Fak it, strangers & dots
Start always begins from the end, because this is when you understand where you got yourself in after doing all that. Trying to refer back what happened during these very intense 3 days in Riga, Latvia, it might take me longer, but will focus only highlights of my leranings.
At Startup Wise Guys startup accelerator‘s wrap-up party I met the guy (the biggest and guiltiest and actually very smart and nice one), on who I was picking when Techchill 2020 ticket purchase process didn’t go too smoothly. I was furious of the process and the delay that I experienced. It was my job to improve processes for roughly 20 years and in 2020 I have to suffer from “that process”. Noooh. Clearly there was a reason for this process (not that I would accept that argument) and sure they ran out of money at some point, so it was a s…y process and they new about it themselves, without me smartassing on them. Anyhow I got my ticket. But with this guy – we got into a very fruitful conversation about when and why things actually happen… Obviously after drinking few custom ordered Techchill beers, what was an art itself, as these 3000 bottles were ordered specially, designed for women as well and was described in terms of a prosecco, truck’s battery went dead during transportation and more stuf happened with labels and… But that’s another story already.
1. Fak it…
F..k it… or however you write it or pronounce, meand pretty always the same – you had enough! You did yourself or experienced some crap you think you are not worth doing or experiencing and you want a change. Usually this is the point when something happens. Pretty often this takes a form of new decision, principle, action, sometimes a startup. So what comes to creativity it means we should always embrace these moments when we experience in our minds the “fak it”, because things happen exactly then.
Revising my history of events and decisions, it’s been always that moment, when I realized I cannot take it any longer and I needed to have a change.
2. Always talk to strangers
Another moment I’d embrace myself when next happens: I just came out of Karma dealroom from another 15min meeting, head full of new information I was trying to box up in my head, a guy I noticed lurking around for quite time already, approaches me. Mother always told me don’t speak to strangers! But I was there to do the opposite – to talk to, Polite people, as we were, we exchanged our intros and then he started talking about stuff i was not interested in at all. I’ve heard a story like this years ago, it didn’t work out, I was not interested in listening for more. But he was nice and persuasive. Finally he got my attention. Frankly I had to admit, most likely not the best flying startup idea to instruct, but we can make it fly. It just needs much more work as the idea is not so obvious to many, yet very highly valued by its auditorium + very rewarding in terms of providing service that matters even in terms of sustainability.
But that wasn’t the reason I am writing it. Much more important was who he introduced me. Gently he asked a business woman near by (Techchill was sadly very male dominant, so she was a nice breeze to a large array of men) to approach us. He wanted to introduce us, as we could have a macth based on my intro. What happened next is the book of reasons why you should always talk to strangers. We are now talking about Million if not Billion Dollar Idea to develop. Yeah, it’s too early to say, but we’ll see.
3. Connecting dots
I must be an awesome salesman, I was told during a pretty common conversation I had with rather very experienced people. It bothered me then. And still it is. As it wasn’t said like to congratulate me or perhaps I took it too suspiciously and overreacted? Anyhow it relates pretty much to this cultural thing that we have here in Nordics. Active waiting and sometimes procrastination just takes over and we find tons of excuses why this is better that crawling out of our comfort-shell and start actually interacting. I will probably rememeber my whole life when I first applied for my first sales job ever. I was interviewed and asked: when there is a sales process and then they described me the purchase process. In lots of cases people forget what is their role as being CEO or in any other role responsible for Business Development. It is reaching out to explore unknown. It is connecting dots faster than competition. It is connecting dots that yesterday didn’t exist.
This is why people rather text messages and expect answers that never arrive. This is why we can develop tons of services seving these generations not willing to speak out. This is why World needs people to got to these conferences, willing to suffer 15min conversations from 9 to 17 for 2 days on a row. To investigate possible targets during nights before conference and after warm-up parties, between meetings, after meetings. Who prepare their stories and intros, who train to become better at things they suck at. Who take so much crap because they don’t know, who learn it all through pain what could break spines and they at one point say “Fak it, I did it! Now I know!”.
So I am not the person to arque with about business development is about marketing and active waiting. I am very much enjoying connecting dots and making things happen that didn’t exist yesterday. And you know what? You can do it also. But you could also become a perfect designer or software developer or actually the plane pilot or even flight attendant. So try out and sense what is right for you, then do it. But it starts with crawling out from your comfort shell.