Since reading Icarus Deception, by Seth Godin in 2012, I have been forcing myself to stop dancing with the Lizard Brain (aka the Resistance) and to look for ways to make myself stronger, more resilient, and willing to do the work required to get outside of my comfort zone.
In March of 2017, I made a decision to leap. I sent in my application to altMBA with a desire to force a change in myself. I was feeling stuck, looking for more, and uncertain how to level up.
After 5 years of moving forward, and forcing the edges of my own personal growth, I proved to myself that I was capable of more than I’d ever imagined. I hadn’t done anything alone, but it was time for me to finally claim responsibility for getting myself this far. I was owning my gifts, but I just didn’t know how to take the next step, and I was somewhat paralyzed with the success I had managed to find along the way. What if this is it? I was asking myself. And altMBA proved to me that “this” is just the beginning.
I had a phone conversation with a kindred spirit this week, to discuss some potential marketing for his company. He contacted me after his daughter, Zoe had encouraged him to reach out because, having worked for my agency as an intern this year, she felt that we shared some common values — and believed it would be worth having a conversation. As we talked, it was plainly clear to me that there were indeed some very common values, and we shared visions for ourselves and our futures.
Our conversation led to my recent graduation from altMBA. I suggested he consider it himself for this next phase of his business’s development. He said he would consider it, and a few hours later, he messaged me with this request:
“Would you be willing to share with me the 2–3 things that were most valuable to you that did or will have the biggest impact on you as a human being and in your business — and why?”
That is the purpose of this post. To share how altMBA has changed me and how others reading this might benefit from taking advantage of the opportunity to lean in and find the value of shipping — and shipping often.
Before this course, I was clear on one thing — that I needed to gain clarity. I was stuck, exploring a lot of possible directions, and unsure which one would be the “right one” for me. Through the work I completed and the conference calls I attended, I discovered what I can do when I am intentional and focused. I cannot say it provided me with every answer and that today, I have it all figured out — but that was not the point.
I can say, however, that I have learned to ship. The person I was before was holding back, waiting for something — but today, I am charging forward with the understanding that the work is in the doing, not in the perfecting. Perfecting comes from doing, not the other way around. altMBA has given me permission to leap more bravely and intentionally than before.
Since graduating with my altMBA:
- I have continued to build on the momentum that the altMBA experience has provided me. I have tools in my tool chest that I didn’t have before.
- Enrolling in altMBA gave me a reason to “excuse myself” from my regular schedule, and to learn that life goes on without me — such a liberating realization.
- I have shifted my priorities because I learned what should be delegated, and what needed my attention the most. (Still working on this).
- I have accepted the fluid nature of goals and forgiven myself for the “thrashing” that takes place when trying to find the path to achieve those goals.
- I have started to acknowledge the advantage of having other people on the team — and the importance of establishing a clearly defined vision that they too can follow.
- Fine-tuning the team is necessary — not everyone will “get it” and that’s ok. Shedding is healthy.
- I have connected with the alumni and discovered the wonderland — a community of people who think like me, who value the importance and significance of the work we are all doing, and a place for me to continue to nurture and grow.
I think, prior to altMBA, I was not looking at the work I have already done as valuable, not giving myself credit for what was working, and only demoralizing myself because I wasn’t further along the journey already. At the same time, I was stuck looking at this as a problem that I needed to overcome. It was like I kept running into the wall, hoping to find a door instead. Since, then this blindness has been replaced with a pivot in the short-term plan, as a means to get closer to the long-term plan. The final goal has not pivoted, only my openness to a new path to get there.
This energy has stayed alive by my team and I taking positive risks, daily. Incorporating my network of alumni, I have allowed myself a place to thrash, experiment, share and explore partnerships and opportunities that were not available to me prior to altMBA. I think anyone who has committed to the process will find an incredible world of fresh perspectives and welcoming mindsets within the “walls” of this experience. There is always something new to learn. I will continue to level up and hopefully, along the way, I will inspire someone else — maybe my new friend Chris, who asked me to share this experience — to take the leap, do the work, and see the world new again. But the most important outcome has been —
I am no longer stuck where I was.