How Being a Strategic Thinker Failed Me
I’m too strategic for my own good!
In 2020 I set out to launch The School of Reinvention. My mission was to empower people with the skills, strategies, and community to launch their own reinvention. So now my task was to build the business.
Having taught nearly 5,000 aspiring entrepreneurs how to take their ideas from concept to creation, I figured I was perfectly positioned to figure this out quickly.
Well, I Was Wrong!
I thought about ideal customers, messaging, core mission, and value proposition. How do I ensure all of my messaging and digital assets are aligned around one central message or idea?
I thought about domain names and bought no less than 30 in the process of figuring out which one to use or how to use several. Should I have different ones for each project or one central domain?
I thought about how to structure my blog and my different areas of experience and expertise. Should I have a blog for each major category or should I try to combine them all into one?
I looked into course building platforms and thought about which one I wanted to make a commitment to and build my courses within. Do I go all in on one or spread it out depending on topic?
I thought about how to structure course ideas so that they all stay on brand and aligned with a central message. Do I only create courses on reinvention and which topics within reinvention do I focus on?
I thought about topics I could write blogs about and how if it didn’t fit reinvention, I’d have to create another blog to put it. How many blogs should I create and what domains do I use for each?
Well, unfortunately, thinking about things is how I spent most of my time since launching this business. I wanted to plant every seed strategically and perfectly. In the end, I didn’t plant many seeds.
So What Have I Actually Done?
Since starting the business, I have planted a few seeds (thank goodness!). I didn’t think too hard about these, I simply tossed them onto the ground and started watering them. Here are some of the actions I took without thinking too hard.
- Built a course on they keys to time management
- Launched and delivered the first cohort of the Reinvention Mastermind (interested in joining a future cohort, let me know by indicating interest here)
- Delivered speaking and training engagements for Business Oulu (Finland), Asian Development Bank, College Board, Youth Entrepreneurship Zone, and Google.
- Coached over 30 clients and students
I quickly realized that those actions have delivered the most value and progress. Even if they weren’t perfectly aligned with my future brand or mission.
I delivered value, iterated my ideas and content, and discovered more about potential audiences and their needs and wants.
My Breakthrough Reminder
Then I remembered something! The most valuable lesson I teach in my courses at University of Pennsylvania, Sarah Lawrence College, or Techstars Startup Weekend is to experiment as quickly and often as possible.
Build, measure, learn as often and many times as possible because that’s how we find the right audiences, products, services, and value proposition. It doesn’t happen by sitting down and thinking about it.
Build, Measure, Learn Liberated Me
The moment I remembered my own lesson, I felt liberated. I felt free to have fun again and…
- Write what comes to me
- Share whatever insights I have to share
- Build whatever courses I would enjoy the most and deliver the most value (let me know which topics interest you most here)
- Leverage several platforms at the same time and figure out which one(s) perform the best for my customers and business
- Teach all the webinars I would have the most fun teaching. This might even include a High School Math for Working Professionals course! (interested? Let me know here)
- Write all the books I would feel the most passionate about putting down at least 50,000 words towards
This breakthrough reminder to apply my own teachings and lessons liberated me to build, measure, learn, and have fun along the way.
Most of those experiments will likely fail. Some will do ok. One or two might do really well and resonate with an audience. And new ones will emerge from simply experimenting and designing the conditions for the creative process to flourish.
And in the end, I have faith that the strategy will emerge from figuring out what works as I build, measure, and learn.
Are you over thinking or over strategizing at the moment? If you are, reflect on that and consider how you might be able to take action and make progress instead of strategy. The strategy will come.
Just Do It!-Nike
I created a form so that you can let me know what topics for future courses, webinars, and programs are of most interest to you. If you haven’t indicated interest yet, please do so here. Thank you!