Author Archives: Femflection

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 65: Getting the whole experience right

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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…

There’s one café in the town I live in that is just packed.  Several other café’s in the same street look embarrassed being so empty in comparison. It’s called Kek and I usually avoid it because I don’t like busy places. But last week, a friend texted me to suggest we meet up there and it was too late to try changing venues by the time I got the message.

She was already there when I arrived, and it looked like the chair opposite her was the last one available in the whole cafe.  It was bustling and I tried not to bristle with hostility for the lack of space.

Over the following half-hour I didn’t realise how much the experience there had seduced me: it was such a subtle transition. The service was impeccable, the delivery was prompt, the coffee was presented with care and tasted great, the ambiance was warm and relaxing, the décor was fascinatingly homely – with that kind of bohemian, natural mix-and-match look, without looking overdone or pretentious. The music was funky and not too loud.

There’s actually a sign they have to use at the front door informing people how to queue without getting in the way of the cyclists outside – it’s that popular.

They’ve got it ALL RIGHT.  All of it. Every aspect. It’s an inspiration.  And that’s where I’m going with Mirror Mirror now.

I delivered a workshop for a small consultancy in London last week.  I know one of the guys there – he’s fantastic – very professional (another inspiration) and he’s helped get me in to this consultancy to help their team as well as to show them how it works so they can offer it to their clients.  We’ve already been working hard to submit 3 proposals to their clients, which is exciting.

My consultancy contact loved the Mirror Mirror report and workshop – he’s such a fan. Afterwards, he said

“Why don’t you print the report on thicker paper, add a field ‘Your Name’ and some spaces for notes, so that people in workshops can make it their own?  You could put it in a proper binder so it looks like something they want to keep.”

So cool.

We are starting to hone every aspect of the user experience.  Our last customer told me they loved how we customised our process to suit them. Right now, I’m on a train to Cologne for a workshop to set up our first database.  With this we’ll be more able to add / change questions and their phraseology. And we are starting to gather enough benchmark data that we’ll be able to include comparison stats in our reports.

The report we issued for the consulting organization earlier this week included ‘error bars’, which shows the average score per item as well as what the highest and lowest scores are.  This is very important detail when you want to know where the team is already aligned. I can’t tell you how long it took to pull that together – and it seemed to be one of those problems that seems to be difficult even though there was always some kind of reason why it didn’t happen – but we kept going with it and will never go back.

My ‘chat’ / pitch is getting much better after so much practice.  I’m constantly updating our customer facing materials as the explanation improves.

One of the clients we are pitching too loved the slides we sent him before a meeting so much that we didn’t need to go through them at all – they had already accelerated our conversation.

Amazingly, I’m getting compliments on how I’m doing as a facilitator and feel ready to facilitate any group, no matter how senior.  It’s moving forward.

I did have a bit of a dip last week as 3 possibilities I had been chasing last year fell through (budget / priorities / other) but that was then.

Yesterday I submitted another proposal to a global foods organization I’ve been courting for a while – and got on well with my contact there when we finally got to meet on my last London trip.

I do get feedback that the global consultancies already have offerings like this. But that’s where I can compete. They wrap it up in months-long consultancy packages.  Mirror Mirror is a lean intervention and clients seem to be very happy.  That’s what I’m working on.

Someone indicated that they thought my progress hadn’t been that fast after 2 years of having the product on the market.  A while back, that thought would have hurt.  These days, I just disagree.  Sod what they think.

This isn’t just a consultancy offering it’s a proprietary process in constant development.  Areas on my list to progress are legal and financial. I’m outsourcing jobs on graphic design, data management, platform development and marketing.  I’m doing business development, working up delivery partners, building up my knowledge in multiple disciplines, talking to universities about research proposals, and the list goes on.  I’m fully busy and not for the sake of it, I don’t think!

Now I’m going to do things at a pace that makes sense.  I have the luxury of the family loan I got at the end of last year to do that.  I spend wisely, work hard, and I’m aiming to be the best.

Mirror Mirror – … because a collective focus, with each team at the centre, drives performance.

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

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LIKED ENOUGH

Help you to succeed in life and work

IMG_0057Steve Jobs once said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream”.

