Happy New Year from Argentina
I could start with the facts of 2023.
How we've helped Data professionals improve stakeholder communication in 20+ countries, with 46% skill increase, etc.
I love data.
But this time, let's look beyond the numbers.
Here are my deeper reflections & 7 lessons learned.
1) Recognize unhealthy drive
I’m an action-taker. Always learning. Aiming for more impact. This helps in many ways. But I want to recognize situations where my drive is unhealthy — when it’s based on fear (“When I have more money, I can relax”) or ego (“When I have success, I am worthy”). It’s funny that I need this reminder: I don’t need to arrive anywhere else. I can just be happy in this moment. See point 2).
2) It’s okay to leave money on the table
This year, I’ve been on a honeymoon and working abroad trip with my wife. Four months in South America. Beautiful. I’ll never forget the mountains in Patagonia. Could I have worked more? Definitely. Did I leave money on the table? Probably. But we’re growing, and started new collaborations with new clients like adidas, Unilever, and Mattel.
The reason I wanted to become an entrepreneur is that I wanted more freedom. In my drive to build MindSpeaking, I’d almost forget to enjoy that freedom.
3) Team > Alone
The plan was to stay alone. I always assumed that having a team meant more stress. However, I feel way more relaxed than in the previous years. This was the first full year working with our team of 8 people, with:
5 certified MindSpeaking trainers
A learning expert
A personal assistant
Thanks to them, I can focus on what I’m best at.
4) The score will take care of itself
I learned this as a professional poker player. You can only control your own actions. You can’t control the outcome (the cards).
That’s why I try to detach from outcomes like revenue or follower count. I prefer to focus on process goals: What can I do to improve our training? How can I stay healthy and keep learning? If my habits are good, the numbers will follow.
5) Your North Star
In the daily rush, it’s easy to forget your North Star: why you do what you do. Journaling helps me to zoom out. Journaling reminds me why I founded MindSpeaking. As a Data Analyst, I found it frustrating when people didn’t listen to my insights. Now, my mission is to help Data professionals communicate their insights with stakeholders — so that their ideas are appreciated and implemented.
My goal is to help others. That’s also I give away 10% of my annual income to Coschool in Colombia: to make soft skills education available to everyone. Writing these reflections, I guess my North Star is pretty simple. I try to be helpful to others.
6) Just launch
This year I launched my online self-paced course on Data Storytelling. Finally! I postponed several times. I get perfectionistic. But I learned a valuable lesson: just launch.
7) Children’s book
As a side project, I’m writing a children’s book. Together with my wife. The book teaches children about the importance of communication, in a playful way. Lots of fun working together with my wife! But a challenge too. Let’s say it’s a good opportunity to improve my own communication
The book will initially appear in English and Dutch. If you're interested, let me know by clicking on this link. Then I'll let you know when we launch.
Pfew. That was a long one.
Hope you got something from my reflections.
I wish you a healthy 2024, with growth & impact.
Thanks for reading,
Ps. Next week, I'll tell you about two exciting opportunities for Data professionals and Data team leads in 2024!