3 Scrappy Keys to Personal and Professional Success
Written by Clara Buchanan, founder of Hypergrow.
When it comes to risky situations that only creative scrappyness can help you out of, I’ve been in this position more times than seems proper. I attribute it to the fact that when choosing between a safe or risky path, I have an ingrained tendency to lean into uncertainty and choose the path with the higher risk and figure it out as I go.
In those times when I find myself faced with either making an abrupt change or facing failure (like years ago when I accepted the project of creating a CGI video background for a website when I’d never even worked with the programs involved and was looking at them like I was trying to fire up a spaceship. Or more recently when I started my company and began organizing meetings with the directors of partnerships of titanous organizations that had spent the past five, ten years building their empire all before I even really knew what services I should be offering to them), I initiate this three step system:
1) Research & actively pursue learning.
The first part of taking any plunge into the unknown is getting your bearings. Study what others farther along than yourself in that particular area are doing, find the patterns of what’s working for those thought leaders and learn how to do them yourself. Start small, establish a solid understanding of the basics and terminology, but then dive in and don’t waste time. Technology and information in general is evolving so quickly that on the path to self-education, try to study as leading-edge information and tools to get you there as possible and set aside a solid few hours to learning every single day.
As Mark Zuckerberg famously said, “Move fast and break things” and as he went on to say at his F8 conference last year, “Move fast with stable infrastructure”. This approach gives you the best of both worlds. Form your foundational understanding, explore expanded/experimental techniques, test, invest in what’s working, and creatively build upon all of it to adapt to your specific goals.
2) Find a community.
Wether you’re changing career paths all together, or simply learning a new skillset, find other people who care about what you’re doing. There are interest groups around everything, and wether they are online or off, find them. This will keep you aligned with your goals, activated towards them, and connect you with other people who you can learn from and help towards their goals as well. I equate this to speeding on a highway, when you’re speeding past the majority of other cars alone, you feel anxious, regardless of how important it is for you to get to where you’re going quickly. On the flip side, if as you’re speeding a few other cars are running with you, it becomes more of a game. Your thought patterns transition from anxiety to excitement and a sense of being a part of an agile team.
And you know those people that you were initially looking up to in order to figure out how to get your bearings in step 1? Reach out to them. Ambitious people generally like other ambitious people, and you never know what can come from a simple hello.
3) Bootstrap to success.
At this point, you’ve bootstrapped together your launchpad via a lean self-education system to form a solid knowledge base. You’ve bootstrapped together your fuel by creating a source of emotional motivation and elongated attention span through joining communities and making friends to keep you stimulated around the topic, now it’s time to bootstrap together your actual rocketship.
Rocketships come in all shapes, sizes, colors. But on the inside, most rocketships are essentially the same. They consist of fleshing out your web of resources and people, building credibility in your field, reach out to create symbiotic relationships with partners and individuals with aligned interests whom are at the level that you see yourself/your company going and then deliver on every promise.
Bonus Round: Apply all this to building your own personal brand along the way. You never know what the future holds and what opportunities will come to you through it.
What are your thoughts? What lean methods have you found to achieving success when starting from scratch? Tell us in the comments below.