Last week I contrasted the jobs in a large company to the more collaborative engagement in a startup business. It’s not necessary to be a startup, of course, it’s just easier because that’s where new ideas can take off and flourish.

I had a chance recently to talk with a lady in another country who works for a company which connects global contract workers with part-time roles in larger companies. If you’ve used a remote Virtual Assistant, that’s what I’m talking about.

Sure, that lets you outsource tasks to get cheaper labor. We’ve been doing that for decades. But in this case, there’s a larger driving purpose behind it.

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Get Coached Podcast with Chris Ippolito
Play the podcast here!

I had the opportunity recently to have a great conversation with Chris Ippolito on his podcast. Chris is interviewing a wide variety of coaches, spreading the word about the amazing positive impact that this profession is having in the world!

Check it out here.

Last week I talked about poor Valerie. She’s a solid worker, but isn’t bringing much loyalty or passion to her job. It’s just a job.

Across the street, though, we have a small startup company of 8 people who are now getting traction. It’s a small enough group that they know each other fairly well, so their teamwork is pretty darned good.

And they’re not afraid to embrace new ideas. It’s part of their culture, after all.

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Valerie has a pretty decent job. She’s pretty good at it, having been in the position for four years now.

It’s not inspiring, but hey, it’s a job.

So how much creativity and productivity do we think she’s devoting to her work?

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The world is made by us and what we do. The challenge is thinking that we’re individually so insignificant that we can’t possibly make a difference.

Here’s the way out of that fallacy: Maybe it doesn’t matter if you change the world, but instead just for one person at a time.

That particular employee. That one customer. Your child. Your neighbor.

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Variety is the spice of life! But we’ve all experienced the paralysis you can have when faced with a list of fifty flavors of ice cream.

As a recovering Analytic, I’ve learned that it’s often dangerous to spend too much time evaluating things. I could probably create a magnificent spreadsheet for the above three smoothies, with options and scenarios and weighted criteria.

That would feed my curiosity, but I’d never make a decision!

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Returning from my holiday break, I experienced a palpable difficulty re-engaging with my work. In one sense, it felt like I had to put on a completely different brain that I hadn’t used for a couple of weeks.

It was a welcome break, and gave me the opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture.

That’s something I love doing with my clients as well – to give them space to get away from the day-to-day issues. To think bigger.

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This should be an easy question to answer, right? You’re the boss, so you’re steering the ship!

But there’s a good chance that when I listen to you, I’m hearing you mention a lot of other people. The employee who called in sick. Those customers who just keep demanding. The weather. The government.

I get it, I really do. It feels like I’m just a tiny boat on the water, at the mercy of anything and everything.

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Recently, CB Insights tabulated the top 20 reasons startups fail. There are some fascinating conclusions in there, but I simply want to focus on the top reason, the one which contributes to 42% of failures:

No market need.

At one level, this is the most obvious conclusion, not worth more thought. But let’s look further.

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Maybe you’ve been discouraged because the better future you’ve been hoping for still doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.

At some point, though, you’re going to have to make it happen. It’s going to take focused, intentional effort. That’s what it means to be a leader.

I was thinking about this because of my recent health scare. Thankfully, I survived this time due to the talent of some great doctors. But it got me pondering the larger questions in my life.

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