Planning in action with Terra Winston

(a snappy title for a snappy woman)

Variety is the spice of life, and Terra Winston is the spice of World Chicago.

Terra Winston (left) and me (right). In case there’s any confusion, no — I am not getting enough sleep.

World Chicago is the organization that I have to thank for bringing me to the USA. They have this amazing program, taking entrepreneurial whizzes from the Balkans (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Republic of Macedonia) and bringing the to the entrepreneurial hosts right here in Chicago. I’m with Holistic Index, but other fellows are placed in all kinds of different organizations. They actually do this twice per year — the spring 2019 applications are open, in case you’re interested!

The goals of every fellow are different — we want to network, we want to grow and improve various skills, we want to impact and be impacted on. We want to gain as much as we can from this experience, and we’re not afraid to bend over backwards to get that done.

We also want to go out, have fun, travel and send home photos that will inspire others to get moving and shaking.

Our way of supporting this amazing opportunity we’ve been given is to organize some sort of activity in our home countries that utilizes our experience and newly acquired networks.

No matter what we want to do, there’s one person that can help us out: Terra Winston.

The World Chicago Fall 2018 fellows and Terra

Who is she? Only the trailblazing guru that has dedicated her career and her life to helping other be as exceptional as they can be. She’s also been around every group of fellows that’s come through Chicago, and it’s safe to say she’s had a hand in creating young leaders all over the world. She’s founded inTerract Consulting, she’s worked in corporate and entrepreneurial environments, she’s been on every side of every argument and come out smelling like a rose…

In short, she’s intimidating as hell.

Well, not really. She’s just somebody you see heads turning towards, and you have an overwhelming urge to be as impressive as you can so she actually laughs at your jokes because you’re funny and not because you look so desperate she feels like she should be kind.

(I’m really not good at talking to people I admire. Should I add that to my CV or just go right ahead and issue a public apology?)

Notice me at Terra’s side, looking determinedly at my screen and pretending I don’t exist.

We had a meeting with Terra where she did her best to wrap our minds around action planning — in other words, putting to paper all the stuff we want to do as a take-away from this fellowship. It’s strategic, it’s creative, but your main challenge is probably going to be getting the logistics settled months in advance.

A real influencer doesn’t blindly stick to the subject (Action Planning, in this case), but does their best to emphasize all the important aspects of an exchange (like food, drinks and partAY opportunities that let you meet as many people as physically possible).

We have set some goals, and we know who to talk to for things we’re struggling with. Our actions have begun, and the planning is mildly retroactive, but that’s how people from the Balkans like it. We’re very good at saying “yes, that’s exactly what I was attempting to do”.

On the other hand, we’re very bad at admitting it when something doesn’t go as planned. Guess we’ll have to learn how to deal with that too.