Managing Clive

This week has had a few highs and lows, but what most strikes me as I look back on it are the times when my inner chimp (let’s call him Clive) has overtaken my brain and left me floundering.

The first time was filling in a form, I couldn’t make sense of it and I kept trying to work it out, getting ever more frustrated, and eventually slamming my laptop shut and stomping off. A totally unproductive use of an afternoon, and in retrospect Clive was taking over from the start, the stubborn refusal to give up then followed by the mini-tantrum. What Nancy the human should have done was stopped trying, and sought help from my mentor or someone else instead of battling on with no hope of success.

The second time Clive hijacked me was after our Wednesday Escape the City session on business models and revenue streams. Although it seemed exciting in the session to identify lots of different possible models, by Thursday I was feeling totally overwhelmed by it. Which should I prioritize? Was setting up events better than selling my MVP? Should I be seeking sponsorship, and if so how would I find sponsors with enough money to spend and who are also appropriately ethical and committed to diversity? Frankly, my head was spinning and it all got a bit much… But this time, at least, I recognized that Clive was out of control. I went for a walk in the Abbey Gardens opposite my house (what a thing to be grateful for, they are so beautiful and literally across the road— after years of living in London this is such a treat, and I will be making more of it in future), and got some sense of balance restored by this. Then I came home with a plan….

Cheer up Clive!

From now on, Clive will be looking down on me while I work, and every time I see him peeking out of his tree and trying to hijack me, I will take a breath and try to figure out what’s wrong with him. Then I’ll find a way to appease Clive, and add a post-it note to my picture with the technique I’ve used. It’s not rocket science, but somehow the act of sitting down, acknowledging Clive, and then playing about with blu tac and post-its (stationery always makes me happy) and then creating a plan to deal with him has really helped. I’m still somewhat confused by the range of possible business models, but I will spend today sitting down and assessing them all against the criteria we looked at, and I feel confident that I’ll come up with some priorities, and some small steps I can take to move them forward.

So, ups and downs, but now I have Clive more or less where I want him, and I am taking a daily walk in the gardens, so I feel as though I’m ending positively. And it was my third wedding annivesary on Wednesday, which is something to remember to be grateful for when it all gets, frankly, a bit much.

Happy days!

Till next week….