Why you need to be ok with venturing out, venturing alone

Striving for balance you can live with

One of the hardest things to figure out when you begin something new – whether it’s a project or a business – is whether it’s going to succeed or fail. Oftentimes, when success comes, it’s easy to look back and see the signs you had not noticed initially. We tend to come to the conclusions we want to make and find the supporting evidence or points where we choose to look.

And when failure hits us, perhaps it is easier to just move on. Who wants to dwell on  the negative?

Anything new…
Anything you have no experience in …
Anything that makes you worried or scared …
is fraught with anxiety.
We are unsure of outcomes, processes and perhaps, even the milestones that may  guide us.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

So when a new venture beckons, you’re really striving for a perfect balance as you move ahead.

You don’t want to be over eager and launch before you’ve set your path and laid the foundations for success.
And yet, you also don’t want to think too much and over analyse every move or result in line with the vision you’ve set.

The amount of thinking done needs to be weighed against the amount of action taking place. You’ve got to know when to push it out there – to ship it – and when to hold back for another revision. When what you’re doing is brand new to you and brand new in the space/industry you’re in, then there is no one you can really go to, to get guidance or a helping hand. You’re in this alone and that is typically the case when you’re making your own dreams happen.

Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength –  Napoleon

And you’ve got to be comfortable with that. You’ve got to be internally driven, guided by your expectations and a vision only you truly understand.

It’s scary.
But it’s also helluva exciting.

When pushing through with something new, something different, you’re in it alone but it’s ok.
Others may not get the vision or dream but it’s ok.
You can see the vision but you can’t quite articulate it as well as you’d like to but it’s ok.

Remember that there needs to be as much action as there is thought.
You’re content in the knowledge that you may just need to fumble your way forward.
But it’s ok.

#vision #courage #failure #success

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. 
I run Vertical Distinct, a media and learning organisation supporting both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog here on the entrepreneurial journey. I write for Women of HR and am also Associate Editor at the HR Gazette. Feel free to connect to talk or let me know how I can support you.

How do you want your first interaction to go?

The price of short-term gains

An increasingly  common trick I’ve noticed is people sending you an email  with the subject heading starting with Re : XYZ. It makes it look like a conversation was already initiated except I have no idea who this person is and this is the first email I am getting from them.

The conversation starts with a lie.
It confuses the receiver.
It may be confusing especially if the person writes skillfully and well, referencing a place they’ve met or a conversation they’ve had.  In effect, they carry through the lie from the subject header and into the body of the email. This may not be too hard to do if you can be generic enough about some of the details and if you do enough research into the person online  – I guess practice makes perfect.
The conversation starts with a lie.
The point being that if you decide to spend a minute pondering and then you slowly realise that hey, the conversation never took place, which do you think is more likely :
1) that I respond to her email; or
2) that I block her or just bin any other email I get from her?
Yes,  she got the email through to me and I spent the time reading it. So it was successful on one level. But on another, she has lost out because of the disrepute she has come into – the manner in which she communicated.
Bottom line, we are all looking for results. But it makes more sense to go for results that matter, that are done in the right way and that will give you long-term gains. The time and effort involved is just as much – is it not?
#communication #branding #integrity
So my question is : how much will you sacrifice for short term gain, knowing there is a price to be paid in the long term?  
I run Vertical Distinct, supporting both Human Resource and Technology professionals through online resources and educational programmes and I blog here on the entrepreneurial journey. I write for Women of HR and am also Associate Editor at the HR Gazette. Feel free to connect to talk or let me know how I can support you.

Jack of all trades or master of one?

As an entrepreneur, you’ll likely come across arguments from both camps.

You need to specialise in one thing because it takes time to develop expertise in anything.
Yet, to specialise means ignorance (or close to) of many other things that you, as a business owner, really need to be aware of, and make decisions on.

So how do you choose?

When you started your career, you began by mastering one thing. So, that’s in your pocket. But I believe that you need to be a Jack of all trades to own a business. You need to pick one or two key focus areas that you will gain mastery of, that you will own but you will also spend time getting to know the other parts of the business.

