Weekly Reflection: Week Ninety-Five
Today marks the end of my ninety-fifth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week ninety-five:
- Atlanta – I had great conversations with various people about new initiatives happening in Atlanta around start-ups and entrepreneurship. The city is on an upward trajectory. I’m excited to be part of it and can’t wait to see where Atlanta is in ten years. I foresee Atlanta as being the internationally recognized capital of the Southeast and known for inclusive entrepreneurship.
- Beginner’s mindset – Another investor I respect shared this term with me a few months ago. It’s hard to disregard what you know and have experienced when looking at opportunities, but since then I’ve been more aware of this mindset and more intentional about looking at things from a fresh perspective. Talking with credible people this week about things I’m researching was a good way to induce a beginner’s mindset.
- Energizing chats – I had a few great chats this week. Some personal, some business, some a mix of both. They were helpful and energizing. It’s always enjoyable to connect with good people.
Week ninety-five was a high-activity week. I got a lot done—but still have a lot to do next week.
Weekly Reflection: Week Ninety-Four
Today marks the end of my ninety-fourth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week ninety-four:
- More current learning – Learning new things is important to me. And reading books is one of my favorite ways to learn. One problem: the pace of change in the world is accelerating, and books aren’t always up-to-date. This week I spent time thinking about other ways I can learn more current information efficiently.
- Habits – I implemented some new habits this week. Some went well, while others will take more work. I’m confident they’re the right habits, but it will take time for them to become second nature.
Week ninety-four was productive and steady. Looking forward to keeping up the momentum next week.
Weekly Reflection: Week Ninety-Three
Today marks the end of my ninety-third week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week ninety-three:
- New year – This week was the first week of the new year and the first week back in the office. Felt great to start fresh. I’m focused on being more intentional as I get this year going.
- Something planned – It’s hard to plan far out in the current environment, but I want to always have something planned that I can look forward to.
Week ninety-three was a great week. I’m energized and ready for 2022!
What I’ll Be Working on for the Rest of 2021
Yesterday was the finale of the holiday season for me. I had a great time celebrating Christmas with friends and family, and I’m appreciative of the opportunity for food and fellowship. Admittedly, I’m still a little in holiday mode, but I’ve started thinking about what I want to work on during the last few days of 2021.
I’ve got a book I want to finish reading and a few YouTube videos I want to watch. The most important thing, though, is finalizing my 2022 habits. I want to start the new year practicing small daily habits that align with where I’m aiming to be long-term.
Looking forward to perfecting my list of habits and sharing them with people close to me!
Weekly Reflection: Week Ninety-One
Today marks the end of my ninety-first week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week ninety-one:
- Christmas – This week, the focus was on getting ready for the holiday. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Planning on enjoying the food and fellowship with family and friends!
Week ninety-one was a holiday week. I’m looking forward to Christmas and more down time next week!
Weekly Reflection: Week Ninety
Today marks the end of my ninetieth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week ninety:
- Crunch time – This week was packed full. It was crunch time. I got lots of stuff done in a short time, but I felt it. Feeling a bit tired.
- New project – I was finally able to overcome the hurdle I’d run into and get this moving forward. I learned a lot, and I’m excited to get back to moving this toward the finish line.
- Christmas – After wrapping up this week, I’m able to think about Christmas now. I’m excited to connect with friends and family next week for the holiday.
Week ninety was long and tiring but productive. Looking forward to the holiday!
Good Questions = Better Decisions
I was watching a video today about decision-making. The presenter said that being asked good questions leads to making better decisions. I thought about this and reflected on my own experiences.
As a founder, I was part of a peer group of founders. One of the things I enjoyed was getting the perspective of the other founders on particular situations. Inevitably they would ask a series of questions to help them understand the situation better before they expressed any opinions or gave any advice. Their questions were sometimes invaluable. And they often forced me to think about things I hadn’t before or perspectives I hadn’t considered. I credit some questions from that group with leading to some of my better decisions.
I agree with today’s video, with a caveat: good questions from credible people lead to better decisions.
PAUSE to Mitigate Bias in Decision-Making
A friend shared a video with me today. They didn’t say what it was about but assured me I’d like it. They were right. It went deep on unconscious bias. This is something I’ve thought a lot about but frankly haven’t taken the time to study. The video did a great job of filling in lots of gaps. It shared a framework that can be used to mitigate unconscious bias. Here’s how it works:
- P – Pay attention and notice your reactions and assumptions. We all react to situations and people. Being on the lookout for how you do it is important.
- A – Acknowledge your assumptions. Assumptions affect how we relate to people and situations. And they lead to your brain making decisions on your behalf without your conscious permission. Be aware of your assumptions to be aware of what’s affecting how you relate to people and make decisions.
- U – Understand your perspective. In other words, be self-aware. How is your history affecting how you perceive a situation or person? Different life experiences lead to different perspectives. Your perspective might not be the only way to see things.
- S – Seek different perspectives. This helps you understand that your point of view is just that, a point of view. Not the objective truth. Hearing other perspectives can help you understand whether your assumptions are valid. Making a habit of hearing and understanding (not necessarily agreeing with) other perspectives also helps build empathy. Building human connections with people who are different from you can lead to more positive impressions of entire groups of people.
- E – Examine your options. After disrupting bias with the above-mentioned steps, you probably have more options. Use them to make an objective decision.
I have bias, and so does everyone else. Today I learned that bias is natural and necessary for human survival and decision-making. It’s based on assumptions and helps us in many instances by reducing the amount of thought required to make a decision. Being aware of bias and not making critical or complex decisions decision based on bias is the key.
Weekly Reflection: Week Eighty-Nine
Today marks the end of my eighty-ninth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week eighty-nine:
- Connecting the dots – I spent a few weeks thinking about a problem and collecting insights from others. This week, I was able to connect some dots. I still have lots to figure out, but it felt good to make some progress. Not sure where this will go exactly, but I feel good about the direction.
- New project – I hit an unexpected snag. I’m frustrated, but I’m reminding myself that part of the reason I’m doing this is to learn. I still want to get this wrapped up before Christmas, so I’ll keep pushing next week.
Week eighty-nine was busy. Still have lots to get done before December 25.
Break an Unhelpful Cycle by Sharing as You Go
An entrepreneur buddy recently was a guest on a podcast, and he shared the recording with me. He told the host about his journey and his learnings to date as an entrepreneur. One of the things he mentioned was that he’d had tunnel vision early on, which was a mistake. He kept his head down and executed as best he could. He didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial family and didn’t know many entrepreneurs. He used his street smarts and hustle to figure it out . . . the hard way.
Looking back, he now realizes that his journey was more difficult than it needed to be because people who came before him did the exact same thing: built their businesses, heads down. They weren’t sharing what they were learning as they went along. My friend wants to change this approach, which perpetuates a cycle of people making the same mistakes and learning the hard way.
His journey as an entrepreneur is far from over, but he now makes a point of publicly sharing it and what he’s learned. He doesn’t have it all figured out, and he says so. But his hope is that someone listening will avoid some pitfalls and execute faster than he was able to. Or someone on the fence about entrepreneurship will be motivated to give it a try.
Kudos to him for being intentional about sharing his learnings in real time. All too often, successful founders wait until the end of their career to share their knowledge. It’s great that they do that, of course, but I think that doing it along the way gives the people who hear them information that’s more current and therefore more relevant—so it’s more helpful.
I hope more founders start sharing what they learn as they go!