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’m walking in the woods. It’s warm with a cool breeze. Green has sprung up all around. A great place to percolate, to let questions find answers in the back of your mind.
Last month, there was a bird who would hop around on the grass outside our kitchen window. It would pick up a small twig and fly away with it to strengthen its nest.
I look back on the efforts I used to make, travelling to London and many other places, meeting for coffees with endless contacts, looking for anything that would help – some advice, insights, another contact, encouragement. Bit by bit it was all essential, bit by bit. And cannot thank those people enough for spending their time to help me. It all seems like so long ago now.
I too was gathering twigs and tiny bits of moss – but I’m not building a small nest, I’m building a castle. The good news is that these days it is taking far less work to build each step that it used to.
- I used to make a note of all the people I was expecting to get back to me so I could prompt them if they didn’t do it.Now if they don’t get back to me, it’s not so important.
- I used to work hard selling Mirror Mirror to practitioners. Now they’re registering themselves to my training sessions via word of mouth referrals.
- I used to go looking for relevant people to approach on LinkedIn. Now I see that as cold calling – it’s not usually welcome and it gets a very low rate of return.
Now I feel like the castle is still just a design, but now it has strong foundations. The central staircase that I’m building, will lead to the rooms, the walls, and to the battlement on top. Each step that is being created is real, bigger, more solid and takes less effort than the one before.
Yesterday, I held a network call, inviting the now 104-strong trained practitioners who are all still new at the Mirror Mirror game. It’s like a hub and spoke model, they’re not really connecting with each other but most are keen, they’re connected through me, and I’m announcing all the new resources that have been set up to help them get going:
- The new business development team who with some basic lead information can get them sales appointments
- The new communications director who is devising a calendar of marketing content to augment the profile and credibility of Mirror Mirror and its network of practitioners
- New proposal templates, a new case study, an FAQ document, a Network Directory they can complete that will enable them to connect with each other and will be published to our website…
It feels good. Great actually. I’ve been able to immerse in work getting all this set up while my husband is still out of a job. He’s been looking after the girls’ home schooling and running the household alongside my 12 hour days. He’s not happy about it but it’s really been very useful. My productivity has really been at a peak.
After the call there’s some complimentary feedback. The next day I spend a couple of hours proudly following up with a mailchimp bulletin to the network, including links to a recording of the call and all the resources. I have created and climbed another big fat step.
I smile, hands on my hips, looking with satisfaction at this castle as it starts to take shape.
But then, the next morning, I wake up realising that while everything I’ve set up is all well and good, people are not jumping to action: filling in new lead spreadsheets and finding demo teams to practice on.
A twinge of loneliness, and frustration. Goddamnit, I need some reciprocation here guys!
And that’s the next step – I’m going to pay all my attention to those top 25 crusaders who are getting active and support them. I know who they are already…
Mirror Mirror – a team alignment diagnostic tool and process in one, helping people align to the strategy, as well as each other.