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…
I wrote last time about not trying too hard, about not trying to push Mirror Mirror onto other people, learning that if you show respect for their space and their decision, they’re more likely to come towards you.
Since then, I’ve been very conscious of a big area of discomfort: the thought that 2020 will be all about marketing. And I draw away from that. I’ve had too many experiences of putting a ton of effort in and feeling like it all disappears into a vacuum. No results. No responses. Just a waste of time.
But I know that’s not true. And I know I have more traction these days. I have people willing to spread the word, people advocating the use of Mirror Mirror.
What’s been happening….
- The first two weeks in January saw scheduled training with 38 practitioners – 4 online sessions, 5 hours each.
- The vibe on each call was amazing.So much interest and enthusiasm. There’s the demand – RIGHT THERE!
- Lots of valuable feedback from each round: edit the pre-work content; include a simulation.
- Nice work on support facilitation and follow up of contacts from virtual training partner, Steve.He’s great.
- Lots of admin managing membership invitations, invoicing, communications etc. Help from
new Operations Manager taking time to onboard, as it would, and invaluable.
The year 2020 is indeed all about these two things:
- Growing a practitioner capability and an effective network
- Building brand awareness, credibility and sales via network and in general
But that discomfort is still there. It’s not just about feeling the efforts could be futile, it’s about the AMBIGUITY of marketing. You have no idea who’s going to be interested to have you at a conference, publish an article, who will be reading it, where these opportunities are even. It’s so frustratingly RANDOM. You can have a strategy, but you can’t structure everything, you can’t control it.
And there it is again. Control, goddamnit! Come on Lindsay! You’re old enough and wise enough to get your head around this.
After a ‘marketing brainstorm’ call with Steve and my good friend Mike, during which I can just hear the angst and retreat in my voice, I take a step back. Guided by Mike and Steve’s advice I realise that successful marketing just is random, it’s bit by bit, it’s just picking off one opportunity at a time, and that’s ok.
- Keep generating content that’s useful.
- Keep asking people if they know of exposure opportunities.
- Use your objectives as your guide and flit around intuitively – talking to people, following up research, taking part in conversations – just like it was a Saturday and it’s ok to drift around aimlessly.
- Believe that when you keep up the positive, credible presence, STUFF BRINGS STUFF (as Steve always says : )
It’s time to learn about situational leadership once and for all. Be intuitive when getting the word out about Mirror Mirror. Be structured and controlling when it comes to building new products on a budget. Listen when someone you work with has a point of view. Tell people about your vision when the time is right.
Now I feel better. It’s the end of January and already, things that used to be difficult are becoming easier. Interest from practitioners to join the training. Ideas people have about teams they could pitch to. Proposals from people about trying out Mirror Mirror to get the experience. I have the time to for online networking, sending out materials, submitting conference proposals in a random, playful way.
And then I land my first keynote. At a Testing Conference in Germany! Everyone in technology seems to be interested in why it’s still all about people. I learn that the issues testers are faced with are often the results of misalignments further up the chain.
I get invited to do a podcast. And then another.
I start merging what I read in one place with what I read in another, and think up new content for Mirror Mirror based on both.
And I send out a newsletter, in it the vision:
Over the last decade, we’ve seen more complexity and more remote, short-term staffing. All this means more scope for misalignment, which is costly and frustrating for all. Now, imagine having a good level of alignment between people across your organization, both cognitively and behaviourally, after just 8 hours per team. We’ll be able to offer this through our growing delivery capability of our network. Once this happens, our market will open-up: from supporting a handful of teams at a time, we’ll be helping people align across any size of organization, anywhere. They’ll have less stress and better results from a better foundation of alignment. And we believe that’s a vision worth fighting for.
Mirror Mirror – a team alignment diagnostic tool and process in one, helping people align to the strategy, as well as each other.
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