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…
And now the days are hot. A mid-July heatwave brings quieter streets, a hazy calm, and the world at work is out of office. But that’s just great for me. My work life balance just seems to be getting better. A run in the cool early morning. A call with coffee at 10.00. Think-work on the laptop in the cool inside while the sun bakes outside, and fruit smoothie breaks in the garden.
I’m still not making any money and its two years now since the Mirror Mirror concept formed, yet I’m on a good track. And isn’t this work-life balance – and the quality, creativity, and productivity it brings – one of the reasons why I chose to become self-employed?
But I know this is the calm before the storm. If things go as planned, I’ll be rushed off my feet for the next few years. Wisdom tells me, however, that I can manage a work life balance under those conditions too.
July and August for Mirror Mirror is all about preparation. Almost everything is changing:
- The question set has been updated dramatically and we’ve created 11 variations based on the team situation
- The reporting tool is being updated to version 5 to accommodate the new questions and generate better visualisations from the data
- Plans for a version 6 web-based reporting tool to take version 5 to a whole new level from the end of the year are underway (improved access, outputs, look and feel, report templates)
- The whole positioning piece is undergoing a major upgrade with new messaging being created and applied across all materials
- Terms and conditions are being drawn up to formalise arrangements with clients and delivery providers
- A new pipeline of targets is being prepared based on the networks that our new Director brings.
But these developments don’t come without their bumps.
A friend and supporter – top level comms professional – had offered to manage the message developments for a very small fee yet gave me a huge run around, delaying and delaying deliverables for over a month!! Eventually, almost nothing was delivered at all but we’re still friends despite the flaky, annoying experience. I’m now using another friend of a friend for the same work with the agreement she’ll deliver on Friday. Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with.
The designer who held some master Adobe files that require updating has moved to Oslo from Croatia without access to those files. He’s telling me I need to find a skilful designer who can edit the files with the PDFs as a starting point. Hmm.
And the last set-back, at least for now, is that the very competent ex-colleague of mine who had agreed to work 3 days a week for the rest of the year on commission just got a job. We had spent a fair bit of time developing a work plan and getting going. I was really looking forward to his inputs so that’s a disappointment. I’m now reflecting on the way I negotiated with him– my offer wasn’t anywhere hear comparable with the proper job he’s just landed but maybe I could have done it differently…
Times like this are good for reflection. These days I’m doing this: recognise when I get really annoyed with something: when I’m triggered. You know when this happens because you start to over-focus on whatever is bothering you in a negative way. It’ll come from something someone did or said and it’s simply an over-reaction based on experiences from the past. We all have at least two triggers and they’re not helpful.
What to do when that happens is to step RIGHT BACK and see that indeed, you have been itriggered. Realize that in time, what’s bugging you will fall back into reasonable perspective and the sooner you get to that time the better, because otherwise you’re not seeing straight or making good decisions.
They’re your triggers and you own your experience and your consequences. Manage it.
Right now, I’ll continue with my business renovation, stepping back to gain perspective in the hot weather, looking forward to the autumn GO.
Mirror Mirroris a proprietary organizational effectiveness process. It is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to accelerate shared understanding and ownership within teams as a means of improving strategy implementation.
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