Here we are, on this page, and I’m telling you the story of how it all started. It started years ago when Seth Godin launched the AltMBA. And Frank, whom I didn’t know as Frank back then, but as doubt, fear, that-crippling-I’m-not-good-enough thought, told me I cannot apply to the programme, they’ll say no and I’ll be crushed under the weight of that refusal.
Those of you familiar in the slightest with Seth Godin and his work, know about the drip strategy. That slow, convincing, more than encouraging story he tells bit by bit, gaining your enrolment long before you even realise that you’ve made up your mind and you’re in. So, there it was, the email about the August session, and here I was, pondering, doubting, investigating deep down whether I’m good enough – please, don’t ask about the standard I was comparing myself to, because, as you know, it’s all invented.
I’m not sure how exactly I ended up on Andra Zaharia’s blog, reading about her AltMBA experience, in a roundabout way. And I must have read it at least a couple of dozen times, looking for something, perhaps some sort of confirmation that this is right, and that I should go for it. After reading her blog, and listening to some episodes of her podcast, I put the thought away. And a few days after this, I got that final reminder email; and I read Andra’s blog again. And I applied, on a whim, a couple of hours before the closing deadline. I’ve signed up for the AltMBA in a moment of temporary insanity with a dash of tipsiness. I almost put a big fat YAS where I was supposed to put my initials – I was SO excited that I was finally doing this. Applying was a huge step forward for me because in doing so, I also realised I was okay with being rejected. I was happy to be applying, and I understood then that I would be okay with a no too. You see, this experience was a gift, so it had to come this way to me. Because I got the acceptance email on my 30th birthday. This experience was a tremendous gift, and it’s been an amazing journey. It’s the gift that keeps on giving ?, from deep a-ha moments to making a podcast!
I’ve learned so much about myself, it’s unreal. Here’s the playlist of this journey:
My a-ha moments and lessons from the AltMBA include:
# The meaningful specific we should all strive for. Seth Godin has been going on and on about this, in his books, in the TMS, The Bootstrappers’ Workshop. I’m surprised they don’t sell pointers to wave in your face with ‘meaningful specific’ written on them (you can’t unsee these once you’ve thought of them, eh?!) There’s a difference between the specificity going on in our own head, when we think we’ve covered all bases, and the one that you put down on paper, and people tell you to dig deeper, it’s not specific enough and you can do better.
# My second a-ha moment is related to the stories we tell ourselves vs the outer environment. And why sharing your ideas and thoughts with others can provide so much insight and thus lead to change. And saying I don’t know is not the end of the world, hahaha. There’s also that gap between what we see as a possibility and the array of possibilities out there, that could help you tell a better story.
# I realised what acting as if is referring to, how it changes our narrative and how yesterday’s impossible becomes today’s maybe.
# Open yourself to possibility. Be open, opener than you think you are when you’re saying you’re open. Yes, exactly that. Embrace openness with no expectations whatsoever.
# There’s magic in using a constraint. Let go of scenaritis. You know, that train of thoughts in which you build scenarios on situations that only happen in your head, and you panic and fuuuuuuuuudge!
# There’s magic in teams. We’re all weird, and smart, and different, and tell a unique story about ourselves to the world. Perhaps there is a thread of similarity in some of the challenges we experience, but we all internalise and solve things differently, and that’s okay. So, let go of doubt and bring your best self to work. Trust yourself, and trust that everyone is coming in with an open heart and an open mind. And embrace the possibility that anything and everything can happen.
# Trust the process. Always trust the process <3 It’s easy to be doubtful when embarking on new journeys. Keeping an open mind and an open heart does wonders to the process ?
The thing is, the story we tell ourselves is important too, and we need to act as if, not just think we act as if. It’s so easy to forget this magic of sharing and caring, and it’s so difficult to do it intently. And this is how and why I decided to start a podcast!