How often do you see how things should be, but procrastinate simple action steps to change the things that you already have control over?
We have been going through a great brand strategy audit with an awesome agency called RoundPeg over the last few months as since we won the Customer RelationSHIFT grant they offered to B Corps. RoundPeg is a fellow B Corp that specializes in helping brands engage customers around their social mission and purpose and values.
Once in awhile, it's really good to have someone hold the mirror up and show you how you're appearing to the world.
Let's just say there's lots of room for improvement, like when we saw this is how our product is arriving to people purchasing on our website. Ouch. Just heartbreaking. And it's ultimately my fault for taking my eyes off of the details.
Not at all the experience we've been planning to develop, but overlooked, totally unacceptable and easily fixable with negligible cost and effort. The details got lost as we were scrambling to keep up with growing pains.
We snapped to attention and we're already implementing a fix in the next week. My team at Olomomo is deeply awesome and caring and we all grimaced when we saw this.
The next day, one of our employees initiated a plan that was even better than what I had been envisioning for awhile.
As much as this kind of thing happens to a growing brand all the time, I think we all need a mirror held up from time to time in our personal lives as well.
I think we all know where we need to improve, but it's easy to procrastinate and stay in a comfort zone - even if that comfort zone isn't really where you envision you'd like to be.
As creatures of habit, inertia creeps in and locks us into patterns of mediocrity. And that often starts by not taking the time to set the bar higher in the first place. We set the inertia in motion at a mediocre starting point, and then it's harder to change down the road.
As much as I'm a believer in the "rapid prototyping" or "lean startup" approach, it's also important to make a commitment to iteration and improvement. It's really hard to change once something is out there in the world at scale.
So having a friend or an objective witness hold up a mirror and give you a kick in the pants is super important.
And when our friends at RoundPeg were going over their observations of how our brand was showing up, their recommendation- "kick ass where you have control" - smacked me in the face more than anything I've heard in a long time. It's been my mantra for the last two weeks as I juggle through the minutiae of keeping things moving in two jobs and trying to balance that with being a good dad and husband. (Yes, I still have a day job, that I love, with Care2.com.)
This is huge mindset shift that has taken my thoughts from "if only we could be doing more, faster" and always feeling behind, to almost more of a mindset of gratitude and focus around "how can we deepen the quality of every relationship and touchpoint we already have," which of course will inherently lead to the growth we desire. It's also way more energizing, and less stressful than trying to tackle all of the things where we really don't have any control.
If we all just committed to doing this every day, in work and even in our family roles and relationships, imagine the difference that would add up over time.