Every once in a while you will find yourself in a situation where you will repeatedly do a certain thing which falls way out of your regular job, and for which you have no (formal) training. Be that you became the accidental sysadmin or IT guy for your startup (as nobody else could or wants to do it), or you find yourself presenting on a stage when all you thought you are suppose to do is build the product. Moreover, for quite a few of us who are managers – we might have simply stumbled into this role as our companies grew.
Whenever I find myself in such a situation (and it happens quite frequently), I fall back to something a friend of mine said to me more than 25 years ago: You might as well become good at it.
Instead of doing what quite a few of us do – grumble, get on with the task at hand and then try to forget about it as quick as possible, my friend embraced the opportunity to learn something new, expand his skill set and became a more well-rounded person in the process.
His advice lead me to learn to code properly, administer my own machines and network, facilitate workshops and make good coffee.
The next time you are doing something which isn’t really what you are “supposed to do” and it is not a one-off, embrace it, invest some time and allow yourself to learn something new. Who knows where it will lead you?
P.S. My friends at Singularity University’s SU Ventures are recruiting Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) for their upcoming Incubator this September to October. They are looking for people with startup experience and an interest in solving global challenges. It’s an awesome opportunity to work alongside Singularity University staff and a great team of experienced fellow EIRs, sharing your expertise with inspiring impact entrepreneurs. You’d be fully immersed in the Incubator, with access to exponential leadership training, startup expertise, and SU’s network of experienced mentors for seven weeks this fall. If you are working on your next startup or between ventures, this could be your chance to both help global startups while you build out your next steps. Check out all the details here and apply if it’s of interest! My former colleague Molly Pyle is the Program Manager and is open to any questions, as well. You can reach her at email@example.com – please spare my inbox and do not email me about this. Email Molly. :)