First of all thank you to all of you who have been a part of the last 10 years. Working with me, supporting me, tolerating me, challenging and inspiring me, so many people have made a
difference. Couldn’t have done it without you.
To any of you thinking about taking the plunge into working for yourself, contemplating a job change or just interested in my nostalgic ramblings here are my top ten important actions which no matter what happens in the next ten years I will continue to live by. Some I’ve known for years, some have been learnt along the way, some are a constant work in progress. Some practical, some a bit fluffy! Its been ten years indulge me!
- Know you values and stick to them – there is nothing more disheartening, demotivating and likely to lead to poor quality of work than being asked to compromise your values.
- Be kind to yourself – setting up a business is hard work and it takes time, especially when you are juggling family and work life. There are the things you have to do, the things you ought to do, the things you want to do and the things you don’t want to do, wont ever do but you have on a list anyway! It’s hard and while you are looking after all those things, make sure you look after yourself.
- Be inquisitive – ask questions, seek and appreciate different perspectives, challenge yourself and others, listen well and read more.
- Make a plan, write it down and review it regularly – it makes a huge difference. A wise woman once told me if your plan is not written down it’s a daydream.
- Manage the to do list – Don’t overload it. If you finish everything on it then you can always do more but if you are left at the end of everyday bothered by what you haven’t done its demoralising. If you I don’t know the purpose of a task don’t put it on.
- Say thank you, pass on good will and believe in karma! - What goes around comes around, eventually! If someone does a good job acknowledge it and do so publicly. If you can pass on business to someone then do so freely not because they might give you some in return.
- Keep in touch with people – building relationships is hard work, especially for us introverts so once you have them work on them and keep them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need it at times.
- Know when you have made a mistake and learn from it – its easy to see when something has gone wrong, not so easy to appreciate your role in it. If we don’t make mistakes then how do we learn? It’s not a weakness.
- Make yourself uncomfortable – I’m a firm believer in spending time right on the edge of your comfort zone. Not throwing yourself out of it but regularly pushing the boundary of it because when you do that zone gradually gets bigger and bigger and you become more comfortable with more things.
- Know your strengths, love them and use them (but not too much) – don’t waste your energy trying to be something that you aren’t. If you can then work with people who compliment you, by default you will compliment them. Anyone any good at detail?
So that’s the last 10 years what’s the next? Its no longer about getting out of the corporate rat race and making it to school assembly without feeling guilty it’s about building on what we have, making a difference, fiercely protecting and promoting our top ten above and having fun along the way. If you have read this far thanks for indulging me and keep in touch. Oh and have a virtual glass of wine with me!