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The value you create in the work you do today both starts today, and is the result of efforts you made in years past to start learning something new.
All of the skills, the experiences, the pain, the frustration, the failures, and mistakes are part of who you are and what you offer.
None of it needs to be wasted. It’s all for your good and for those you serve.
So, keep offering up your best work and …keep planting the seeds that will become a tree in your future.
Episode 104 Show Notes
Episode 104 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 104 One step ahead. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work, but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Yeah, yeah. Mm. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now Chinese proverb. I love that quote for many reasons because there are so many lessons hidden in it, and I’m not going to talk about all of those lessons today, but I am reaping the benefits of past pain, if that makes any sense, I have many experiences in life and in my work. And it’s so interesting to be in moments right now where all of my efforts in the past get to be used for the benefit of others and for myself. And I’ve been talking a lot lately about how no experience is ever wasted. Unless, of course, you waste it because even those things that are painful, hard, long lasting challenges can be useful in your life and work. Recently, I was coaching someone, and we happened to be talking about her website and she mentioned which tool she was using to create with and I was like Oh yeah, I’ve tried that tool before. It’s been a couple of years, but I can go into it and see if I can figure it out again. And so she gave me access to her website and I was able to go in and figure out how to use it, and one of the reasons I was able to figure it out is because I’ve spent hundreds of hours figuring out how to use a different website tools. It all started out when a roommate and I both signed up for Geocities websites and made a few pages and then in graduate school when we had to learn how to create HTML based Web pages and we could use templates, but we could also focus just on the code, so I decided to focus just on the code to make very basic HTML pages and a very basic website. In fact, my website was basically a family website and each page was a different person in my family where I said who they were, what their interests were and where they lived right? So it’s just kind of a fun thing to put together and share with my family and learn some new skills. And of course, in that process, I decided to also check out the templates in Dreamweaver. And then from there I became interested in blogs when they came out and I used Blogger and Tumbler and WordPress and I moved on to square space and wicks and wordpress dot com and wordpress dot org. And I knew the differences between them and I experimented for hours with different templates and pages and widgets, and I’ve never had amazing websites, but I have played around with them a lot. I have noticed the trade offs you would make in creating a website and over the years learned how to keep it simple because you really didn’t need all the widgets and everything you needed Very simple website. And nowadays, of course, you can put less into the website as an entrepreneur and more into a sales funnel right using different tools, then the website. I guess you could do it on the website if you wanted to, but you would be having to do a lot of extra customizing and configuring to do that. So now when people come to ask me questions about websites, I’m able to talk to it, right? And oh, you know what? You may not need to do that. You may want to take a look at this option or just pay this little extra, and you can have all these templates at your disposal. So any time you change your mind, you can just change it up. And then I show them how to smartly use different categories and tags in some of the tools, so that even if you change up the template, it’s still going to display your stuff in interesting ways. And sometimes I think when I charge some people for this knowledge that I’m charging too much, perhaps because they could definitely get someone cheaper to do their website for them at the same time, everything that I’m saying to them is coming from many hours of mistakes and staying up late into the night trying to find just the right template or just the right way to display a particular website. And so when I think of it in that respect, I think how lucky I can save them hours of time for a very cheap price. Over the years, I also learned a lot about marketing and using email automation tools and some about sales funnels and a few things about graphics and book publishing and, of course, podcast creation. And I’m able to answer questions for people that just need someone a few steps ahead of them. They don’t need some expert that can do all of this extravagant stuff. They need some basic things done, and I can help. And so I helped. And most of the knowledge I gained from all these years of experiences didn’t net me any money, in fact, very little. But it did help me expand my relationships online, connect with different entrepreneurs, connect with people that were trying to offer up their best work. And I’m grateful for that. And now some people are paying me to help them with that kind of work. I’ve talked a few times about all of the years of project management I had in the world of instructional design and creating online courses and classroom courses and tools that can help people at their point of need, kind of like the how to videos on YouTube, right? You don’t have to go through a full training. You just want someone to show you how to do it. Later. You can learn all the reasons why and more troubleshooting skills. But right at that moment you may just need to accomplish something. And so I’ve been involved in every part of corporate learning. It seems right. The design of products, the development of products, the implementation of products, the maintenance of products and helping with the overarching strategies that are used to determine what products to create and what systems to the deliver them through, like the learning management systems and what learning tools to use to create them with. And I’ve been through all the painful experiences of choosing those systems and working with different stakeholders and leadership and working with different vendors and, of course, with the people that are going to use whatever we create and deliver. And it’s so interesting to have been in all of those business process reengineering discussions and discussions around the standards and the processes and help this support all of the things associated with this. And now, as people ask questions, I’m easily able to answer them because I lived it. I lived all of the pain. I had to go through the nuances of making some decisions. There’s some things we assume because of our experiences, right? So if you’ve ever uploaded a YouTube video, for example, you think, Ah, that was easy. Once you do it once, once you get over the angst of being on camera, once you get over the angst of not knowing what’s involved and you do it, you’re like, Oh, that wasn’t too bad But then we can