If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that, when we pursue BOLD adventure, change or risk, the result isn’t always perfectly-planned success, but it is always learning and growth.
We’ve experienced countless times that when we deeply engage into unfamiliar areas, or areas that scare us, we develop new knowledge and skills, form new insights and collect an entirely new catalog of analogs to apply to business and life.
So, as we sprint into 2015, we’d love for you to join us in pursuing bold. Pursuing something, anything, that requires some risk on your part. Something that has the potential to grow you and to help you see the world differently.
In 2014, here are a few things we pursued, and a few of the learnings we took away.
Ann raised the funds for and traveled on a mission trip to South Africa. In her words…
This bold step was scary for me on multiple levels. Raising funds and asking for help was not something I had taken on before, and I wasn’t the kind of person that liked asking for help on anything! And, traveling that far away from my kids and my friends was a new experience that made me equally excited and anxious.
- During fund raising, I learned that people want to be asked to help. I realized that I love it when others ask me to help them achieve a big goal, and when I asked folks to step up and help me with this big goal, they rose to the challenge and were excited to be a part of my trip.
- While in South Africa, I saw a version of community and collaboration that I had never experienced in more developed countries. Community gardens and a willingness from each individual to contribute his or her skills, resources, talents, and time to each other with no “you can pay me back later” expectations. Just pure community.
- While attending church and working with with the partner church we were visiting, I saw people worship without limits and pursue relationships over the relentless focus we seem to have on “work” here in the US. Their commitment to be “fully present” in all they do was remarkable, inspiring, and impacted my day-to-day life in immeasurable ways.
- During my 10 days on the ground in Soweto, Marikana and Johannesburg, I met entrepreneurship in so many unexpected, and maybe even unlikely places. I was inspired by entrepreneurs motivated by a desire and a vision to help their communities, families and the world through their businesses and non-profits, their hunger to learn, and their willingness to take bold risks to pursue their ideas.
In 2015, I’m planning another trip to South Africa. This time to help entrepreneurs actually build their businesses; and to help raise money for an organization that aims to end poverty through entrepreneurship in impoverished parts of the world. Another bold step to get more involved and I’m excited about the learning and growth that will come!
Renee pursued a health overhaul that encompasses diet change, workout and spiritual goals. In her words…
- Making lifestyle changes while caring for a toddler, loving my husband, being involved in our church community and working taught me deeper time-management and focused periods of productivity. I can’t believe what can be done in 15 minutes!
- Taking responsibility for my own health means that I can’t simply trust the doctors to make the changes for me. As they say, “the ball is in my court.” I love learning, and approached the process similar to how I approach social media research: reading 1,000s of blog or journal posts and synthesizing the findings into themes, or points of action that I need to take.
- Reading up or listening to webinars hours each day has broadened my knowledge of cutting edge consumer and doctor perspectives on the latest health and wellness movements, which has directly applied to ideation inspiration for the food and beverage brands we work with.
In 2015, I plan to continue this overhaul, solidifying these new habits. I hope to help others around me seeking to make similar changes. I know that these changes will make me a better researcher, mom, wife and friend.
Jason ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in under four hours. In his words…
I committed to running a full marathon as an enabler to getting into great shape and wanted to complete it in under four hours as a stretch to force myself to push beyond my current limits. I was able to finish the race in 3:59 despite a nasty quad cramp the last few miles.
During most of my longer training runs I listened to an endless loop of Mumford & Sons and often found myself reflecting on the parallels between running a marathon and entrepreneurship:
- Running through fatigue and pain (cramps, foot pain, knee swelling, etc.) is a lot like pressing through barriers that come up. If you keep moving and adjust a bit as needed, you tend to drive right through them.
- When you do have an issue or problem like running into a wall at a certain mileage, you have to quickly figure out the cause of the problem and move on to hypothesizing solutions and then rapidly experimenting to see if they work. Working through hydration issues, pacing issues and nutrition issues throughout my training forced me into constant problem solving mode, giving me tons of insights around on-the-go nutrition and nourishment needed for different need states.
- I was also reminded that often the best learning comes from talking with savvy veterans who have logged 1,000s of miles and through the experience of getting out there and going through the gauntlet yourself. I’m thankful for the community of runners I’m engaged with and see a lot of the same benefits for learning, knowledge sharing, and a desire to get better in the innovation and startup communities I’m a part of.
In 2015, I’m planning to run two full marathons in the same year: The Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati (under four hours) and the Columbus Marathon (under 3 hours 45 minutes) as well as to continue on a path to get more disciplined around Gluten Free/Paleo eating.
So, what BOLD challenge, change or adventure are you embracing for 2015? We’d love to hear about it, and maybe even feature it on our site! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story!
The Garage Group enables corporate teams and brands to innovate like startups.