At the end of the Challenge Me to Grow pilot two weeks ago, I asked the group to sum up their experience by sharing lessons that they are learning, lessons that they have learned, and lessons that they want to teach others. It’s an evaluation strategy that promotes self-reflection by examining learning progress and outcomes, and it generates teachable moments. I was encouraged to hear the group share how they wanted to continue growing, be more transparent, and build their capacity to push their ideas forward.
Anything that I have the group do, I do it myself. It’s good for me to put myself in the participants’ shoes during this pilot phase. I can learn how the group experiences the activities. It helps me consider if the activities are worthwhile and accomplish what I intend them to. And based on this formative evaluation process, I can tweak whatever needs to be tweaked.
So I shared a lesson that I’m learning just to get a taste of the experience. It felt good to engage in some healthy disclosure with the group and put my instruction to the test. A few days after the session, I couldn’t help but think about this activity and the potential it had to help me gain some clarity about this movement. Based on my experiences pushing gonegirlgo forward so far, here’s some personal disclosure about the lessons that I’m learning, lessons that I’ve learned, and a lesson that I want to teach others.
Lessons that I am learning
It is important for me to build the capacity to be a focused, disciplined, logistical, and rational dreamer. It’s one thing to generate ideas; it’s a whole entirely different game to execute them. I must commit myself to stick with my system for idea execution. The Action Method works for me, but I got a little lazy and stopped using it. Because I am the creative, dreamer type, I have to force myself to be relentless about organizing the movement as a project and focusing on action items that I need to accomplish. The bottom line is I need to stay on point. Things can get out of hand pretty quickly if and when I don’t stick to the system.
Procrastinating, stinking thinking, and operating without a purpose are barriers that I created within myself; therefore, I can work to eliminate them. But I have an issue with external barriers. I am learning how not to let them defeat me. Here’s my short list of things that I am learning to do when I’m pushing an idea forward and the odds seem against me:
1. be patient
2. go back and read the notes I took months ago to refocus
3. devise a plan to overcome the odds, if they are scalable
4. if the odds aren’t scalable, let that idea go
5. lay down and take a nap
Never in a million years did I think I would get this bug, but I got it. It’s called entrepreneurship. I used to shun the word and anything associated with it. Now, I am more open to exploring opportunities. I am also learning that I always had it in me. Circumstances like unemployment and survival brought it out. But for me it’s not just about becoming monetized. It’s also about making impact, making a difference, and doing my part to make this world better. GoneGirlGo came from a good place and I had no clue that it would lead me down the entrepreneurial path. So every time an idea or opportunity to promote the movement pops into my head, I remind myself where the movement came from – A GOOD PLACE.
Lessons that I’ve learned
I think that I can gauge interest through social media, but I have learned that I can’t gauge commitment through it. Let me explain. I won’t put in the time or energy to create an event in FB. If I send out an invite to 174 people, and 50 say they are coming, I shouldn’t get excited because 12 are going to show up. I have learned that the FB “join” sometimes means “I’m happy to see you doing something” and FB “like” sometimes means “I’m curious”. It helps to consider how to add a personal touch to an invite or FB connection. Inbox, phone calls, and email follow up helps. Just because people click like, doesn’t mean that they are ready to commit.
Experience has taught me that community is one of the most powerful tools that exist to help me push my ideas forward. Do you agree? It’s one way for me to maintain a system of checks and balances. I am more inclined to push forward my ideas when I am a part of a community that encourages, offers help, and provides feedback. I used to believe that all I needed was a cheerleader on my team. Cheerleader types are great for encouragement, but it’s the coach types who keep you on your toes by asking you the hard questions. Scott Belsky writes about the dreamer, the doer, and the incrementalist in his book, Making Ideas Happen. The dreamer needs the doer the help her follow through. The doer needs the dreamer to help her dream of new ideas. The incrementalist plays both roles, but can be involved in too many projects “simply because they can”. The point is, if I am going to push forward my ideas, forge partnerships, and create effective collaborations, I need a dreamer, doer, and incrementalist in my life.
A lesson that I want to teach
We all know the term “hater” (if you don’t, click here for the definition). I don’t think that we would admit that we are haters, but because we are human, we all have the potential and propensity to hate on someone else. Whatever our reasons are for being a hater (especially those of us who are haters on the down low), we need to deal with them. I want to help by designing a learning experience that influences us to transcend those feelings of envy, jealousy, and hate. (Please note: I am fighting the urge to call this experience Turning Hateration into Inspiration because it rhymes.)
It’s been almost 6 months since the movement began and I’m happy to report that I still have room for growth. I know that I’m definitely different than I used to be. I still have the passion to challenge others to grow through GoneGirlGo. And I especially like the idea of making these three poignant questions a ritual of the process:
- What lessons am I learning?
- What lessons have I learned?
- What lessons do I want to teach others?
I think I’ll also ask myself these questions on a regular too.