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2020 Lessons

Embrace fear

Incredible things lie on the other side

  • I completed a pretty silly list of scary things year
    • Climbing the Matterhorn
    • Doing Stand up comedy
    • Doing a TEDx
    • Winter wild swimming
    • Running a marathon without any food and 1 litre of water in 28C
    • Saying no to a good wage and starting a social media platform (by all accounts the most likely area to fail)
    • Taking a cofounder on I've never met.
  • Every single one of these has been truly amazing and paid off incredibly well so far. Yet they were super scary tasks to take on.

If I hadn't done them my year would have been bland and boring, instead it's been rich, rewarding and slightly mind-blowing.

When you feel the fear, lean in

Accept you are going to succeed

savour every moment spent getting there

  • Don't focus any anxiety on how you get there or rushing it - just focus on appreciating every moment in your journey there and accept that there will be good and bad moments
  • Often really shit things happen and it overcomes us. But usually it is a gift we don't recognise in the moment and if we did we would enjoy it a lot more

Don't read or listen alone!

Sync with others to enhance the experience

  • You can learn so much from other people
  • Strengthen your relationships and boost your knowledge by sharing you reading experiences
  • So much fun learning from others and yourself by embracing the discussions that are available around all the amazing content there is
  • Wiser pod has been one of the best things I've done this year for my intelligence and sanity

Managed Urgency

If you could bottle urgency you'd be a billionaire

  • Don't frantically lose your head, but don't relax and wait
  • Momentum is the key to doing things, with urgency you can maintain a high momentum
  • Make sure the urgent things are the important things
  • Mis-directed urgency is the worst

Self care

Look after yourself, you can't help others without energy

  • Have healthy habits keep you sane (morning routine, time to exercise, time to think, time to relax are essential)
  • The rocks in your day should be the things that keep you healthy and sane so that the rest of your day is max productivity. It should not be about filling your day with as much work as possible and grabbing you time when you can

Plan and reflect

Fail to plan, plan to fail

  • working on own you can get away with your own thoughts but it's still poo
  • Working with others you are just wasting everyones time without the proper planning procedure

You aren't an imposter

No one knows what they are doing, we are all making it up

  • For me ā€”> You are a CEO - Don't compare or aspire to "normal" CEO traits
  • There is such thing as a correct CEO and they are all unique and nuts in their own ways
  • The only important thing is that you listen, treat people as adults, work your hardest for the best of everyone and don't let it get to your head

Don't Panic

When everyone panics - that is the most important moment to not panic

  • Breathe deeply and channel whatever talent you have into being useful
  • Nothing lasts forever, soon people will look back and say how nuts everyone was ā€”> stand out as the person who solves problems

Give first

Seek to improve everyone's day

  • Gamify your interactions to see just how much you can improve other peoples mood
  • Life is too short for boring

(The mantra of Techstars)

Firing

Be clear when things are ending

  • You have to do this and own your mistakes as a CEO, but do it properly
  • Don't be disrespectful, but don't send a confusing message
  • It is over and that is what they need to know

If it's not a hell yes, it's a no

Place more value on the excellent

  • Life is short and time is the only currency that actually matters
  • If people get offended by you saying no to something they aren't your friends
  • The people around you; employee's, friends, partners should make you excited they are in your life

Give chances

Let people surprise you

  • Be open to the awesomeness of others
  • Some people may let you down, But don't lose faith in humanity or shut yourself off from the brilliance of people
  • Learn the lessons from bad apples and consider them a small cost you pay in being open to all the benefits you get from the great people
  • You regret the chances you don't take much more than when things go wrong

There are many ways to say the same thing

Invest time into choosing the positive way

  • You hurt less people's feelings and gain more respect in the process
  • Conversations are more effective and productive

Be yourself - Everyone else is already taken

Don't seek validation by 'fitting in' or chasing other ideals

  • You are unique, whatever it is that you are, be that and run with it
  • Hold on like to the people who make you more you
  • Let go of the people who manipulate you and don't bring out the things that make you unique

2020 has been a funny one for many. Those dealing with loss, health and mental health problems I am truly sorry for. But I did not have a bad year. I think it might have been one of the best years and I'll probably look back at this with huge fondness.

I love having problems thrown at me and it's when my mind and motivation go into overdrive. And this was a year of problems which is the creative palette of an entrepreneur. I've done many things and reflected and read and learnt as much as possible.

My last and favourite lesson that has helped frame my mindset to enjoy challenges.

I am Antifragile

Problems make me stronger

  • Mental and physical exertion pushes you to adapt and grow
  • Embrace adversity and toughness, savour the gifts of your challenges
  • (relates to both dealing with fears and enjoying setbacks on path to success)