror could work for that. Shortly afterwards I sent a one page proposal and sat back for the response. Then a week ago – this is this blog’s headline – she told me the proposal had been through 3 rounds of approvals with success (the my contact had liked it, the team leader was open to it, a budget was there for it – and we were good to go in June!

I’ve got to be honest with you. A week ago, before we heard this news, there was one day that I physically couldn’t work because I was consumed by this awful feeling in my gut. It said, “You’ve read the market wrong”. It said “This is another one of those ideas that sounds good but isn’t going to work.” It said “You’ve spent your savings and can’t get a job because of your attitude.” It said “You don’t have a plan B. You’re a failure. You’ll never be able to muster the energy and resources to start a different business.”

I had told myself to get a grip, meditated, walked. But it wouldn’t go away.

I had called my husband who told me to take the day off because it was just ‘ants’ (negative self-talk). It had taken me 3 hours to calm down so a relative normality.

It was only with the news that this electronics company wanted to go ahead, could I relax and feel like I was on some kind of solid ground. Maybe I actually gave a prayer of thanks to the universe – it was exactly the news I needed.

All of a sudden, the world smiled and the sun shone. It was like waking up from a depression because I could believe Mirror Mirror had a future. Another client would mean 2 testimonials, would mean the ability to start marketing and talking about something real, something that we could show other people believe in. Standing on this new platform, it was as if I’d grown 6 inches and was looking ahead at my renewed life from a new vantage point.

I was so stoked 😊 !!!! and able to share an update note (pre-prepared) with the news of this major milestone to all those I’d been in contact with over the past 6 months, immediately.

A few days later and I was on the way to London to meet up with a potential client, the British Heart Foundation, as well as my colleagues from the 3 Minute Mile. Someone had recommended that I read Patrick Lencioni’s ’The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’, and it was remarkably easy to read. A fantastic book – it connects deeply with Mirror Mirror, fuelling my fire with its validation that I am indeed on the right track.

It it, Patrick says “In the context of a team, commitment is a function of two things: clarity and buy-in. Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision… It is important to understand that one of the greatest consequences for an executive team that does not commit to clear decisions is unresolvable dischord deeper in the organisation. More than any of the dysfunctions, this one creates dangerous ripple effects of subordinates… Employees who report to those executives will inevitably clash when they try to interpret marching orders that are not clearly aligned with those of colleagues in other departments. Like a vortex, small gaps between executives high up in an organization become major discrepancies by the time they reach employees below.”

Clarity. Alignment. Momentum. Mirror Mirror. And so our Beta testing phase with real teams had really begun.

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