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Archive for October, 2008

Called for a second meeting

I realize I haven’t posted anything on the blog for a few days now. I have been spending a lot of time working on a business plan. Actually, it seems that I already had the plan in mind for quite a while now.

The phone rang as I was documenting my thoughts. I had breakfast with the president and the general manager of a well recognized consulting firm 2 weeks ago. It wasn’t an interview. The meeting was more of a getting back in touch – I had worked on consulting mandates with the president a few years back.

The meeting allowed us to talk about the past, discuss the state of software development in general and share thoughts about the future. It was a very pleasant meeting. We had exchanged emails after the first meeting but schedules got in the way of a follow-up meeting.

They were calling to meet for breakfast next week to talk about my initiative to launch a consulting business in the business intelligence area. They also have a few ideas they would like to share. This should be interesting.

Step one – having a plan

I just finished putting together a project plan of high level activities to do in order to actually launch a small business. It goes like this:

  • Post content daily to this blog. In the hopes that some people will read the blog so we can start discussion on the topic of launching a business!
  • Start documenting my learning and possibly publish them on the blog. I believe I have a pretty good ability to summarize key information and extract the most important content – that comes from completing my Masters degree a few years back. The intent is to help people get key knowledge quickly and hopefully start sharing thoughts on the topic.
  • Create the company’s web site. The objective is to eventually get customers so I need a way to explain the types of service I will be offering around Business Intelligence and clearly explain the company’s vision and mission.
  • Join Internet Communities and get involved in the discussions. Interactions, dialogue and collaboration with others working in this arena will certainly help launch the business.
  • Contact potential customers. I have a few people in mind that I could work with in various capacities. I need to start booking meetings with them.

This is the high level plan. For now…

The cold water in the pool analogy

I got this analogy this morning when I took the twins to their swimming lessons. Starting a business is like getting into a swimming pool when the water isn’t warm. It’s probably better to jump in and start swimming than trying to ease your way into the water – especially when it is cold. Once your foot touches the water, you certainly won’t feel like jumping in anymore realizing how comfortable and warm it is outside the water.

The thought crossed my mind after a bad night of sleep. I’m thinking of launching a small business but I’m going in slowly, feeling the water and it’s not warm! So I’m sitting on the side of the pool (metaphorically speaking) rationalizing, telling myself the known (i.e. applying for a job) is safer and more predictable. Taking another job would feel safer so why go through the trouble of launching a small business?

At that time, my gut acts up and reminds me how much fun it could be if I would just get in – stop over analyzing!

Can we ever go back to being kids after we grow up? Except for the obvious, kids are fearless and worry free. We lose that ability when we grow up and it makes decision making so much more difficult. Combine that fact with a highly analytical profile and you see hurdles everywhere.
It would be easy to jump in if we could see in the future. Maybe taking a risk isn’t so bad. Like they say, it is not the destination that counts but the journey.

The swimming lesson is now over. The kids tell me the water was cold but they had a great time.

Blogging is like cross-training

I’m on the cross-trainer in my small home-gym when this analogy comes to mind.

I remember 2 months ago when I started training seriously, that the first 18 minutes of my training (out of my 20 minutes program) were horrible. Although I knew this was great for the mind and the body, MY body wasn’t enjoying it- at all! Starting to work out was difficult and continuing the session was very challenging, no matter what music was playing.

So I set an objective for myself that I would stick with it at least until the beginning of the hockey training (end of October). As a second goal – in case I would meet the first one – I set to lose 15 pounds by January 2009. Ideally, I would keep training for the long run…

So I’m on the cross-trainer realizing that after training 3 – 4 times a week for 45 to 60 minutes, it does get easier. As the weeks passed, the painful period went down from 18 minutes to 12 to 8 to 5 minutes. After 8 weeks, it is still difficult to get the drive to start working out but that only last 5 minutes and I immediately feel the benefits.

So what does this have to do with the blog. Writing on a daily basis probably won’t be easy and for most part it might take some serious efforts but with dedication, perseverance and commitment I would guess it will become easier… Maybe in 8 weeks…

Why did I decide to blog?

Not sure if it’s the sun or the unusually warm weather for this time of year (12 o C / 54 o F) but driving back home this afternoon, I decided to join millions of people and start blogging. Actually, to be truthful I know why I’m starting. It’s a combination of factors:

  1. As far back as I can remember I always wanted to “write”. I’m not talking about emails, memos or these shorts communication but something more structured, like a story for example. Unfortunately, I don’t have the discipline and training to come up with a good plot, interesting characters and an un-expected ending so blogging is probably an interesting alternative – I don’t have a set plot that I will be following, the characters I will refer to will certainly be interesting (reality is often better than fiction) and I most certainly have no idea how this is going to end.
  2. I’m currently going through a career transition – sort of. For now, let’s just say I left the organization I worked for almost 10 years to try a totally different industry. I ended up resigning from that job after less than 2 months. I will certainly share more details over time but for now I feel this transition is indeed one of the driver.
  3. I’m half-way through Seth Godin’s latest book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us and felt compelled to do something… This blog might not be much but as someone famous once said (I can’t remember if it’s Einstein or someone else) “you can’t expect a different outcome when you repeat the same steps”.
  4. I made a deal with the voice inside my head. Apparently everyone has a voice inside their head – I will need to ask Karine about that. Anyhow, I found the voice inside my head to be disruptive at time. It certainly wasn’t to the point of arguing out loud with it but disruptive enough to take my brain in many directions. So the deal I made is the following, in exchange for peace most of the time – the voice will be entitled to have a discussion with the rest of the brain via this blog.

So here it is. Post number one.

Now that I started I could probably go on for a while so let me put some guidelines around these posts. In no special order (for now).

  1. I will try to publish something at least once a day otherwise the voice may want to re-open our agreement.
  2. I will try to keep each post under 500 words. This will force me to focus on the key elements of the last 24 hours.
  3. I will refer to people by their first name only to preserve their identity.

One final note. I hope others will feel compelled to join this discussion. Other experiences will likely help influence my perception of the world or that of the voice.

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