2015: A Year of Learning

Hindsight is always 20/20, but if not for hindsight, would we ever truly learn at all? This takes the fun out of hard work and accomplishments that stem from this hard work and consistent ambition. It’s important too, to always be learning and changing your organization with the goal in mind to increase productivity and efficiency, cutting back costs and time. This is especially important for brand new companies, introducing brand new products to an often-cluttered marketplace. Cluttered marketplaces that constantly make it increasingly difficult to build out a unique business model that will stand the test of time, and impress the muses.

Best case scenario, is that it will be incredibly difficult for you to narrow down your list of learning’s, because they are plentiful. Many of the things that will be listed below, may serve as relatable for you, but might hopefully also help to offer some guidance for the 2016 year.

  • Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Entrepreneurs have the tendency (through my experience) to treat their business (their baby) as a sprint, rather than a marathon. The experience of actually running a marathon serves as one of the best tests for your mental stamina through teaching the ability to pace yourself, break down goals into blocks (kilometres or miles) and the value of long term training (learning). Treat your business in the same way that you’d treat a marathon, would you sprint for an entire marathon? Ask Pheidippides how that worked out.

  • Learn from those before you about how they’ve come to master their craft, never assume you’re above anyone and seek to find the unique offering each person has for you. The true professionals across industry practice modesty, constant-growth and will find the best mentor in their industry to help guide them along the way.

  • Leverage Constraint. This is especially important when starting a business and bringing it to market. Resources are scarce, money, human capital and time are not in abundance. Learn to think outside of traditional practices to use your own personal business constraints as an opportunity to find value in the places that are often ignored. Take the road less traveled, and exercise positive deviance. A particular case in which a great warrior of time used his constraints to leverage his brand presence, Mick Jagger’s signature dance moves. When Jagger was a young starving artist, he was given the constraints of small music venues,that offered him just barely enough stage space to perform. What was the result? I think by now you’ve got a visual (Story from: A Beautiful Constraint, Mark Barden, Adam Morgan)

Work within the beliefs of your authentic self, block out the internal voice of resistance, and certainly leave external commentary behind. It’s your chance to make a mark, and when producing new art and work, do it for the sake of your own personal fulfillment. Steven Pressman in his book the War of Art presents the challenge to ask oneself: If you were the last person on earth, would you still pursue your craft? Show up to the office, arena, and laboratory?

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time”- William Blake

Happy New Year, go get em’.

-Erin Flood