How to Have a Year That Counts
This is a beautiful article in the Harvard Business Review written by Umair Haque. It merits a re-read every now and then. I've worked in silicon valley for more years then anyone should admit. So it's refreshing to read an article about 'keeping it real' in HBR. There's a theme going on here.
Humair's four resolutions:
"I believe, first, in a humble, simple truth: that each and every one of us is here to live a life that matters. And we must do so by making each and every moment of each and every day of each and every year that we are privileged to live count".
"Free yourself. Want a year that counts? Maybe you have to end a bad relationship so that you can have your heart shattered into a million tiny aching pieces…so it can beat with a fiercer rhythm. Maybe you have to tell your NeanderBoss “no” instead of smiling and nodding like a spineless flunky. Maybe you have to apologize to someone, and look your shortcomings straight in the eye. Or maybe you have to start that company, marry that person, and put down roots — even when the ground beneath you feels like shifting sand."
"So stop. Stop scurrying. Stop chasing. Stop worrying, envying, hoarding, scheming.You’re free. (You always were.) And you have a choice–and a chance. At making it all count. Not just this year. But every instant. Every moment. It. Your life.You."
Stop for 5-minutes and read it. Right now. Especially if you're doing what you do, just because that's the way it's always done.
The Year of Blogging Honestly: Day 2
I don't mean to get all touchy-feel. However, one year into this Tiger Team thing calls for a little reflection.
The Year of Blogging Honestly: Day 1
Take a very rainy San Francisco day and add a Taproot Foundation “ScopeAthon”. Mix in a dozen non-profits, about 20 pro bono consultants and some substantial business challenges. It adds up to be a great way to spend a morning in the city, at the very groovy Autodesk Gallery.
My assignment, along with another consultant was to work with the Lindsay Wildlife Museum Operations Director. The museum is a rescue center in the East Bay and is open to the public. It offers many educational events, and gives people an opportunity to connect with nature.
These Taproot events are challenging and intense. Consultants and non-profits are teamed up to work on strategic or tactical organizational challenge. It’s amazing what a small group can accomplish in just a few hours. Especially when laptops are shut, phones are silenced and the goal is clear. I think our “client” left with a workable plan and clear path forward.
It was especially gratifying to apply my business skills in helping Lindsay – a 60-year-old organization that rehabilitates animals affected by intense urban growth. A very small and hopefully useful contribution. I’m looking forward to working with the Museum again in the future.
Here's what amazes me most about working at these Taproot events. People who make their career in the non-profit world are either crazy or saints. Probably both. Kick me if I start to complain about how hard it is to get my job done, how the budget's too small, resources too thin or the competition too fierce.
One of the best parts of consulting is some flexibility in when I work. Sometimes that means working on the weekend. I especially like to rely on my Tiger Team staff for support when working on solution messaging and web content. Nice to work outside on the deck on such a beautiful day.
Getting a little yoga stretch at the same time! Upavistha Konasana(?)
Fantastic This American Life podcast. Alex Blumberg's piece is a must listen for ANY entrepreneur. Wonderful example of a great business idea, with a not so great marketing story.
Plus I adore Mike Berbiglia.
Today I'm very excited to be launching the first Tiger Team special offer. Like any marketing expert I tested the offer with my target market: small business owners who would give me honest & helpful input. It's a good thing I did the test & it's a good thing I have a thick skin. I received smart advice. As a result the offer & content are way better. Perfect? Close? You tell me.
So what did I learn?
We're definitely not in Kansas anymore. It's a social media world out there - so we're told. I'll be skipping my way down the yellow brick road because they promise:
Gotta go post some cool pics.
I've been writing off & on about Pro Bono consulting and the Taproot Foundation. I'm so excited to have been "tapped" for a one day Skills Marathon in early August. Specifically I'll be working with a small team as the Principal Consultant. The organization we'll be working with is BAWSI - Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative. One of their programs, called "BAWSI Girls" is a free, weekly after-school program. Elementary school girls develop self-esteem and good health practices from role models they can admire and emulate - female athletes drawn from Bay Area college, university & high school teams all over the Bay Area. I'm just learning about this great organization - founded and managed by remarkable women. Excited!
Georganne Benesch is the principal of Tiger Team Marketing, CMO of Centerline Farm and a over zealous Yoga practitioner. With 25+ years in high-tech product marketing, she consults for start-ups, small businesses and technology companies.