Any one who is close to me will know that I don’t like being out of my comfort zone, so when after being in my job for 2 and a half years I am asked to contribute to writing blogs for the company, you can probably imagine my reaction!
So many things went through my head! ‘I can’t write a blog – I’m not clever enough’ ‘what do I write about?’ How do I try and make it tie in with what the company does… AGILE! Tough one huh! Well for me I thought it would be impossible until I came across this quote:
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
For weeks I had already been thinking about how to get started… jotting things down now and then and wondering how the hell I was going to turn it into a blog that would make sense! So before I knew it, and even before I started writing this blog I was already doing it in an Agile way – Build incrementally instead of all at once!
So I had already started my list… making a start, was top of that list! Finding a title, writing an introduction, finding some content, looking up some quotes to hopefully give me some inspiration! and then putting it all together – But I was still struggling!! I tried to think of the most important and biggest item (user story) on my list and for me that was the introduction! The title was the smallest, least important to me as I felt this would perhaps come after the blog was written… So I sized and prioritised my list and then I started executing!
I started to evolve my blog – whilst continuously refining and tweaking as I went and you could say that this has actually evolved into a blog within a blog!
Not only am I out of my comfort zone by writing this blog, but recently I have also been put out of my comfort zone by starting to build my own part-time business!
Three weeks ago I was introduced to Herbalife by my salsa teacher – I signed up to the programme and in 3 weeks I lost 8Ib and I am hoping in a few days time on my 4th weigh-in I will be up to 11Ib – nearly a stone in 4 weeks.. pretty good right?!… Well in those 3 weeks I was asked if I wanted to sign up to become a distributor and start promoting/selling the herbalife products. I attended an opportunity meeting where I met lots of great people who also shared their success stories – not only of their personal weight loss but how successful their business was becoming… I have to say there was a little added extra bonus of going to these meetings and that was being introduced to a famous ex-footballer!! Anyway, despite that little bonus I was hooked and so excited about the opportunities ahead.
After the initial excitement wore off, panic mode set in! Bit like writing this blog, I started doubting my capability and wondering how I was going to get started and finding clients. My trouble is I want everything NOW! And then when I don’t see results I get despondent. But then I started thinking the Agile way again and as mentioned earlier, I started to – Build incrementally instead of all at once!
I made my list of ideas/things I needed to do – I sized each task and prioritised. I also learnt that starting your own business isn’t just about making stuff, making money or serving your customers, its also about learning how to build a sustainable business by running experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision – focus on the boring stuff: measure progress, how to set up milestones, how to prioritise work. The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond and then learn whether to pivot or preserve! All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.
Its early days, but with this in mind, I hope to build my part-time business into something great, and knowing that I did it in an Agile/Lean way!
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