Author Archives: Femflection

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 93. One thing leads to another 

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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…

Let’s trace a few things back:

I now have a confirmed contract to give a keynote at a testing conference in Frankfurt.  That came up because I was found on a Speakers Bureau called Tech Voices.

I registered at Tech Voices because a mentor suggested it.

I got hooked up with that mentor because I was looking up people who were going to Agile India 2019 and someone mentioned there was an initiative to support female conference speakers in technology.

I pitched to present at Agile 2019 because it’s logical that businesses moving into agile ways of working would benefit from Mirror Mirror – something that came out of many coffee conversations…

“You could run Mirror Mirror in large group settings,” exclaims one of my most collaborative network members.  She’s a valuable, experienced person – she’s been around for decades and wrote books about collaboration in the 90’s and has contributed to HBR among other publications. I love our brainstorm calls.

She continued, “Each function or team could do the Mirror Mirror questions at the beginning of the day, then we could give them the aggregated results in the afternoon.  The question text could just alter to take account of the whole context rather than the team context, so we could show where the collaboration and communication issues are.”

I know this network member because I was involved in founding a communications blog she contributed to now and again.

We kept in touch.  I called her about the Mirror Mirror concept right at the outset.  She’s now connected with a big communications institute, full of Communication Directors.  If they saw Mirror Mirror working like this at a conference, a whole world could open up…

“Yes of course you can set up a call with me as a reference,” says my previous client from the EU organization.  She’s going to speak to a lady who runs a consultancy out of Brussels, who is interested in running Mirror Mirror for the benefit of her clients.

I got to know the consultancy lady through my advisor Steve, from ReesMcCann.

I got to know the EU organization client through her communications manager, whom I met when running a round table at an EACD conference in Berlin.

Colossal cost of sales at this point.  But it’s all connecting up….

 

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 92. Reassurance 

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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 enthusiasm I am getting from other people is my fuel. Knowing that what I offer is resonating, is deeply reassuring. And with that comes energy, comes power, comes self-control – to move from insecure to confident. And it feels completely different. I’m the leader I remember myself once being.  Just now a little wiser.

I’m calling each network member and hearing their positive feedback, their eagerness to pitch Mirror Mirror to that client they have in mind, and hearing their questions, the meaning of which allows me to understand how to help them.

I’m reading Seth Godin’s book on marketing.  With expert practitioners in mind as my target audience, I am clear about path I need to follow.  The path that I believe will be worthwhile the effort of walking. I can measure the 4 or 5 crucial metrics that will show me what affects that effort is having. Using that, I can feed the system into itself to build more.

It’s not rocket science, it’s just a great book at the right time.  Words don’t mean much unless you can plug them in to your context.

Here’s how it’s going to work: one of my network members is focussed on Project Management.  He sees Mirror Mirror is perfect for new teams, to rapidly build their shared understanding and collaboration to deliver on their goals.  I’ll support him to get a first client. We’ll write a case study. I’ll target Project Management media to promote that case study, and him, and Mirror Mirror. He’ll get another client…

I have a call with my coach.  I tell him about this ‘success energy’ I’ve got, wondering what he could possibly coach me on today. I mention that I had a rash and a stomach ulcer last month and that the doctor said it could be stress.  I’ve never had that reaction to stress before. Don’t worry – I took care of myself, had lots of early nights, went on a course of medication and I now feel back to normal.  It all seems so long ago now.

COACH:            It’s great that things are going well. But how are you going to manage yourself when the work gets tough again? 

ME: I’ve got quite a bit of awareness around self-management from previous experiences. I know when to look out for that amber light warning in future.

COACH:            That’s your amber?  Hives and an ulcer would be a red warning light for me. 

ME: Well I’ve had worse from previous roles but at least I’ve got the flexibility, as my own boss, to control things. 

COACH: But you ended up going to the doctor.  

ME: Yes, I didn’t see that amber coming up.  Every phase of the business is so different, you’ve got to keep adapting and the amber last month caught me by surprise.

COACH: What do you think brought it on?

ME: Last year’s product development and marketing readiness work was hard going.  And preparing for the training and adjusting the course every time it ran over a 2-week period must have been really stressful, I guess. I just need to keep managing myself. But that’ll get easier now that things are moving in such a positive way.