mistakenly think that other people are doing the same thing as they create online courses or other products online. And once we delve into that, we realize, Wait a second. There’s so much more that goes on, and then an even more goes on if that same little video as part of an organization, corporation, a government entity or something large where a lot of people have to put their opinions into it, and it also has to represent a brand and a product line that can be replicated because, of course, a person uploading a video is very different from an organization that may be uploading hundreds a day and have to make different decisions about how to tag it and what taxonomy is created with it and who’s going to maintain it. And what is the maintenance, anyway? Is it throwing the video out, or is it editing it and you get a new actor or keep the same one and how much you’re going to pay for it? And so on and so forth. All of these layers are discussions of the past are seeds that were planted long ago that are now enabling me to be one step ahead of others that are going through experiences for the first time. It’s interesting that one of the gifts and talents that come along with this is having more understanding and compassion and patience for those that are going through this process for the first time. And I think that’s especially important when you are dealing with very experienced people that have expertise in one area of their life. But they don’t have it in another area of their life where they desperately need it now for their work. I work with a lot of people that are in their fifties, sixties seventies and some eighties and are very accomplished and knowledgeable. They’ve gone through life, but they’re not comfortable with technology or they’ve never created a learning product or a website before. And there’s nothing wrong with that. They’re just not been exposed to it in the same way that some of us have. And how do you help someone plant the seed now, knowing that there’s going to be a long time before they’re proficient at it, just like a tree taking 20 years to grow? Sometimes we use these long learning periods as an excuse to not start something. But think about who you will be five years from now, or 10 or 15 or even one. Would you hope that you had tried to start the process of learning that new thing that you want to learn? Would you hope that one small effort today and every day thereafter would amount to something in a year or five years? And even though you don’t get to reap the benefit right now, you would be able to in the long term. And all of that pain would also have benefits and side effects that you don’t know about it. This time, I had no idea when I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey, that I would be a coach and that I’d be an advisor and that I’d be a consultant. I kind of hoped just to have a simple product that I sold, and I’d make millions of dollars off of it. Uh huh. Have the big idea and guess what? My products haven’t made millions of dollars yet, but I’ve learned a lot, and none of what I’ve learned is wasted because it’s going to help me for that moment that I think of what that product should be. And it’s helping others create their products or improve themselves in the process. How great is that? It’s wonderful to be in these moments right now where I will just share something that I think is just a simple tidbit of information, and someone will treat it like it’s a golden nugget or a pearl. They are valuing something that’s come from years of my experience, and I’m often surprised when this happens, especially when it’s something that it took so many battles to fight in an organization right? You’d have to fight to be heard or two represent a point of view, even when you were the one that knew the most about it. You still have to fight for it right and prove that it was worth it. And yet I can walk into some environments now and people just trust it, and they’re like, Oh, that was great idea. We’re so glad you thought of that. We’ve been stewing over this for weeks, and in the process of recognizing that they may love certain things that I share so easily with them. I’ve also realized that I often don’t value my own experiences. My own lessons learned my own experiences with pain and that matters. It’s important for you to value your past experience. It’s important to value all the hard stuff. You learned a lot through it. It’s part of what you offer in your work, and in the rest of your life there’s insights that you have to share. There’s lessons learned. There’s ability to troubleshoot certain problems. There’s higher levels of decision making that you have when you’ve gone through certain experiences and come out the other end successful or at least just able to come out the other end. Mhm and sometimes that’s success. Mhm. I would encourage you today to keep planting the seeds and trusting that trees are starting to grow. And some of those trees you planted years ago when you embarked on the adventure to learn and to work and grow. And some of those you need to start today for yourself and I say Need if you keep having a nudge inside to get started and especially if you’re saying no, it’s too late or no, I don’t have time. No, I don’t have the money. No, I’m too old. No one will care. Anyway, Question that thought and say, What could it hurt if I started to embark on this right now and a year from now, I look back and go Oh, I did it. Or a year from now you could say, Oh, shoot. Maybe I should start planning that. See, today whatever it is, keep going and take time to recognize what you have to offer based upon the experiences, the skills, the mistakes, the failures and all of the things from the past. It is not a waste. There was a reason for it, and sometimes it will be a very long time before you recognize the reason or before you are ready to share and the right people are drawn to you as a result because they need to learn from you. I was talking to my sister today, and she has gone through her own health challenges and journey, and as a result, she is now helping people on their journeys to improve their health, a woman that is going through chemotherapy and other health challenges. I sent her a text message today and said, Please help me. I need you to tell me what products to use to get my gut healthy again. I am so sick. I need your help. Please call me today because my sister has been sharing information online because she’s been sharing her failures, her insights, her products online. This old friend of hers from college has reached out to her and has decided that my sister is the person that’s going to help her. Sure, she’ll keep going to the doctors, but she recognizes something and my sister’s painful experiences in the past. She recognizes something and what has changed and my sister, and she wants part of that, too. No pain or experience is wasted unless of course we waste it. Don’t waste the experiences. Use them to spur you on to more learning and growth. Use them to help others on their journey. And all you have to be is one step ahead, and you can help pull them along and give them hope that they, too, can offer up their best work. Keep stepping forward. Talk to you soon. Mhm. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. Mhm, yeah.