Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading about business. At Landing Strong, we’re committed to providing top-tier services on a non-profit budget. Hence the need for great business strategizing.
As I read, I’m struck by how many business principles are equally relevant to health and recovery. Over the next four weeks, I’d like to share with you things I’m learning with the hopes that you too will find them helpful. Please join me on my voyage of inspiration.
Lesson 1: Success is the bi-product of a series of small experiments
It’s an unfortunate reality that most new businesses fail. In the Lean Start Up, Eric Ries claims this is because new business owners tend to make a common error: they put a large investment into a single idea and hope like heck that that they got it right. The author suggests a more innovative approach to entrepreneurship is to run start-ups like a series of small experiments that inform and guide business development. No single stage is too big an investment, and it is always possible to pivot and change tactics if it looks like an idea isn’t working out as expected.
I love this notion, because there’s no pressure to get it right the first time. In fact, the assumption is that you likely won’t get it right immediately, and you’ll probably have to continuously gather feedback to inform product refinement.
What if we applied this principle to healing and recovery? One of the most common errors I witness in terms of people who are trying to make changes in their lives is the pressure they put on themselves to get it right the first time they try something new. If it doesn’t work, they assume it was a bad idea. Maybe, in fact, it was a great idea, it just needed a bit of feedback and fine tuning.
When we design new Landing Strong programs, we work hard to get client feedback at the end of each session. Why? Because our assumption is there are parts that were likely great, and other parts will probably need to be tweaked in order to improve. The program becomes the product of an organic interaction between facilitator and participants.
Recovering from trauma exposure involves reinventing the self. It is, in a way, a new business start-up. Instead of waiting to have it all figured out and hoping we get it “right” let’s consider recovery as a series of small experiments in which you will be trying on new ideas or behaviours, seeing which are helpful and which need tweaking. We should expect the first version of anything won’t likely be right. Rather, it’s a first step in the gradual shaping of something new and wonderful.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Founder, Landing Strong