COACH: We don’t know what’s going to happen but for sure, the good leaders are the ones who can be flexible, regardless of whether they feel success or not.

 

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 91. Lockdown

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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…

Twenty more people just went through my training

While the rest of the world is reeling and waning

I’m fresh with affirmation, boosted by validation

This is a movement not a product – that’s my realisation.

 

It’s really flowing now, the format, the explanation

Meeting professionals who want to give alignment full attention

I don’t care how long it takes – this is just what I do

And now we can help remote working teams too.

 

Last week we ran a webinar with network members in a panel

Now Mirror Mirror itself can be a marketing channel!

They shared tips on how to lead and align remote teams

And in talking, it brings home what the reality of coronavirus means.

 

It continues to move on here, busier still

While so many people are suffering all kinds of hell

It’s so difficult to hold these extremes in mind

We do what we can, hoping to see a light for mankind.

Link to the webinars on remote team alignment.

 

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 90. In hot pursuit of leads 

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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…

And now the world has changed. United in social distancing: We’re all together apart. So far 11,000 have died. How far will it go? “Stay in your homes or people will die” is a message we never expected to hear.

First a kind of shock. How strange to have these new limitations, while nothing much except the news seems different. I’m still working from home and doing my thing. But for many people the changes are huge, bringing confusion, anxiety and fear.  Global economies are tumbling and productivity is stumbling as shops close and people are forced to work at home.

For some however, it’s a sigh of relief:

  • Remote workers say they save 8.5 hours a week in travel time
  • Remote workers spend av. 25 minutes exercising more each week
  • Remote workers average 21.9 workdays per month, office workers 20.5 a month
  • 28% of onsite employees had quit a job because of toxic relationships with their co-workers – something you don’t have to deal with so much when you work from home.

And if you face up to the challenges to find the opportunities, it’s a learning curve.

Mirror Mirror is certainly something that can help remote teams align and can be delivered remotely.  So just a week after a face to face workshop in London, there’s a new direction.

  • Remote delivery network call
  • Remote team alignment – tips from the experts: public webinar with network member presenters
  • 24 hour survey link and Quick Scan report delivery for a remote telecoms team in Romania via a network member
  • Slides on remote delivery
  • Input of the remote angle into presentation slides for tomorrow
  • Keynote postponed (predicably) but content for that will change….

It’s exhausting actually.  I need a drink!

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 89. From control to intuition 

Trust

Conceptual image – success of teamwork. Objects isolated over white

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:

  1. Growing a practitioner capability and an effective network
  2. 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.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 88. Not trying too hard 

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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…

I like the hypnosis download I bought recently about How to Be More Patient.  It seems to be making a difference. Actually, I like reading the descriptions they’ve written about their other available downloads.  It makes it so easy to understand the simple psychology behind unwanted mindsets.  For example, advertising the download ‘Overcoming Negativity’, here’s what the site says:

Let’s take a second to think about that critical negative voice inside your head. You know, the one that says: “I won’t be good enough” or “It’s not going to work”. 

Have you ever considered the possibility that it isn’t your voice saying these things?

That it could be someone else’s? A parent’s, or maybe a teacher’s, friend’s or a partner’s perhaps?

No one is born negative. I mean, have you ever seen a negative young child? No question is too silly, no outfit is too outrageous. So, you’re not an innately negative person, you just ‘caught’ someone else’s negativity somewhere along the line. And this means you can break your poor thinking habits and reveal the real you. The ‘you’ you were as a young child, when anything was possible.

Wow. People just need to hear those reassuring words repeated to understand what new mindset is needed to overcome their issue.  I know it’s not that easy but it’s a bit start.

Then I got to thinking about feedback I’ve received for years but never knew what do to about: “You’re trying too hard.”  What does that even mean? I’m working too hard or being too determined?

I looked for it in the list of hypnosis downloads. Nothing there.

Then I started googling.

The second link was a comment by a Julie Gunner to an excellent article in Quora.com.  Now I get it.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time.  Right before I’m about to train up 40 practitioners over the coming month.  The comment said:

“I noticed that when I wanted things the most, that desire came with a lot of force. Not only does it put more pressure on you (which makes you act differently), but it’s not attractive to others to be pushing or trying so hard… whether it’s establishing new business relationships, or personal ones.

