What seems to be a lonely mentor walking his dog in forest …is not actually it. I am not lonely – we have walked thousands of kilometers during 2020, something I would have never thought of myself. Yesterday it was so beautiful as a lot of snow came down and forest was full of people hiking with and without dogs with them. With a joke in mind – we saw more people in the forest that in the city. On top of it I am not walking my dog, I am kinda step-dad to the dog although we might be considered very close. These strange times have had its toll on all of us. Some of it I actually like.
What went wrong
Really, I miss travelling. Among other human rights like water, cash, startups and wifi the travelling was my thing I miss the most. Luckily I sneaked out for 1x to try out hiking. Well, that was a journey of its kind. Never would have thought we have so much of an adventures during it. In short we visited Germany, next to Dresden there is a small town called Pirna where beautiful Malerweg hiking track starts and ends. We did it a bit faster than planned and we should have pre-book all our nights in some cottages or B&Bs, instead we had to suffer 5star hotels and their offerings for some nights. Yet best night ever was spent in village named Zmilka next to Czech border inbetween hills. Our trip back to home topped running out of gas on the highway and polite Polish young guy offered his help. So we got only 1h later to Berlin.
I miss physical conferences and meetings with people when free conversations take place, after formal part is over. Zoom and Meet calls are very practical and time saving, but they keep you very focused on topics you have. Everything else is left out in terms of efficiency and it is boring. People are much more interesting when they get a bit bored and they are interested in …me 😉 And I am interested in them. But I tried this out – to have online calls without a purpose. Feels strange, but after 1h it gets better. You should give it a try.
What went better
Focus – I hate to say, but Zoom and Meet made my days much faster. I had to learn how to have 6-8 meetings per day, running for a coffee or toilet in minutes. Otherwise sticking to the point. Yet these were really exhausting days. And I corrected my schedules accordingly. A man (like a woman) needs some time to breathe and gather his (her) thoughts before next meetings. And boy, lots of thoughts we got from these meetings around the Globe. People are open to business, yet new to things they try out. So time you gotta have now.
New contacts – Money moves through businesses, relations go by people. Money we did not move a lot, that’s a bit sad. Contacts we made a lot instead. And we keep on meeting new people to discuss, to learn, to help, to challenge, to understand. It makes you wonder how much of a person are you able to grasp during this 45-60 min. meeting of “old-times”. I’d say online-meetings are much more intense. Yes, you cannot feel their full scope psyche, their handshakes nor smell perfumes, but all visible marks are there, laid out for you to read and interpret.
Working alone – I was never “alone working single white male” type of guy. I am a social animal and I need to interact with people, perhaps even more than “an average” human. I have to admit, I have procrastinated, a lot. Days. Luckily I have friends who drag me back to daylight to have small occasions, meetings, dinners and stuff. Surprisingly this is the single best cure I have found. OK, I can’t outrule inspiring people telling me about their businesses or challenges in life.
Challenges – oh yes, these make our blood to boil. Enterprise Estonia together with Civitta and Estonian Business School offered me a chance to go a bit deeper in coaching. Little did I know of that discipline till that point. Saying: “I don’t need a coach” is the most stupid thing to say for me today. And right away did I found one for myself. I got a definition as a challenging coach after my trainings. I like to seek for something not seen at first glimpse. I don’t care what you present you are. My interests go beyond outlooks – what are you capable of. I noticed, we all tend to underestimate ourselves. We have all the possible power in us. And we just sit and wait. That made me wonder, what am I capable of?
Understanding myself – I felt like 30 again. In 2020 I realised why I can do something and why cannot I do something else. And I still amaze myself, as I am still learning new stuff of myself. Listening is a skill we tend to forget too easily. And by listening I mean not just others, but more of yourself. Saying NO is one good thing. Challenging yourself already another. Finding motivation and strengths to follow disciplines already next. Surrounding yourself with people giving you precise amount of push or drag, complementing you in areas you need help is achievable once you know yourself good enough. But I am not there yet, I’m still the donkey asking Shrek “are we there yet?”
All these great opportunities that were presented to me gave me lessons and I humbly greet my business partners with whom I did business with in 2020.
Numbers per year
- I have never walked so many kilometers.
- I have never thought so many thoughts.
- I have never studied so many new concepts.
- I have never made so many new contacts.
- I have never analysed so many businesses.
- I have never developed so many strategies for others.
- I have never developed so many strategies for my own businesses.