There’s an old saying I’m sure you’ve heard before, “There’s nothing new under the sun”. At face value it can sound daunting at a minimum, apathetic at worst. A sort of, “Why bother? It’s already been done”. That’s the way I’ve felt about it in the past but as time passes and experience builds I see it in a different, more comforting light. I see it as optimistic. A sort of comfort in knowing that whatever struggle I am encountering I can rest assured that others have been through the same…and survived.
You’re not the first person to have been dumped by their dream boy/girl.
You’re not the first person to get picked last.
You’re not alone when you miss what would have been the game winning shot.
You aren’t the first person who didn’t get the job after the 4th interview
You’re not the first person to have a hard time driving demand generation.
You’re not alone when prospects won’t return your calls.
There’s nothing new under the sun.
My wife’s grandmother had a gem of wisdom that she would use when she saw a young person make a mistake, or not take advantage of an opportunity. She would say, “You can’t put an old head on young shoulders”. She was right about that.
This is why we mentor, this is why good leaders are so important. This is why networking and relationships matter. While you can’t put an old head on young shoulders those of us with experience can share it.
This is my first go around as an executive at an early stage startup. There’s a lot I don’t know but thanks to my network and leaders like Kyle York, Ryan O’Hara and Tom Wentworth, I am learning. Kyle helped me establish the social media and content creation cadence for Explorics. He also introduced me to Ryan and Tom (among others). In a 1 hour lunch Ryan shared with me tidbits of prospecting techniques that I am still writing down almost a week later (that’s what happens when you’re passionate about what you do and sharing your experience with others). Tom provided some brilliant insights on messaging, potential buyer personas and pricing strategy.
What do these three influencers have in common? Experience. These leaders weren’t born with a robust, active network of colleagues and friends. It took years of hard work. They didn’t learn the art of prospecting, buyer persona development or pricing schemes though osmosis. It took trial and error, experimentation and likely some mentoring along the way. Everyone’s story is different. We all choose different paths. That’s what makes this diversity of experience so important.
I guess the point of this blog post is that at the end of the day we are all trying to succeed and not a single one of us has all of the answers. Giving of your time and experience to your peers, direct reports and partners is one of the best things we can do for one another. If you see someone struggling and have a solution, share it. If you’re struggling and think someone you know might have some insight, ask.
Rising tides lift all boats. Happy Holidays.