Lindsay’s In Business: PART 84. Iterate, iterate 

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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

The copy and materials to sell Mirror Mirror were pushed through to completion just in time for another trip to London. Every time I go through the presentation and talk to people about Mirror Mirror, interest is held, I get feedback, a door opens, people talk about next steps….

Here’s how these kind of trips go… all scheduled in advance…

Straight out of Heathrow late afternoon to visit a top contact in the City – a high-level strategy implementation consultancy.  By chance a client of his had been on the phone this morning with an issue that apparently Mirror Mirror would be perfect for.  By the end of the meeting he’d agreed to add it in to the proposal he’s sending out the next day.

Noticed the wording on the price list wasn’t very clear. Adjusted and sent it to follow up the meeting immediately.  Iterate, iterate.

NEXT DAY

Meet with an expert level practitioner who has been referred to Mirror Mirror to do our training course, but he is sceptical.  I’m with my fantastic associates Steve and Judy, who made the introduction to start with. We all talk. I get to understand his views. He asks some great questions. I learn that the competitor slide I was thinking about how to put together is more like a ‘choice’ slide for practitioners – when to use Mirror Mirror, when to use a different tool.  EXCELLENT inputs there.  Very thought provoking.  Make a note to create that slide and add it to the next practitioner training. Iterate, Iterate. By the end, he’s sold and happy to introduce us to a colleague…

Run on to a meeting with a well-connected, old contact of mine at the Royal Society of Arts. I thought was going to be critical about Mirror Mirror. Let’s face it, up to now there’s been little progress from an external perspective.  He spent a lot of time describing his successes and learnings, asking very little about what was going on, but seemed supportive.  It was nice to see him again. Good to have him on side.  He gave me a name for low cost social media support.

Ran up to the Ivy Club on Leicester Square to meet an agent of mine (someone who wants to sell Mirror Mirror on commission but doesn’t want to get involved in delivery).  Always great conversations with this contact – by the end he’d agreed to connect me with a Danish company that needs alignment help.  Realised our new business model would impact the agreement we have.  Made a note to adjust it.  Iterate, iterate.

And back down to Charing Cross to meet the guy who was going to join the business last year but never came through with anything.  I’m thinking he’d be interested in a selling tool that has been created at a nearby University. It diagnoses teams that need alignment across whole organizations – fascinating stuff.  He is interested.  To be continued.

NEXT DAY

It’s 8.30am and I’m at Vauxhall where the Oil and Gas consultancy I’m working with are based.  We have a call with a company in Aberdeen – referred from the client who so badly let us down earlier this year (at least something came from it!)  The new contact there is interested, wants more info and gives us three more contacts.

Get a space at Starbucks to update my pipeline spreadsheet, process everything and follow up with stuff I promised to send.  The messages that practitioners need to see are becoming clearer…. Iterating, iterating.

Over to Victoria for lunch and an expert practitioner contact I’ve known for a number of years is now working with a new client, who he thinks would be interested…

Up to a quiet space in the lobby of my next appointment for a call with a small consultancy I’ve been referred to – a new contact.  I’m waiting on the zoom call but she doesn’t show up OR let me know she can’t join. I take the time to go through my emails.  Processing training registrations, feeding back on draft materials from the designer.

This next appointment is with a large consultancy and I’m a bit worried they’re just interested in stealing my ideas – people have said that they’re not so trustworthy.  This is my third meeting and the lady I’m in contact with there has brought along a new director to find out more about Mirror Mirror.  He asks great questions but strangely, is worried that their revenues will drop if they use Mirror Mirror.  Hmm.  But his questions give me food for thought.  He wants me to send a copy of the presentation and takes a hard copy of our new sample report.  I’m a bit worried about whether sharing these materials is the right thing to do.

Back to the same café at Charing Cross but this time to see an informal coach / Mirror Mirror facilitator – yet to become active but fully supportive.  We discuss trust and how to deal with the likes of the large consultancy.  We agree we have to give them the benefit of the doubt as his questions were all about doability. And I realise how tired I am, atill waking up at around 4.00am every morning.

On the 45 min flight back to Amsterdam the next morning, I write a short ‘brochure’ to attract practitioners to train up to be Mirror Mirror facilitators – with no hesitation.  I connect to my mobile hotspot on the train and ping it over to my super new great value designer, feeling altogether smug with how it’s all going.  Iterate, iterate. Within 2 days it’s back and I’m sending it out.

Say the right words, make a million, apparently.

Just today, the pipeline is getting more active.  Each call I have with potential trainees or clients has positive next steps and new ideas to incorporate. I wish I could take a photo of my inbox (maybe I should do that right now as a screenshot).  Every mail looks something like this:

“Do you have a video I can circulate to my network?”

“I just registered for your training.”

“Yes, I definitely want to run Mirror Mirror with my team in the New Year.”

I can’t tell you how much deep-seated excitement there is in my belly!! After all this time, after all these trips, the networking, the iterations, Mirror Mirror is really coming out of incubation. The iterations will never stop but the outcome, at last is traction. 2020 is going to be big.

Mirror Mirror – a comprehensive team alignment diagnostic tool and process in one, helping people align to strategy, as well as with each other.

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