First 20 days of 2020

I helped run a two week bootcamp in Cape Town, South Africa where we nurtured entrepreneurs solving social impact problems in the local market. Hope your 2020 is off to an amazing start!

BonBillo Bootcamp

BonBillo brought a cohort of 8 ventures through a structured curriculum and helped them define the venture’s theory of change. As one participant said, “bootcamp is like bringing your business to school.” Our team of 3 complementary skill sets helped spark new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new perspectives to their venture. Most rewarding is to see the delta each entrepreneur experienced as they grew. 

BonBillo partnered with two amazing organizations locally. Startupbootcamp Afritech for guidance navigating the local startup ecosystem and VACorps for memorable excursions and experiences. Our teams received a lovely feature in a local venture publication; let me know if you’d like to learn more about our teams. 

In lieu of traditional New Year resolutions, I’m settling into the pathways I’ve been forging. Deepening my commitment to my art, my startups, my students, and myself. Grateful for the opportunities to nurture the next generation of founders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. Grateful for the amazingly talented individuals in my universe. Grateful that you are part of my journey. 

Journeys are never linear

I launched my first class teaching with an epic technology fail. We swiftly recovered with a pre-recorded video; embarrassingly evocative of Office Space, complete with a ficus tree in the background. I’m highly confident the video will not go viral; please don’t bribe my Teaching Assistant. 

I did share with my students learning is an emotional process. Growth is always emotional. All emotions are valid. I am highly confident I will have additional epic failures during my journey as an instructor. However, I genuinely interpret “epic failures” with an orientation towards a Growth Mindset. 

I am also an epic planner. It’s one of my superpowers. Planning a directional journey helps you realize when you need to course-correct. Not the planning-every-last-detail-micro-manager type. The type of introverted planner that deeply cogitates and then coordinates. Say for example, what would happen if our journey led us to trip and fall into a deep canyon like our stick figure friend in the illustration. 

We can either wallow at the bottom of the canyon because we failed. Or we can evaluate our inventory of food, water, and supplies in our rucksack. Look to the people supporting our journey. Evaluate the canyon walls. Make a determination of rock climbing the ledge or signaling to people for help. Growth is always emotional. All emotions are valid.

How can I help your journey?

How to create a culture that attracts top talent – panel recap

Grateful for the opportunity to help the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and go-getters! I spoke on a panel during Startup Boston Week. Aubrie did a phenomenal job moderating a panel with brilliant colleagues: Melissa, Kevin, and Lori. 

I mentioned a couple resources and wanted to summarize here:

  • Bring your whole self to work. Adore the culture blog by Motley Fool. I’m especially cautious that bring your whole self to work does not mean bring-your-bag-of-drama-to-work day 🙂 We are humans going through this journey and it is important to extend compassion in the workplace. 
  • Hiring takes hustle. There are no silver bullets to hiring the “perfect” candidate. Colleague. Every resume is a potential colleague who will add tremendous value to your startup. See the possibilities, be self aware of the startup’s current business stage, and ask meaningful questions.
  • Trust Gap. Understanding how each individual trusts and what they need to bridge the trust gap is incredibly powerful. Some folks automatically trust a person they meet for the first time. Other folks need you to earn their trust. It’s a spectrum, not binary. 
  • Timing & Peak Performance. Understand when you are most productive, energetic, and resourceful. Plan your day around you! Be mindful that your colleague’s most productive time might be opposite of you. Work is no longer 9 to 5. Butts in seats does not equal productivity. 

Good luck to all the participants in the session! Have a great time during Startup Boston Week! 

Need more inspiration? I regularly curate articles to my Pinterest board, follow along!

What are you waiting for?

Often times our people strategy lags behind the business strategy. You know a business strategy includes building the product, securing funding, and proving our go to market concept. People are resources we hire and delegate responsibility. But what happens when we grow so fast that we overlook our people strategy?

The expense of not having a people strategy is often unreported – lack of trust, turnover, disengagement, etc. All of these impact your business strategy. How many headlines have you read about ousted CEOs, claims of harassment, or back channel murmurs?

So what are you waiting for?

Let’s get started!