Monday, March 21, 2016

Learning as a lifelong practice

Every Jan01 I’m inspired. I’m inspired by the newness, the blank slate that lies ahead, the potential and possibility.
We discovered in early December that one of our largest accounts of 2014/2015 had decided to make a shift in their organization and we would no longer be part of that equation.

I understood it, the rationale, and there were absolutely no hard feelings. There was, and is, simply a wish you well.
I for one do not believe in worry. I’ve always lived under the “one door closes, one door opens” mindset, though often not having to put it into practice. I made the decision then to go through the holidays without worry and to start fresh Jan01.

Jump ahead to Jan01. I sat at my desk looking through new and old emails, documents, current and past work, and made the decision to instead evaluating with whom potential business might be cultivated, look at what we really offer and what might we hone our skills in more--- I looked at potential. I looked at the things we, or I, had shied away from doing the last couple of years, because they weren’t in my skillset or expertise and they certainly weren’t in my comfort zone.

I began furiously, fearlessly, diving into the unknown. I looked at what we’d done, how we could do it better, and what we knew nothing about, but could master. I looked at our model from A – Z, what works, what doesn’t, all of it. I did an audit. Audits are not fun. They’re revealing.

What I realized is we’d become a wheel. A complacent, comfortable wheel with the work we had and the opportunities we’d been awarded. We were managing the business, not growing the business. We were not seeking out (furiously and fearlessly) better ways of supporting our client’s success. We instead were just doing the work in front of us, servicing it, billing it and getting paid.  It was a revelation. It was that big. We needed a jump-start, a refresh, a new beginning.
Jump ahead to Mar01. We redesigned and launched a new website. Our company’s other administrator, and myself, are engaged 2+ hours, daily, in online training sessions, webinars, online discussions, new certification programs and have made curriculum a mandatory part of our business practice. We hired two young, bright associates to work on the team. We are seeking new and better ways of partnering with service providers.

In essence we are evolving.

What we’ve realized during this evolution is that we can never be complacent. We should never be comfortable and to truly advise and service our client’s best interest, we must put our oxygen mask on first, save ourselves. Only then, when we’re breathing, alive, can we be our best for others.

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