You know how you’re reading some biography (or, OK, an article in People) and someone says “You can do anything you put your mind to” or some variation on that statement? Well, Shareology is a tad dubious. I don’t think I can perform brain surgery. I don’t think I could be President of the United States. Heck, I don’t even think I could be Secretary of State.
However. I do have a couple of examples of how changing your (my!) attitude can make all the difference. Let’s start with the MBA example.
Shareology raced through the first 75% of her MBA. (Do you think the fact that Honeywell was paying for it helped in any way? Thank you, Honeywell!!) Then came the eight year recess. Five courses remained. Shareology had taken every marketing course possible. So what was left? Well, besides a couple of great courses (Organizational Development, Strategic Management) there remained The Three Icks: Managerial Accounting, Econ, Finance.
At various times in her MBA career, she had dropped managerial accounting, not once, not twice but three times!! (In the first chapter of the $100 plus accounting textbook, was a homework problem that seemed so detailed that Shareology could not imagine ever completing it.) On the third drop, Shareology finally did something smart. She emailed the professor. The professor, who happened to be head of the accounting department, said “I’m sorry to hear that. I would have loved to have helped you. Perhaps you could attend the second class.” (Shareology had become an expert in knowing you could attend two classes before dropping without a penalty.) In the email to the professor, Shareology had explained how she had built up this fear of The Three Icks. But she committed one thing to the professor. No matter how scary, this time she would attend all fourteen class sessions, and try, to the best of her ability, to succeed, or at least complete. It had finally dawned on Shareology that, if she wanted to complete the course, she was going to have to show up for all fourteen sessions.
The professor and Shareology brainstormed: tutors? help from the professor? extra resources? Just the fact that the professor would know that this would be a struggle and that it wasn’t going to be pretty… (Perfectionism will stop us from going forth and doing anything…we might produce a result that might be less than……. perfect.)
Shareology found a study buddy in the class to work through homework and she began to read the $100+ textbook. (Actually she had two versions of the text: she had been at this so long, the text was republished with another edition. Swell, TWO $100+ textbooks.) The deep irony is she was reading an accounting textbook word for word, when time constraints and group projects meant she didn’t read the marketing textbooks earlier in her MBA studying. She also assigned very specific time slots each week towards studying. Yep, studying. The result? Shareology got a B in managerial accounting, a B+ in econ, and an (OMG!!) A- in finance. And yes, she told the econ and finance professors that this was going to be a challenge, she was scared, it wasn’t going to be pretty, and she needed help.
The second example? Shareology was a support system as Agency Babylon launched his blog earlier this year. She heard all the challenges, and the new areas of learning. WordPress? What’s that? But she listened to Agency Babylon and learned. She listened to speakers at Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul mentioning that WordPress was a great tool, feeds directly into LinkedIn, and was poised to offer features far into the future for bloggers.
But what would Shareology write about? And how could she sustain interest? How could she integrate her various interests in marketing, social media and networking? Would readers accept that she might write about any of these subjects on any given day? Shareology once again could not imagine how she would do all this……
And yet, four months later, she HAS done it. The Before? scared silly. The After? happy writer. (And a HUGE thank you to Shareology readers for making this possible.)
So what have I learned? You can do MUCH more than you ever imagined. Even conquer The Three Icks. The sweetest moment was when Shareology stepped onto the University of St. Thomas stage to receive her masters hood. The professor to place the hood over Shareology’s beaming face? Dr. Jane Saly, her professor of managerial accounting. Priceless.
Kay Roseland @KayLoire