Posts tagged journey
The One With The Broken Laptop

After feeling a little under the weather last week, I was excited to get started and get shit done this week.

Until my laptop’s hard drive died. I tried everything. I channeled my inner IT department and switched it off and then back on. I entered the BIOS. I don’t even know what that is, but I did it, at once pretty proud and also terrified I’d somehow mess something up even more. I met a friend for lunch and co-working and hoped that his IT skills would magically communicate through the ether to my laptop and it would suddenly work. I looked into shipping it to Jakarta - too risky and too long! I rode on the back of a motorbike for an hour looking for a laptop shop that was open, passing what felt like 350 mobile phone shops and 2 laptop shops, both closed.

In the past I would have had mounting frustration and anger and annoyance and all sorts of negative thoughts. This experience was different. I was action oriented - let’s find a solution! What’s the worst that can happen? And, this, while my laptop has possibly never been more important to me as I expand my business. The worst, I was out of pocket and partly out of action for a couple of days.

When my driver and I finally found the computer market in Denpasar, I was hopeful that all I needed was a new cable. When the technician opened my laptop, we discovered I have some newfangled type of hard drive that doesn’t have a cable. While the tech guy trundled off to the neighboring shop to see if he could recover anything from the hard drive, I was optimistic he would return with a giant yes, there’s nothing wrong with your hard drive, and plug it back in so that my laptop magically restarted. Nope. Instead, he said, We tried a few times, and we can’t read anything on the hard drive. Can you say that again in some way that means I haven’t lost all my work, I asked him? He laughed.

So, I found myself in the middle of busy Denpasar with 2 hours to kill while he installed a new hard drive and all the software I needed. I know my old self would have been annoyed, frustrated and angry. Why meeee???? Seriously???? I mean, what the fuck? All my shit is gone???

Not this time.

I went to a little shop to buy water, and had a lovely conversation with the little old couple running it. They were excited to see a buleh, a foreigner. They complimented me on my Bahasa Indonesia. Sedikit, I said. I speak it a little only. I went to the Art Gallery and Restaurant up the road, which I learned is only a restaurant now. Rather than be annoyed at the false advertising [I mean, the art gallery sign was HUGE!] I ordered a beautiful cold beer. And was something of a novelty to all the staff as a foreigner.

My driver waited for me, and let me know that my laptop was ready an hour earlier than expected. So, I hurried back for the privilege of paying a small fortune for the repair. And, I thought, It’ll be like getting a brand new laptop. And I’ll be able to do my work all over again! Yay! A little I was frustrated. But mostly, I recognise that I have been on such a journey and grown so much over the last few months, that the work I produce now will be of much better quality and detail, and more aligned to my values and just cause. I am genuinely excited to work on it all again! Mental!

Riding home on the back of the scooter, I had a crazy sense of calm and appreciation. I am so in love with the place I live in it’s unreal. I mean, my driver was genuinely concerned with making sure we got my laptop fixed once he knew it was totally kaput. Yes, he was going to make money from taking me around, but he could easily have dropped me at a shady place, rather than driving me for another 30 minutes to make sure we got to a reputable shop and then waiting to take me home. Yes, the traffic was crazy. So many motorbikes! But, somehow it all just works like a ballet, kids smile and wave at the buleh on the bike.

And then I had an article pop into my inbox - If You Want To Achieve Long-Term Happiness, Embrace The Growth Mindset. Old Kristen? Fixed mindset. New Kristen has moved into Growth Mindset. Although if you had asked old Kristen, she would have argued that she had a growth mindset. ‘Happiness doesn’t come from achieving a goal; it comes from the act of making progress towards a goal. In other words, happiness is a function of personal growth.’ Long term happiness doesn’t just magically happen. It’s a by-product of how we approach and handle each and every situation that arises.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at info@YourCompassWithin.co to book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Spinning Plates

Last week, I launched my website. I was uber excited! The launch came after many weeks of frustration, joy, personal introspection, and lots of learning [I now have terms like DNS servers and GDPR compliant cookie protocol in my regular vocabulary!]

In the past, when I met a challenge, my natural inclination was to give up, to step aside and move onto something else. If I couldn’t be the best at something, I didn’t want to do it at all. Gymnastics? I was pretty good, but couldn’t do handsprings so moved on. Swimming? I was pretty good, but early starts were too much of an obstacle. And, this wasn’t reserved only for sport.

So, designing my own website and launching it was a massive challenge for me. In the past, I was able to call one of the IT guys with any of my myriad questions relating to anything IT. Setting up my brand and my business, I don’t have an IT department to call. I am the IT department, and this is a scary idea!

So, when my website was launched and I had amazingly positive reaction, I excitedly thought, Nailed it! And moved on to thinking about the the next best thing to do!

Boy, do I have a list of ideas! My diary was quickly filled with tons of things to do: course creation, more and new market research, beta tests, starting a new course, new IT systems to learn, and on and on. Remember those guys that spun the plates on top of long poles, getting each one going to the right speed before moving onto getting another started and in between checking to make sure none that were already spinning were about to go out of control till they had bunches of plates spinning?

