- Have some fear (maybe LOTS)
- Need to communicate to others what you are trying to do and enroll them in your efforts
- Lose your way, more than once
No wonder the wash out rate is so high. Photo by leafbug.
Here are three books that have helped me, and which I hope will help you:
- Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields. This is a must read for anyone who has attempted something big, struggled, maybe failed, and comes back for more, because it's how you are wired. And now, you want the next chapter to be lived with more ease, fun, and creativity. That describes where I am today. I applied several concepts immediately in the midst of rolling out a new initiative. (One example: setting up a private LinkedIn group for past customers to give me feedback during new product development. I call it my "virtual skunk works.") Fields provides both practical tools as well as scientific research that backs up why something works. The best line in the book: "I turned my own creative process into more of a dance than a race." Read this book if you want to dance more.
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. This book changed how I create presentations. And it did much more than that. It made me think deeply about how I communicate in general. Filled with great examples, advice from other smart people (like Seth Godin and Nancy Duarte), and a step-by-step process to using more of your whole brain when creating presentations, this was an eye opener in how much I had didn't know and could improve upon. I especially appreciate that Reynolds uses examples and stories to deepen his approach to communicating effectively. Photo by Clearly Ambiguous
- Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier. Written by the first Canadian Coach of the Year, Bungay Stanier provides exercises that are the foundation of doing great work--including identifying what brings you alive (and what does not), finding role models, confronting your fears, and knowing what support you have and what you still need. He uses visual "maps" to help the reader navigate unknown territory. One of the most useful maps is one that shows what to do when you've "lost your great work mojo." The video below provides more of Bungay Stanier's thoughts on what it takes to do great work:
In the process of reading all three books, you'll also find references and contributions to other wonderful thinkers (e.g., I'm now reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.) All three authors are part of a larger brain trust for the new entrepreneur. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.