It will help you put the pieces of the puzzle together.
It will reduce your exposure and reliance on outside help,where everything represents a line item to be charged.
It will help you develop a better sense of the service offering you’re creating.

So yea, Jack of all trades.

#entrepreneurdreams

Which do you choose and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I also write for Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

Why Marketing Involves Focused Repetition

Marketing campaigns take time and much effort. You can throw money at it but that’s no guarantee of success. We’ve seen the viral effects of good, cost-effective campaigns that resonate. But a critical ingredient of any good #marketing plan involves the idea that there is focused and consistent repetition of key messages. A connection is drawn and then strengthened between the #brand and the cause or message.

Why, you might ask, should one repeat what has already been articulated?

It’s a busy and distracted time we live in. Not everyone is clued in or on the exact same path you are on, at the same time you are.  Repetition ensures your messages get through to as many people as possible.

When you talk consistently about a topic, you build not just awareness about the issues you raise but you showcase your passion and interest. When you share insight, advice or compelling tips, when you help others, you build awareness about your #expertise.

When you reach out and enlarge your network, when you explore new platforms, you create new opportunities for yourself and for others who are of like mind. These new connections may try to find out more about you, they may read about your work. Or they may not, which is once again, good reason for your key messages to be repeated.

A solid piece of advice I once received : if you want someone to think something specifically or to come to a specific conclusion, spell it out. Don’t leave it to chance or supposition.

Say what you may consider to be obvious to others. Articulate the conclusions you have come to as well as how you’ve connected the dots.

Conversely, think about what conclusions people are likely to come to, consequent to the messages you send out. Think about the impact of what you say as much as the things you don’t say.

Any message worth its weight is worth repeating, over and over.

Drive awareness and simultaneously,  educate.
Build credibility, build expertise, build community, build a following.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I now blog on the entrepreneurial journey, which will still include posts on mindfulness, growth and habits. I contribute posts regularly to Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s talk, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

It starts with an idea but it needs action to come alive.

There may be a ton of ideas in your head but you can’t make all of them happen. At least, not with any success, if you decide to do it all at the same time. We glorify entrepreneurs, we glorify failure.

But all ideas take time.

To grow, to develop, to take form.

No, our biggest problem is not having ideas. Our biggest problem is doing something about it.

It starts with the idea. So, the first step is to capture all your ideas. David Allen, productivity guru and creator of the time management method known as Getting Things Done (GTD) talked about putting it all down instead of leaving it to sit in your head. I find that it works.

When you put your ideas down – no matter how loosely formed or unstructured they may be – you clear your head. You save yourself the headache of trying to remember something from an hour ago. But more importantly, I find you have the mental space to just continue with what you’re doing. The problem with leaving it in your head is that it sits there on top of every other problem you’re trying to deal with and this affects you at some level.

When I put my ideas down, I know I can get to it, I can deal with it, when I am ready.

No, our biggest problem is not having ideas. Our biggest problem is doing something about it.

Bottom line, if you are not happy right now, where you are, then it’s likely due to the fact that there’s something you need to do or resolve that you’ve not done. And it’s niggling at you and while you can spend a lot of time and effort burying those feelings that come about because of this, you can’t do it forever. Actually, you’re right, you probably can and be miserable.

Why do that?

Take charge, step forward and live the life you’ve dreamt of.

You cannot wait for someone to hand this to you, it simply won’t happen. It’s your dream and only you know it best.
You cannot wait for someday to make it happen, today is the best day to start. You’re putting it off because of fear.
You cannot live this life where you settle and take what you can get. You owe yourself more than that, so much more.
You cannot make excuses for why things are the way they are and use that as an excuse for why you continue to do what you do. That’s playing victim and you know you will never win that way.

It starts with an idea but it needs action to come alive. So what will you do about it?

Question :  Do you have an idea that you know will work but you’re just unsure about starting? Share your answer on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or Twitter or leave me a comment.

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