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Field notes and Business Takeaways from CLUB - February 2022

What is the point of knowledge if not to be shared? NOMAWO CLUB has been meeting weekly and diving into the nitty-gritty details of freelance and independent professional life. The ups, the downs, the in-betweens, the inspirations and aspirations, and all the things unique to our lives.

In February we reflected on our goals for 2022, dedicated some time to experimentation, and got into the details of project management. In the interest of sharing, here are some of our key takeaways from the month!

Reflecting on Goals - Why & How to Do It

At the end of last year, we spent a lot of time thinking about our goals and aspirations for 2022. We dreamed. We planned. We prepared. And before we knew it, January had passed and February was well underway. While that doesn’t seem like much and we still have the rest of the year to go, one of the best ways to achieve goals is to review them regularly.

We dedicated the first week of February to reviewing our goals. Here’s the framework we used in case you want to try too.

  1. How is my progress? Where am I in terms of achieving my goal?
  2. Do I need to update this goal in some way? Was it too easy? Was it unrealistic? Keep in mind that ‘unrealistic’ and ‘challenging’ are not the same thing. A good goal is challenging.
  3. Does this goal still resonate? Is it something I want to keep working towards?

CLUB member Renske Ensing mentioned keeping her goals where she can always see them on her desk. She said it’s helped her keep them top of mind as she worked towards them. Maybe it’s something the rest of us could try too!

Rob Whelan also brought up the importance of experimentation. He made the point that when you experiment, you can’t fail. There’s only more knowledge. It might be helpful to make time to experiment or shift the way you think about goals and how you achieve them to reflect experimentation.

Project Management Tips & Tricks

Last week we tapped into the group’s collective knowledge around project management. With Rob Whelan’s long history of managing teams in the tech industry and Emma Norton’s history in production and event history, Yuan Zhang’s current role as a project manager, we were in good hands.

This conversation also produced a few metaphors we’ll be using for a while. Particularly, Renske reminded the team that you can’t put giraffe parts on a rhino. Her point was that once you have a clear image, you can’t keep throwing different parts at it, that doesn't belong, to create a bigger or better version.

Rob kept us grounded with some common sense that isn’t always that common. Especially in big impact undertakings, starting small and getting stable there often leads to big growth later.

This eventually lead to KP Hartman, our community facilitator, bringing up the importance of reverse engineering as a valuable tool for planning. Their metaphor? You have to be able to see what the sandwich looks like in your mind before you can actually make it.

Peer-2-Peer Coaching Sessions

Back in December, we started dedicating one day each month to peer-to-peer coaching. Everyone shows up for the CLUB session with something they want support on. We go in rounds, each person gets an opportunity to share and the group rallies. We’ve seen people find resources and networking opportunities they’ve been missing, find new perspectives, and develop solutions to problems that were weighing heavy on the head. As if that wasn’t enough, one of the most beautiful things for us to witness is the way they show up with care and dedication to each other each time.

CLUB topics vary week-by-week and are often inspired by whatever is top-of-mind for the community. They never cease to be full of insight and lived experience from a community of individuals striving to be better every day at what they already do well. Upcoming topics might include gender bias in the workplace, nuances of bookkeeping and accounting, and productivity. But really, the list of possibilities is endless.

Who knows? Maybe you'll join us for the next one.