“Fail fast” has become the motto of modern business practice. We’re told this is the way to design and build a successful project or business rather than planning every intricate detail and then implementing the plan. But putting this into practice is not as easy as the two-word motto makes it out to be.
James Dyson, the chairman and chief engineer of his namesake vacuum cleaner company, has used failure to drive the realization of all his products. In the book Black Box Thinking, Dyson recalls the number of prototypes it took him to create the technology for his first bagless vacuum cleaner: a mere 5,127.
Think about that for a second.Continue Reading
[Note: Following up on this post, I’m getting ready to create a second freebie. But before I get too far along, I want to make sure it will help you make progress. Scroll to the bottom of the article for more details on what it is.]
Last week I posed this question to our community:
Surprisingly no one blamed Trump. (Just kidding.)
After the political dust settled, new emails, tweets and comments began coming in with responses like:
“Not knowing where to start”
“Fear of failure”
“Paying the bills”
“Being reactive rather than proactive”
“Having LOTS of ideas”
Open your arms wide. As wide as they can go. Now imagine a thousand paths shooting out from your core in 180+ degrees. Where do they lead? What do they mean to you? How do you choose just one?
Five months ago, I stood with my arms wide open imagining all these paths as career opportunities. Entering the work world after five months on maternity leave, the possibilities for what to do next felt endless. Find a position in an organization that shares my values. Continue to work for myself. Go back to my old position. Change career focus altogether. Be a stay-at home mom (that lasted all of 2 seconds). And on and on. Being in a position to have dozens of options comes with huge freedom but also a lot of bewilderment and overwhelm.Continue Reading
It’s April 6th, 2015 and I have a blank sheet of paper staring back at me. Little watercolor paint blocks are neatly arranged in a ceramic holder. Brushes are resting on top of a tumbler filled to the brim with water. I haven’t been in this situation for a while. My mind is racing. What should I do? What colors do I use? What story do I want to tell? Start with home, I tell myself. I swipe a swirl of blue from one edge to another. The Thames. Yellow washes the paper, getting richer and darker near my neighborhood in East London. The radiant energy pulses from where I’m metaphorically sitting on the paper. A dot marks the spot, because why not? My first painting is complete.
“I’m too busy.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m tired.” How many times do you say this, feel this, express this every week? What are these phrases really masking? I’ve been using these phrases to excuse myself of writing a post for the past two months while burying myself in other work. “I’m too busy” is code word for “I’m not going to address questions I need to ask myself about this blog.” All the procrastination has built up. The questions continue to knock at the door, getting louder every day. Enough is enough. I’m kicking procrastination aside and getting into it.Continue Reading