Weeknotes, 17th February 2023

Massaging the messaging, strategy as ‘don’ts’, and project stretching: my week in review.

This week I’ve been:

  • Working on refining a top tasks list and drawing up and IA: It’s been expansive and messy, and that’s all I’ll say about it for now as I ended up writing a whole blog post on the topic, which I’ll share on Monday.
  • Having conversations about messaging: More work on the strategic messaging project I’m doing with Emily Hill. We had one of those great meetings with the client where everything starts to be unfold, largely due to a great line of questioning from Emily around the things that perhaps weren’t being said.
  • Thinking about the strategy as the things you don’t do. I went back to that oft-quoted paper by Michael Porter for HBR: ‘The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. Without trade-offs, there would be no need for choice and thus no need for strategy.’ When you’re stuck with a strategy, the don’ts are a great place to go to get unstuck.
  • Feeling the benefits of structure: I mentioned a few weeks back that I’ve been trying to take a more structured approach to my working days, to help me adapt to being a lot busier than normal, and having to think about collaborators as well as just myself. All the bullet journalling, time-blocking, virtual co-working, etc, is starting to pay off and I’m feeling more in control.
  • Lamenting project stretching: one of the biggest problems I face in my business is when my projects take longer than planned. When it comes down to brass tacks, I’m selling my time, so when a project that should take three months stretches to four, it can mess up my cash flow and my earning potential. This has got me in real trouble a couple of times in the past, so I’m working hard to try and keep everything moving at the right pace.
  • Getting excited about a conference: I was lucky to get a scholarship place for Utterly Content this week. Being self-employed and a carer, the price tag puts most conferences and training out of reach for me. I love that Utterly Content has this scheme, and it’s genuinely heartwarming to feel like they’re considered and tried to address the barriers people like me face. Find out more about Utterly Content.

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