Lean Startup Machine

I took the LSM weekend to learn lean methodology and how I could better test my ideas and start-up with minimal cost !

Here are my key takeaways and insights:

1. A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scaleable model

Woah!  I had never heard about a start-up operating or being any different from any other company. But it makes a lot of sense to approach it differently. Just like a person would plant a seed or seedling – these infant plants need extra special care and optimal conditions to grow. Later, when the seedling has matured, the plant doesn’t need as sensitive of care. It can weather climate and condition fluctuation better!

2.  Don’t raise money – raise traction

3. The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition

4. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

5. Define the ONE Metric that shows you your company is successful

6. Solve individual problems, not social or general problems (a key one for social entrepreneurs!)


3 Keys to Overcoming Anxiety

I used to suffer from severe social anxiety and panic attacks and have invested hundreds of hours into healing and finding various hacks to regain control of my life.

These have been the most helpful techniques I have used to recenter and remember that I am not that fleeting feeling.

1. Just because my heart is beating fast doesn’t mean my mind has to. Anxiety is really the fear of being afraid. When I had severe panic attacks and agoraphobia, I would feel my heart start to beat fast and my breath shorten, I would start spiraling out of control afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop what was happening. After I had been practicing mindfulness for sometime I could notice the feeling coming on and deeply feel my heart beating yet still notice my thoughts didn’t have to start racing with the rhythm of my heart. This gives me some perspective and feeling of safety. This isn’t dissassociating, this is just watching. Mentally, I thank  my heart for beating and sending blood throughout my body.

2. Ask what are you telling yourself? Are you telling yourself frightening thoughts? Are you telling yourself that something in your life is a disaster or won’t work out the way you want it to? This technique really helps to become aware of the thoughts going on that could be triggering the anxious feelings. If I am aware of the thoughts this is effective. I use technique #1 when I am not aware of what thought I had that resulted in the physical reaction.

3. This technique is the MOST helpful and typically just melts away the fear. I mentally tell myself,  “I have this anxiety because I care about people so much and want their love and attention”  this has the effect of melting the fear and  exposing it for what it really is- love and caring. If you look deeply you will realize this is the source.

You won’t hear these techniques written/spoken about because they are from different sources and deep insights I have had of the way my mind works and how my body and mind interact.

To be human is to make meaning out of meaninglessness

ImageThe only real choice we have is the meaning we give events in our lives

I wrote earlier:

1. Powerlessness is the worst feeling someone can feel

I can now with a little bit of confidence add the following 2 as the other painful feelings in life.

2. The inability to realize that it is we who decide the meaning of things that happen to us

3. Inability to decide a “constructive” (life giving) meaning after tragedy because it conflicts with our preexisting world view.

I spoke with the mother of one of the victims after the trial and truly the most painful thing was, not the grief and loss but the ongoing meaninglessness of it all. The  literal fabric of her life shaken so drastically to pieces… it takes strength to live with contradiction and then even more strength to become congruent. Up through the fertile stench of society… Life… finds a way.