Give your idea the space to breathe
Collins started the Pitch Fanzine almost five years ago with an original intention to showcase talent. She says of the process that she took her time with bringing the brand into the world. “I gave it time instead of rushing,” she says.
Ellis is quick to point out that although Amazing If has been around since 2013, she didn’t in fact intend to create a business or a “side project”, a phrase she says didn’t even exist back when her and her Co-Founder Helen Tupper first embarked on the Amazing If journey. She points out that she too has lots of ideas that she does nothing with; “the thing I’m best out is coming up with ideas and the thing I’m worst at is finishing things.”
What she says has been key is finding in Tupper a perfect partner in business. While Ellis comes up with ideas, Tupper organises and executes the ones worth pushing forwards with. “Together we’re good at converting those [ideas] into something useful,” she adds. The aim with Amazing If was to, as Ellis explains, “make career development democratised.” Once they had settled on their why, she says, it was about truly believing in what they were doing, advice she passes on: “having the courage and the confidence to talk about that idea in the first place and then really not worry about what it was and where it could go but just start.”
As one audience member posted in the chat, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” A quote which is attributed to Earl Nightingale.
Moving from plans to possibilities
As Kemp noted, 2020 has seen us all moving through the same storm but in remarkably different boats. For Rowntree, this year has seen the birth of a daughter, a very different kind of new project. She says that, even before her daughter was born, it was essential for her to stay creative: “I had to keep that creative spark alive because I knew it would make me a better mother.” For her, what’s most essential when launching something new is to remember that you did it for enjoyment. “When you start something you almost have to check your temperature and check, am I enjoying this?” she adds.
Ellis speaks powerfully about the shift from plan to possibility, about checking in with both mindset and skill set. When it comes to mindset, Ellis believes, “it’s around how can we stay optimistic?” She cautions that this isn’t about being happy all the time but instead shifting perspective because, she adds, “when we’re optimistic we’re good at spotting opportunities, solving problems and asking for help.”
Optimism is something that can be learned, she says, and also enhanced by recognising, every day, the very small successes you have. The problem is, she believes, that we are very outcome focused. We need to instead, “move away from the destination and actually think about, day to day, how am I moving forward with positive momentum?” Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and write those successes down. Make them real. Then when it comes to skillset, says Ellis, it all comes down to following your curiosity. “What are you curious about, what are you intrigued by, what gets you frustrated, what are the problems you’d want to solve?” she adds.