[If you put] yourself in a position to win, you take all the pressure off.  You stop trying so hard. You’ve done what you have to do , you’ve put in the effort to be the best, and you have placed yourself in situations that if someone wants to take advantage of that expertise or who you are – they either will or won’t …   

I think if you try too hard, you try to force a particular path, and aren’t flexible to the amazing opportunities and relationship you can build if you simply focus on being the best you can be, and allowing yourself to be open.”

I have, for years, been trying to extend my sphere of influence into other people’s decision-making territory – by showing passion, by being persuasive.  But that’s not my territory and that actually turns people off.  I just need to accept that people make their own decisions and I need to give them that space.

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

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

 

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 87. Funding 

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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

It’s the end of 2019 I’m feeling set up for 2020.  This is what we developed this year:

  • A comprehensive new reporting tool
  • A showcase of sample reports and a workshop demo
  • Evolution of the brand, messages and imagery
  • A new website and updated materials
  • 15 accredited Mirror Mirror practitioners and 40 more set up for training next month
  • A few new and repeat client engagements
  • Initial work to set up a new organization-wide alignment diagnostic product (underway)
  • A drumbeat of articles, conferences and social posts
  • A bigger and stronger team.

I’m proud of these achievements and acknowledge my extended team of their fantastic support.  There are 10 people helping to put this Mirror Mirror together, piece by piece.

My wish for 2020?  We start making a real impact in the market: trainings, case studies, evidence of value, credibility; training, case studies, evidence of value, credibility ….

That’s great, you might be thinking, but there hasn’t been much income so far.

How is it all being funded?

To cut a long story short, it’s been a mix of a few lucky breaks that I’m very grateful for:

  • Some redundancy cash
  • A ’loan’ from my mum and dad
  • My husband moving into consultancy instead of a salaried role
  • But above all, we’ve been able to syphon off funds from our rental apartment instead of using the money to pay off the mortgage.

And that property has been amazing.  It’s right in the centre of Delft and we’ve let it on short term via Airbnb for the past 8 years.  Tourists, visitors to the University here, people on business at for the European Patent Office and Shell, and other travellers whose relatives are marrying at the beautiful Town Hall have all stayed there.  The occupancy rates have been going up and up as Airbnb has become so popular.  It’s really helped us stay afloat – providing the equivalent of a whole salary to keep the family going.

I was looking ahead to 2020, thinking that if we have this rental income plus the same consultancy money from my husband, I don’t need to draw a salary.  I don’t see the possibility of a salary for me next year anyway.  We are still in the mode of low expenditures and zero investment in pensions or mortgage reductions, which is always a nag in the back of my mind. I still need to re-invest all revenues from sales so my horizon right now is a salary in 2021.

But then last week, we got a note from the local Government.  It said that short term holiday rentals are now considered illegal and we have 10 days to respond to the letter, and then later if we do let out the property on a short-term basis, we’ll be fined 10,000 Euro!  This already happened in Amsterdam but we didn’t think it would come to little old Delft.

My husband’s consultancy contract expires at the end of the year and he doesn’t yet have his next position lined up.  That doesn’t worry me too much but I’m wondering how long we can delay proceedings on the rental house for…

Nevertheless, I think we’ll be ok.  I don’t have a debt that needs paying soon, I feel confident about the business – the worst thing that happens is, we have to sell the house.  I’m just grateful that we are able to juggle things to stay in the game.

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

 

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 86. Building Capability

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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…

We have 3 jobs in progress and almost all 40 places for January’s training are booked up!  The pressure is on to get the best Mirror Mirror training programme finished before Xmas. Meantime, it’s 22.00 and I’m typing in pyjamas. I want to get this written before tomorrow.

My youngest daughter was off school sick today – that hardly ever happens. She lay on the sofa looking cute interrupting my work every 5 minutes with attention-seeking comments. She’s such a sweetie but the experience for me was a mixed back: a test of infuriation, caring, patience and acceptance all at the same time.  By about 14.00 I had given up on my well-intentioned plans to spend the whole working on the training course and succumbed to distraction.

