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Unlearning to learn; deconstructing to construct my startup

Unlearning to learn; deconstructing to construct my startup

“So how do you like the Start-Up Institute?” a friend asked.

It was the first time I didn’t know how to answer the question. I’ve gotten a lot of great things out of it:

  1. Knowing myself better.
  2. Better speaking skills.
  3. Networking opportunities and skills.
  4. Quality teaching from quality teachers.
  5. A good understanding of why my company should exist.
  6. New friends.

But at the moment my friend asked me this, my business walls were crumbling and I was really feeling the fall from the financial cliff I’d just jumped from a few weeks prior. I thought for a minute before I told him, that I think it breaks down your business before it rebuilds it, and I just happened to be sitting in the figurative rubble at that moment.

It was the most positive I could get at that point. Several weeks later, I’m feeling completely different. I’ve decided Sheen Startup Magazine will no longer be a thing. I haven’t decided exactly what I will rename it, but it won’t be Sheen. My clarity just wasn’t there. As I recently wrote for Wyoming Business Report, people follow clarity, not integrity.

Since I’ve internally turned off the shine from Sheen, the light of clarity is replacing it. The need for my transition hit me with great clarity during class yesterday. The assignment was to deliver an elevator pitch for another classmate, rewriting it to provide a new viewpoint. Most of the other students gained valuable insights from hearing others deliver their elevator speeches.

The student who had rewritten my pitch, after six weeks of hearing what I had to say, still had no idea what I was doing. Message received. Time to up the clarity for myself and others.

I’m shaving off the fat and zeroing in on what really matters. The clarity that comes from that is surprising even to me. If my friend asked me the same question today, I’d have a different answer.

The Start-Up Institute is hard. Really hard. It’s an emotional roller coaster. But it’s definitely a lot easier than starting a business without it. ”

This article is the sixth in a series to be published about the Start-Up Institute the way Jackson native Mark Wilcox experiences it in April through June of 2016.