The qualities we tend to like in women (modesty, humility) are not the qualities that get professional recognition. Qualities we tend to like in men (self-confidence, assertiveness, asking directly for what you want) are the same qualities we uphold in the business world.

Caring too much about what others think of you stifles your ability to take risks and disrupts your social satisfaction. While you can’t control what other people think of you, you can control what you think of yourself and how you respond towards those who judge you.

People you work with do not need to like you.

People you work with need to respect you.

Strong leaders treat everyone well, but their actions are focused on the organization’s mission, vision, and goals rather than getting everyone to like them.

Be comfortable with the fact…

View original post 167 more words

There is a difference between hard work and smart work that gets you noticed.

Help you to succeed in life and work

IMG_0052“Women lose sight of their goals by taking on extra responsibilities. We are virtual responsibility magnets. We don’t make these decisions consciously or deliberately but out of fear that if we don’t act on a need it will never get resolved. But we fail to realize that once we become responsible for something we might be responsible for it forever.”

This quote is from Pat Heim – the author of the no-nonsense book I highly recommend you to read: “Hardball for Women”

I have another quote for you. According to Pablo Picasso “There are only two types of women – goddesses and doormats”.

Let’s have a closer look at the differences:

Doormats:

  • Do whatever is asked of them
  • Tolerate mental and physical abuse
  • Believe it is their responsibility to care for others
  • Are disrespected
  • Never ask for anything for themselves
  • Can’t say no
  • Give others permission to walk on them

View original post 489 more words

Overcoming Obstacles

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“If you can find a path without obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” – Frank A. Clark.

Life is all about having purpose, meaning and about being productive.

We all have the ability to do whatever we want with our lives. We, also, all face obstacles in every facet of life, work included.

Everyone struggles in everyday life in one way or another.

It is easy to let setbacks define us but it is also critical to learn from them. Too often people tend to focus on what is not right instead of figuring out how to make things right.

Our mind is a survival tool whose primary focus is to keep us safe and in our comfort zone. Challenge it! If you don’t control it, it will control you!

The next time that you are tempted to give up in the face of a formidable obstacle, consider that:

  • Benjamin Franklin couldn’t afford to attend school after he turned 10;

  • Oprah Winfrey was abused as a child and ran away from home at age 13;

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt lost the use of his legs to polio before becoming president;

  • Vincent van Gogh is believed to have suffered from bipolar disorder;

  • Ludwig van Beethoven suffered from tinnitus and a gradual loss of hearing;

  • Winston Churchill suffered emotional instability;

  • Walt Disney had attention deficit disorder;

And the list goes on …

They are all people with a high internal locus of control.

According to the Concept of Locus of Control:

  • People with a high internal locus of control take 100% responsibility for everything in their lives. They believe in their own ability to control themselves and influence the world around them. They feel they control their destiny and the level of success they experience in every single area of their life.

  • People with high external locus of control blame, complain about, or justify their situation. They blame external events for what they experience in their life. They feel as if the actions of others are outside their control. They feel as if others control their results and their destiny and that they cannot do anything about it.

Develop a “Deal with it and move on” attitude towards obstacles, mistakes and failures.

Anything could always have been done better. Research says that successful general managers have made more mistakes in their careers than the people they were promoted over. They got promoted because they had the guts to lead, not because they were always right.

Invest in self-belief and confidence: You are unlikely to overcome a mistake or obstacle if you don’t believe you are capable of overcoming it. Your doubts will paralyse you and focus you on problems and not the solutions you need to get the outcomes you want. You must therefore develop the necessary confidence that will help you to think far more effectively:

  • Read inspirational books about how others facing adversity overcame it;

  • Attend conferences/work shops that foster confidence building;

  • Think about all the things you worry about. Jot them down in words or pictures. Once you finished “mapping” your worries, start thinking about solutions or ways to ease your concerns. Brainstorm ideas with others;

Take your time to learn from every obstacle, every failed result and every unsatisfactory outcome. Step back from your emotions and see the situation from an external perspective – through logic and reason.

The more you learn, the more you will grow and the better you will be able to deal with the obstacles that lie ahead on your path. Obstacles are not your enemies they are your catalyst for your personal growth.

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