Actually, I have 6 days over next two weeks blocked to prepare the training delivery.  And what a crucial task.  Getting this right means growth. The trainings are one day virtual Mirror Mirror courses scheduled with 10 participants per time.  From the pilot training course I delivered over the summer, this one will be a major improvement.  You could say I’ve been preparing for it for months.  The content brings together the new sample reports, the new messaging, the new processes, the new concepts and new commercial parts of the business.

I’m pleased with the format of the training day.  It starts in advance of the training day with pre-read / pre-watch videos.  The day programme consists of three online sessions – each one interactive so the participants can think things through and learn from each other. There’s offline reading and tests in between the sessions. Finally, individual 2-way feedback sessions culminate in a pass or fail situation – although I’m sure most people will pass.

I might have to skulk out to coffee shops over the Xmas break to get everything properly prepared – there’s so much to do.

Sometimes I think I’m neglecting my daughters a bit with the extra hours I’m squeezing in. But then I realise I’m just busy, like any other working mum and there’s no point in feeling guilty about it.  I’m probably more being an example to them – showing them that if you’re the working type, it is possible to find a balance that works for everyone.

And as the girls are 11 and 12, they’re starting to ask questions and listen to my explanations about what I’m doing and why.  Wouldn’t it be great if they could work for Mirror Mirror – or take it over one day?

Anyway – it looks like we already have quite a team.  I have Miss X in Berlin on Product Development (involved from day 1), Miss Y is a contractor based in Maastricht who helps on the IT side, and now I have Miss Z on board with Operations Management. She’s living quite close by, now wanting to get back into the workplace for 20 hours a week or so after her kids have left home.

It takes time to explain what’s needed and set up all the back-office processes with someone new. Miss Z has spent the first two weeks getting set up with software and learning how to use the reporting tool.  We’ve set up a new job process and are using it now.

I’d like her to support on training administration, social media, materials development…  it’ll be great once she’s up to speed.  Finally, I’ll be able to concentrate on growth.

But it’s back to preparing the training for now. Wish me luck!

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

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 85. Looking at 2020

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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 unfold

It’s Boxing Day and I’m reviewing 5-year financial cashflow projections for Mirror Mirror that were set out carefully just before Christmas.  It’s an important document because it will guide our expectations and targets. On one hand it’s a fictional document. You can put any numbers in you like. On the other hand, the numbers need to be believable.  You want to be conservative, but too conservative and the business doesn’t look viable. We landed on predicting a three-fold annual sales increase, which may or may not happen.

The contents of that document weighed heavily on my mind. Looking at the increasing forecast income and expenditures, and the activities needed to process all of that, felt overwhelming.  Can I manage that?

And my reaction to that is doubly unsettling. How can I believe these predictions while doubting myself as the person who will lead the business there?

My husband reminds me that 2020 is the year for sales, that I need to create 3 or 4 goals and a roadmap of activities that will achieve those goals.  That I can do it. It’s my job. I know he’s right and immediately feel better.  And then I remember. I always feel anxious and blue after drinking even the smallest amount of alcohol – and over Christmas I’ve had a couple of drinks a day.  I’m not in the right frame of mind to assess this and prepare for the year ahead.  Perhaps I should give up drinking altogether.

It’s 2 days later and I’m on the Eurostar from London to Rotterdam, feeling more positive, looking again at the cashflow projections and the 2020 business plan. Here’s what I’m telling myself:

  • Yes, the sales figures are believable – it starts with a total of 30 sales in 2020.We already have 3 in the bag.  A new product like this could skyrocket or take a lot more time to take hold.  We don’t know.  It’s partly luck. We will be spending minimally. That’s the gamble.  Just take it.
  • Don’t look at the whole picture – take it step by step
  • Don’t try too hard – Mirror Mirror is a great product. Do what you’re good at which is rallying support, building the network and getting things organized.You have the team – delegate.
  • You can do this.

Apparently if you expect things, you are basically communicating what you want. But if you have intentions, you INTEND for a certain course, you are seeing what emerges, what unfolders. You are more open, you are asking not telling.  You are open to more courses of action.

In 2020 intend to bring the ready Mirror Mirror offering to market via a growing network of practitioners and see how it goes. I intend to do this in a calm and contented way, steering away from frenzied action and overwork, settling into a sustainable work life balance for the long run.

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

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

 

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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