Use What You Have

Dear reader,

our EU project has been successfully submitted. We managed with elegance, joy and lots of Skype issues. Luckily I have quite some number of Estonian friends, so there’s hope this too will improve sometimes soon.

It was a very hard task though, especially for someone who’s never done it and is not used to “the language”, “the style”, everything in between and has no clue about “how things are (or get) done”. Hardly a day passed where I managed to do anything else but sit in front of my two laptops and iPad or sleep or cook. Besides working on this project, I had to deliver a 2-day training (with lots of pleasure of course, and yet it had to be designed brand new, which also takes time and intellectual input) and we’ve launched the registration for Slovenian first Professional Solution Focused Training for those who would like to learn the skills and enhance their practice (Slovenians do check the link, it’s well worthwhile and it is published on a brand new Slovenian website. Oh right –  managed to do that as well somehow). No wonder I even abandoned my piano.

Over the last Skype, last Friday as we (our partnership) submitted the proposal, we discussed about our future tasks and ways of moving forward. One of the partners noted, she was really pleased with our strategy, ways of how we communicated, the atmosphere and energy. That is was so straightforward what had to be done, when and how.

There was a moment of my confession: had to admit there was no strategy. I as the coordinator, had absolutely no idea how we’ll make things happen and how we’re going to put a one-year long project together in due time. Honestly, all I knew was the next step. And that somehow got us to submit the project five days before the deadline.

How could that be? Very simple: use what you have. Don’t mourn about what you don’t have (yet or still) and instead utilize what you have at your disposal. It’s much more than what it first appears. And it’s enough to get you to where you need to be – to the next step. And then to the next one. And the next one. And so on. What worked for us and what we can learn from this:

  • We are a huge partnership. This makes it very hard to coordinate, true. And also, that means endless resoruces. If you work alone, you might get there fast. But if you work together, you might get far. Utilize partner’s resources.
  • When things go wrong, it’s probably not the end yet. Things will turn out fine. Trust the process.
  • Ask for help. If somebody offers their help and you need it, go for it. If they wouldn’t want to help, they wouldn’t offer it.
  • Be a voice, not an echo. If you want good results, you have to work harder than anyone else. Your passion will be a great example for others to follow and duplicate it. But if you expect others will do their job instead of you, you won’t get excellent results. And others will notice. Yes, they will.
  • Celebrate success. No matter how small. Celebrate it together with those who contributed to it. No matter the size of their contribution.
  • When somebody doesn’t do their job, trust them they have a good reason to delay or not do it. Don’t assume anything. They probably have a good reason and they will do their job as soon as they can.
  • Go wild! Dream about your project, dare to exaggerate. Be innovative and don’t follow the mainstream. We already have enough followers. We need breakthroughs. And they don’t come packed with instruction.

This is our lesson. It’s not a recipe. You’ll find your own lesson. However you might get inspired by ours. Good luck with your projects, whatever they are!


submitted application

Submitted! Well done team!!!

Be productive, set goals, make a marketing stragety, sell, grow, buy …

Dear reader,

since the beginning of Ribalon, I increasingly started to receive all sorts of invitations to various meetings, seminars and workshop about how I should run my business. From companies, agents, all sorts of “professionals” (real or fake).

When I answered and attended some, I’ve been advised to use a certain marketing strategy, was taught how to write a business plan and how to sell my services. All in terms to attract more “customers”, to bring in some investors, to increase productivity with as little efforts as possible, etc. In general – how the business should be, from the bottom down and reverse. It was not advice form a friend, but rather a comment from an expert who was convinced knows better about my company than I do.

Guess what. How I run my business is non of their business.

I don’t want to increase my productivity by appointing 10 clients a day. I rather do just one, but really do a great job with “only” one.

I don’t want to “sell” my services. They are not to be sold. They are to make people’s lives better.

I don’t want to adjust my price to the market. Quality has no “price”. I believe in the triangulation cheap – fast – good cannot go together (see the picture below). You have to pick the combination of the two you like. So if you want it good and fast, it’s not gonna be cheap, But if you want it to be fast and cheap, it’s not going to be good. I somehow refuse to do that. Your choice.

I don’t want to create the needs in people, so that they would need my services and would keep coming back. I want them to fly and to leave me as soon as possible, because this means they have taken up with their lives and I’ve done my job well.

I don’t want advice from someone who doesn’t care and only wants to make profits. But I do value feedback from people who do care. Who want to make this world a better place. Who want to see me grow, because they believe I do a good job. Who want to share their knowledge because they know it’s not theirs to keep it. Who care about other people. And environment. And who don’t think numbers, but instead think melodies.

I don’t want to make my company an investment opportunity for people who would like to buy it and later on sell it to a third party who pollutes our waters. Instead I want to sleep well at night and I want to keep the feeling that I love my job and that what I’m doing is exactly what I want and how I want. At the end of my life I want to look back and count all the memories I’ve created and I want to open my box where I keep them and read about all the stories from many people that I (hopefully have) touched. And I want to remember all the wonderful people I had an opportunity to learn from and create together. That’s my business strategy.

I want to make it the hard way. I want to put much efforts to it. I know I could probably buy my doctorate and nobody would find out, but what quality and worth would that have? For others? For me?

So I’ve created a filter and marked all these offers to make me a super modern enterpreneur a spam. Appologies if I’ve ofended someone. But I’m not sorry.

Now I’m off to do a two-day training at some new organization I’ve never worked with before. I’m really excited to meet and work with new people. Every time it’s different. And I remember each meeting as something magical.