Today was a good day. I mentored at the NWEN here in town (which is an amazing program we should all support if we can), I pushed through quite a few to-dos, I remembered to actually eat dinner (yay!) and perhaps my favorite thing today — I kicked off my executive coaching again.
Now I’ve done executive coaching in the past in a number of forms – calls, coffees, weekend retreats, etc. Not much stuck to be honest. It’s a hard thing to get right. You have to find the right person, you have to be in a place where you can really absorb it, you need time to invest in it…you need to not be jaded about personal growth.
I don’t say that last one lightly. There are times I’ve been jaded about personal growth. Jaded because I’m not sure “investing in myself is even working” or jaded because “I can barely keep up with my daily responsibilities to others” and so on and so forth.
Executive coaching only works if you can enter an hour long session with an open and clear mind and be [gulp] vulnerable.
Lucky enough for me I found an amazing coach here in Seattle – Stacey Sargent from Connect G & D. I’ve known Stacey for years through organizational trainings she has done, empowerment seminars she led, and more. I’ve sipped cocktails with her, and coffee (many times). She is a gem of a woman, and also the executive coach that finally pointed out to me…in the most perfect way…I need some freaking help.
That’s always fun to hear. But I do. We all do. I would ramble on about all these big goals I have, and all the challenges that are freaking me out, and I’d talk about these amazing people that inspire me, and so on and so forth. Stacey would always bring it back to – but what do I want? How am I going to get there? What tools do I have to overcome the inevitable obstacles.
Big stuff for sure.
So anyway, she’s great, we kicked off our official training again today and I am stoked. I’m hoping to blog after every session about at least one or two lines that came up. The ones that stopped me in my tracks. The ones I wrote done and underlined…okay maybe a few times.
So today’s standout: we’ve all skipped steps.
Some context: Imposter syndrome is a real thing – for men and women (maybe more prominently in women, but let’s not make this blog post a gender discussion). Particularly in startups we spend a lot of our time kicking ourselves for what we haven’t done. I have never coded a wordpress blog – there I said it – I have only hired people and paid people to. I’ve never taken a design class. I’ve only hired in, worked alongside, absorbed theory and managed great designers.
We get pissed that we haven’t done X and Y, and we start to think – shit I wish I hadn’t skipped that step. But you know what?
We all skipped steps. That coworker to your left hasn’t done it all. That coworker to your right hasn’t done it all. They’ve been around a lot, they’ve seen a lot, and rest assure they have the gumption to tackle it head on when the new task comes there way. But so do you. That’s why you love startups. The unpredictable nature of the daily sideswipes.
Stop tearing yourself down because you’ve skipped a few steps. You accelerated, and pushed your way to the front line or the high-pressure role because you wanted to have an impact. You did a lot of great stuff along the way, and there is more to do. You’ll figure it out.
That’s my standout today: we’ve all skipped steps. That doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be where we are standing. It just means we have a lot to learn. Good thing for us that’s what us startup crazy cats love — learning new things, leveling up, doing more.
So get after it already, and cut yourself some slack. Make that list of things you “didn’t do with your own hands along the way” and then tear that shit up. It has much less to do with what you are doing now than you think it does.
More importantly – it has a lot less to do with what you need to get started on, than you could ever think possible. Trust me. We’ve all skipped steps. But we’ve all done a hell of a lot too. Well done you on that by the way. You go getter you.