I barely had one plate going.

And I had overwhelm.

I quickly realised, though, that just because my website was launched, didn’t mean I had achieved success in one area and that I could move my focus on to something else. I’ve been launched for 1 week. I still need to focus my energy and attention on building this exciting aspect of my business, before I can move on to the next. I need to get one friggin’ plate going before I move to the next.

I’m not the best at it. Yet. I’m still learning and building my craft, as well as figuring out social media marketing and all those other things that come along with setting up a new business.

So, I refocused. I went back to my October objectives, and realigned them to my original mission: Build my business as a bad-ass coach helping other people get unstuck and live a life they love.

I found a resilience that has not always been easy for me to come by.

But, it’s like cooking: somethings take more time to marinate or stew, and not everything can be on high heat all the time. A little simmering on the back burner is fine, as long as your attention is where it should be to get each element right.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at info@YourCompassWithin.co to book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Grit. True Grit.

So, I've set out on my entrepreneurial journey, and let me tell you, it's all about grit. Actually, it's about a lot of other shit, too, but we'll get there in a bit.

Research. It's about research, too. Reading, connecting, building a network, learning.

When I set out on this journey, I thought, Aha! Coaching! I'm fucking ACE at coaching! It's what I do, it's what I love, it's what kept me in corporate retail for over 25 years. An easily transferable skill! I just need to learn the language of one-to-one coaching and the intricacies outside the corporate setting, and Bob's your uncle, I'm good to go.

Today, I find myself navigating a minefield to become an expert marketer, social media manager, accountant, writer, photo editor, tax expert, course creator, international banker, web designer, copy editor... the list is endless. All while finding time to do what I love, which is help people discover their best selves by connecting in a genuine way.

No word of a lie, it's exhausting. And I love it.

Tonight, I came across an article. Actually, it's a listicle. No, I did not make that word up. Yes, it's a real thing. Who the fuck knew? [They're the articles that say, 5 ways to make your life better than you knew it could be!!! With slick headlines, followed by some words or something that give you all the details. Sometimes, we read what they actually say. Most of the time we read the headlines, and decide if it's worth our time. Most of the time, we don't go further than the headlines. It's an article! It's a list! Ah, the listicle.]

Today's is about: The 4 Cognitive Biases Entrepreneurs Should Avoid. Yay! I'm a few months in and it's telling me that more than half of all startups fail! Whoop whoop! This on a day when I've been mired in payment options, course creation, and finding someone to finish my blasted website.

Here are the headlines, followed by my translations, after a few months in.

1. Optimism Bias "That Won't Happen To Me." FFS. Let me tell you, it will. You'll need to dig deep to get whatever it is you're doing even launched. It happened to lots of other people. Expect that it will happen to you. Also, expect that shit will happen and come up that you never even knew existed! You'll hear about a great new app or service that will make your life so much easier, except you can't sign up for it, or it doesn't apply to you and so, you go back to the drawing board.

2. Planning Fallacy "I can probably do this faster than the average person." No fucking chance. Maybe, you will have a skill or some knowledge about one of the myriad things that are now thrown your way. Most likely, you will never have expected that something seemingly simple will take so...fucking...long.

Let's build a website! Great! There's ads on FB and comments and even ads on TV for what is the best. So you look into it, and then you talk to someone who mentions something so you look again and you realise you need to figure out what works best for you. One is great at SEO! Perfect! Except no one knows me and is unlikely to find me before page 4862 on Google anyway. Another is really easy to use! Hurrah! But is limited in what you can add in future once you've set up and you know your brand / venture is going to be AMAZING! and will need more capability in the future. And its SEO sucks; and when you have reached the AMAZING! heights you know you're capable of, this just won't cut it. So, option 3 is in the middle for both these things - user friendly [I'm not sure what user they're talking about because it certainly ain't me, but this is what the reviews say]. You will discover that when you finally figure out how to do something 'on your own' without constant toggling between user guides or YouTube videos, that you undo 2 weeks of work and then you have no clue how to fix it. You will then think, I need an intern. 25 years in retail, I can fucking delegate.

3. Cost Fallacy "I've already come this far." I think the rest of this says something to the effect of, ...So I may as well keep going on this path since I've invested so much. But, this is a listicle so why read everything? Who has time for that shit? All I can say, is I think maybe don't do this. Entrepreneurship is a learning journey. Take what you've learned and cut your losses. What you've done so far is valuable and if you discover a new opportunity that you know is stronger than the first, don't be stubborn. On the other hand, grit is where it's at, so don't quit too soon. At least, not until you've managed to get some shit done. Clear?

4. Confirmation Bias "All signs point to YES!" Trust me, they don't. Unless you've produced your own signs, and then fair play to you for finding your niche market. All signs point to, someone else has done this before [and they're probably the people you are following in your newly researched FB group], so you really need to find your USP [again, trust me... it's a thing... Unique Selling Proposition] that sets you apart from everyone else. All signs point to, This has been done before.

The trick is being badass, having grit, and knowing the world will be vexing. Some days, it all comes together, and some days you realise it's trickier than you thought.