Fight the Resistance

Posted by Kurt Daradics on February 26, 2010

The past two months has been a blur. I wake up early, at my desk by 7am. It's back to back meetings till really late at night.

Highlights:

  • We've closed significant funding for CitySourced/FreedomSpeaks.
  • We've been nominated to Davos.
  • We were selected to the Finals of the Knight Foundation grant

Lord knows I've been busy, but even though we're seeing traction, I still don't feel like I'm really getting that much done, sorta spinning my wheels. Even lately I've been feeling a bit paralyzed and at the end of the day my focus and concentration has been toast. I'm terribly behind on some personal correspondence and taking care of personal business. The start up has officially consumed my life.

I was starting to get a bit concerned and burned out, and regardless that my diet has been good, I'm getting enough sleep and exercise, I still wasn't performing at my peak. Also, I truly sense that we're on the right about to break through and deliver some major game changing technology, and that little voice inside my head that tries to tell me I 'don't deserve it' or that I 'should go back to bed" has been really trying to throw me under the bus. Seth Godin calls this voice "the resistance". That little voice has been really confusing me lately, reminding me of all the things that need to be done, and it's been causing me some anxiety and tempting me to work from a place of desperation rather than inspiration.

Today I had a cool breakthrough. My pal and coach Aaron Ross aka @MotoCeo really helped me break some things down. Aaron has been helping us think through our sales process and we're currently getting ready to launch our sales efforts using Salesforce.com, where Aaron used to be Sr. Director of Sales.

Aaron showed me how he manages his calendar and as cliche as this may sound, this was a big 'aha' for me, and something I'm implementing immediately.

  • His Mondays are for planning and thinking about the non urgent important.
  • Tues are for new clients calls and meetings.
  • Weds are reserved for existing accounts and clients.
  • Thurs is a 'catch all' day.
  • Friday is errands, bookkeeping and some 'catch all'.

Aaron helped me focus on the fact that if I want my business to catch a fire that I really need to get the "magnifying glass" positioned in the right place and hold it steady so that it burns the leaf, that's the spark that catches fire. I have a strong sense that the calendar trick is to work really well for me. For example, the tools I need and documents I have open for new sales calls is much different that what I need for existing clients. By batching the work in a focused fashion I can dive deeper and batch all the work. Then I can deliver a list to my asst or project manager in a bunch, rather than piecemeal through out the week, which delivers better process and efficiency to my team and saves them time too.

Aaron has a gift of taking complex processes with many moving parts and break it down into bite sized pieces that are digestible, which I so needed to hear because I have a tendency to let my eyes get bigger than my stomach, plus I tend to run projects in parallel. What I've been really thinking about lots lately is the need for me to dive deeper in a serial sequence vs. parallel multi-tasking. Aaron challenged me to focus on the task at hand before moving onto the next one, which is virtually IMPOSSIBLE when launching a start up it seems. Even thinking about big projects in quarterly basis. So Q1 is "Launch" and March with be "Salesforce Month" where I set up the system and get staff trained up, then Q2 is "Sales Quarter" and we break it down by month.

Okay so that's that for. Time to enjoy my Friday night and prep for my comedy class tomorrow. My big debut at the Improv in two weeks and I've taken this on as my way to 'fight the resistance' and confront my fear of public speaking.

Bam!