Year 2, or how not to panic

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The months have slipped by faster than expected (as usual) and boy what a crazy 7 months it’s been since my last post. My purpose was to focus on getting things moving, and while overall things have progressed, it’s been a challenging year.

A few of the really nice plusses that have happened:

  • Conducted ‘Present like a pro’ for MaGIC in Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
  • Became a simulation master for a program under Axiata for 80 prospective management trainees.
  • Launched 3 new products, with a 4th under development.
  • Joined a new ad agency that’s testing out a new business model.

Annnndd the nerve wrecking speed bumps along the way:

  • Had a string of product defects resulting in some customer service issues.
  • Quality control issues late in the manufacturing process that resulted in delays.
  • Lower than expected sales performance.
  • Plus a slower training schedule.

What a roller coaster so far into year 2! Here’s some of the stuff that I’ve realised along the way.

As I crossed into year 2, many amazing things have happened that pumped me up. Without realising it, every win created a higher ‘floor’ for me. This resulted in an overall increase in expectations that honestly became unrealistic. While intellectually, I understood that, it took awhile to appreciate that I was subjecting myself to that raised bar of expecting only ‘good things’ to happen continuously.

It takes a time to adjust to a new emotional normal

I’m more saddled with the need for control that I’d like to admit, but that’s my demon to battle against. With that personality trait, when things go out of whack, it’s ‘oh shit oh shit oh shit’ raging on in my head. The reasonable amount of self awareness I have tends to become a double edged sword here.

Thanks to the ability to observe myself feeling that way, initially this was accompanied by my own self judgement. So feeling bad compounded itself! Over time, I realised I was not only mostly jumping at shadows, but I grew more accepting of that feeling when it arrives. I just try not to let my reaction and self judgement keep me down.

Awesome solution 1: Remembering your why

When things are going great, you’re thinking ‘this is the best decision ever!’. It flips around quickly during those harsh times and you start to really miss the stability of being a full time employee. Your mind then brings up the good times, being with awesome colleagues, having a nice office, a cool salary. Suddenly you’re knee deep in ‘why the heck am I putting myself through this’.

Right here is where you’re suddenly recalling that reason why, that you committed to memory, or wrote down in Evernote as a reminder to yourself. Or you come up short and then quickly apply for jobs. Either way, it’ll get you where you need to go.

Awesome solution 2: Gratitude

Not too long ago, I picked up this great trick, but I can’t recall where from. Most of the times, we whine to ourselves saying ‘Ugh I have to do this and that’. The simple trick is changing that sentence to ‘Wow, I GET to do this’. Of course, the words themselves are meaningless without the emotional connection to it.

But like Gary Vaynerchuck puts it; “You’re a human being on planet earth. Alive. You’ve won the f@ckin lottery”. I’ll add to that the fact that if you’re watching him on YouTube, or reading this blog, it’s even more proof that you’re miles ahead of most people in the world.

I GET to wake up and build a business around helping people feel more confident in any pitch. I GET to work on a range of different businesses. I GET to meet so many amazing people from different backgrounds and passions. I GET to choose who I work with (mostly haha). I GET to build something that I can be proud of.

I lucked out. The best part is, you did too.


Soon MinYear 2, or how not to panic