You can get away without paying..

You can get away without paying..

Continuing the series of my lessons in my adventure to design my life.

This last week and a bit has been quite interesting. I feel like a lot of things have moved different ways. So here it goes, my few lessons.

Lesson 1. Creativity

Creativity comes at its strongest when you are restricted in some way, when you need to find options and/or when you give yourself the mindspace (no pun intended 🙂 ) to think. It also comes when least expected and rarely works if summoned. It cannot be forced. Actually, the least is actively engaged, the more powerful it is. At least for me.

Lesson 2. Leave yourself idle time daily

Goes hand in hand with lesson 1. I should leave myself at least 10 mins every day of not doing anything. Not even checking my phone. Because that is powerful. That is when my brain sifts through everything and nothing. That is when I come up with the craziest ideas. This is for anyone who was wondering where I get some stupid ideas from.

Lesson 3. Be careful with networking

Networking is great, going to different meetups is interesting, meeting people to tell them what you think can always be surprising. But. There is such thing as too much networking! Especially when you also need to get some things done. So, sometimes it can a be trap. Even one that you deliberately leave yourself to fall into just to avoid to do the “real” hands-on work. Plus, there are lots of time-wasters.

Lesson 4. There is no such thing as office work

When you work on your own project which involves a lot of validation, you won’t spend that much time in a chair. Actually, if you do, then you might be doing something wrong. Still learning.

Lesson 5. Don’t work in isolation

Set up a list of people willing to help with anything and who believe in your project. Consult them as much as possible, even with the risk of becoming annoying.

Lesson 6. Want something, just ask

It’s amazing what we put up with or live without sometimes just because we assume we can’t have. Asking sometimes will give you the most surprising results, like actually receiving 😀 . I asked for some documents in a restaurant and I received their recipes…

Lesson 7. You can get away without paying

This is more of a confession. I stole a bruschetta dish from Vapiano hahaha. I’m probably on their “most wanted” list now. I forgot to pay because I got distracted on my way out talking to the cashier about their allergy matrix. Funny thing is there was only one way out, through their gates and she forgot to ask me to pay, too. Might be something to explore for the future 😀 .

Lesson 8. Be careful with the privacy toggle when registering domains

You enable sharing your contact details when you register a domain, you get cold-called by companies every 5 mins. Big mistake!

Lesson 9. Listen to my own advice 🙂

I am good at writing all of the above, very inconsistent at following them

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Can you do this by the end of the day, please?

Can you do this by the end of the day, please?

One thing I’m struggling with now is doing things myself 😀 . It’s funny now that I say it, but one thing the corporate environment teaches a manager is to delegate. But how does that really work when you start your own business?

Delegation is such a big subject and there are so many views on how it should be done and what you should delegate.

When any of us started out in our first jobs, we usually were “executors”. We had one (or a few) valuable skills and we are hired to just “do” the job. We are very good at working on our own, applying our skills and executing whatever deliverable.

Then we learn to work as part of a team. We learn to communicate when we do something, we learn to ask questions early on, we learn to share our knowledge. If there is anything I ever taught my teams, it was to communicate and help each other. No one person was “done-done” with anything until the last person in the team was “done-done”. Or in other words, a team is as fast as its slowest member. I’m a real team-player as you can see. As a side note, I think I learned this when I was playing voleyball. Team sports are an amazing environment to learn the value of community and the concept of “if we are all happy, then you are happy”.

Gradually, each of us starts emerging from the team through special skills. Every person can stand out through something. And that is when we start leading (by example) with something. Now, when you lead, in order to scale your skills, you need to coach others to get at your level. And that is where delegation comes into play. I won’t go into how some managers are promoted and why some managers are not necessarily good leaders. My point is that, whatever the means got you to a leader’s position, you start learning how to delegate (hopefully). You don’t delegate, you don’t scale. Simple.

As a manager, I learned how to delegate. I also learned how to always oversee the big picture and make sure all the wheels are in place and moving in the right direction so that the car moves towards its destination. Basically, I learned how to coordinate, be proactive and think ahead, so as to avoid accidents. I went even further and I learned how to know my people, what they like, what they don’t enjoy doing, who works better with whom, what problems they have at home and how happy they are with their jobs, etc. I learned everything around the actual execution. Except for executing :D. Well, I do have a technical background and I know a thing or two ( 😛 ), but I also hired smarter people, who execute better. That has been my job for years: building great teams to deliver great products. That is what I do best.

So now, I am starting fresh. Now, I am the executor of my own ideas. Sometimes, I am like “oh, we need to do this and then we will need to do that.. Age, do you think we can document this? Hardeep, do you think you can finish this?” (sorry, guys, for referencing you here 😀 ). Then I look around and I’m like “oh! there’s no one around.. I need to do this!”. Gosh, I miss my Gumtree team hahaha!

Anyway, I guess the point of this post was just to reflect on how being a manager can affect your mindset when it comes down to doing things yourself. And sometimes you only realize it when … well, you have to do things by yourself. And that might include even skills you’ve never used, like UX design or SEO or .. sales. So, do keep that in mind before you decide to quit your job and start something!

 

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