Have you observed a expecting woman’s behavior closely? It’s fascinating to watch expecting moms organizing, cleaning, arranging and planning for their babies (father’s get involved, too of course!). Many refer to this as nesting behavior, did you know that entrepreneurs do the same thing? A couple of weeks ago I was meeting with a friend of mine who is CEO of a successful company. We chatted for an hour and at the end of the hour I walked away realizing:
- My friend is very good at giving critical commentary in a constructive way.
- I was feeling really good about who I am, what I have accomplished and what I am capable of.
- The bar had been raised.
That was a great example of Leadership, a great leader brings out the best in others.
It’s awesome to see people succeed, to be passionate and to be inspired. Though the road to that success is not a ten lane freeway at midnight or a short flight with clear skies and no turbulence. It is usually a winding road with periods of dense traffic, accidents and other disruptions or setbacks. One way to reduce these disruptions is to occasionally take a step back and carefully evaluate, clean up your house, and plan a route that avoids obvious peril. Take inspiration from a nesting mother, there is nothing more important than what she is doing and let her attention to detail inspire you in your preparations.
My Entrepreneurial Nesting
I started my entrepreneurial nesting around my home office and garage after the inspiration unleashed by my friends leadership had surfaced. In my garage I methodically but purposefully separated equipment to keep, sell and e-waste. You could say not unlike a soon to be mother would be preparing the babies room.
Have I mentioned I love the symbolism between garages and startups?
I have also felt quite un-settled, knowing that my blissfull ignorance about my professional future has been shattered. Then I posted this on Facebook:
Within an hour or so of that wall post I had started writing this blog post, recognizing the genesis of that un-settled feeling.
My Drobo that I use for my personal bulk storage has dropped from 2.4TB of data to well under 1TB of data in less than 1 week. Instead of buying a crib, baby toys and pastel colored paint I bought 4 2TB hard drives to consolidate some of the archives in the data vault (tip – low cost serial ata hard drives + a usb to sata adapter is the cheapest and fastest archive media system money can buy).
Clean, Organize, Clean, Organize, Archive, Plan, Brainstorm, Clean, Archive… Repeat…
I have zealously defended my inbox, not allowing more than a dozen or so messages left that require action at the end of each day. I frugally re-purposed my old laptop to act as a local virtual server. My office environment is calm, clean and quiet. I’ve re-organized 2 of my desk drawers and have amassed a large pile of paper and other documents to shred. Our trash can and recycle bin have remained full. I’ve enjoyed using my evenings, free time on weekends and even part of my birthday to do these things. The excitement is building….
I am at the precipice of where any hint of complacency is getting properly obliterated by un-bridled entrepreneurial spirit.
I’ve run my IT business Managed Solutions since January of 1997. During those years I’ve observed huge swings in some of my clients fortunes. Many of them have made it, some have not and others have struggled for long periods of time. I’ve watched a lot of people succeed and I feel very fortunate to have been able to do what I’ve been doing for so long. I’ve been a student of success and failures both of my own doing and those of others. I’ve operated instinctively and with little direction from any mentors or leaders and that is the biggest thing that has changed.
The Leadership examples that I have experienced the last couple of years have made me realize that in the future that leadership is the one that is going to matter the most.
I promise not to ask any of you to buy me pickles and peanut butter or put any A1 sauce on my Macaroni and Cheese….
Stay tuned for more..