This is the first in a series of three blogs, all focusing on what it's like to make a leap.  Specifically to make a leap from organisational life to start-up life.  The blogs will be a consolidation of the learnings I've collected on the way and I share them here in part so that I don't loose them, in part so that they might be an insight source for anyone else who's considering making a similar leap & finally by way of a thank you to those who have & those who continue to share their experiences with me.


I've always wanted to create something meaningful - from scratch.  But what my real motivations were, what I might create, let alone where I might actually start were all just beyond the end of my fingertips.  And then not so long ago, things became a lot clearer.  What I'm about to share isn't rocket science (the best things - with the exception of Commander Hadfield - never are) but being able to write these five things down and say them out loud so I and others could hear them was a very big deal.  I became acutely aware that:

  • I wanted to accelerate my learning
  • I wanted this learning to come from lots more 'doing' 
  • I wanted to have more impact for more people
  • I wanted to be in the driving seat for making this happen
  •  ... & the fifth?  Well, without being too dramatic I wanted to do something to try to make the world a bit of a better place

I've been fortunate enough to be a part of some incredible organisations, working with people who have become my friends.  But having written down and said out loud these five things, I knew it was time for me to make a leap.  Reflecting back on preparing to leap, here are some of my top tips:

1. Preparation will enhance the elegance of your leap

2. ... & should create momentum towards a decision point

- if your preparation causes you to become stuck, you're not doing it right

3. Tune up to everything you hear, observe, experience

- in knowing that you're preparing for a leap, you'll interpret it all in new ways and make new, valuable connections

4. Seek out fresh perspectives

- learn from those who have done this before you

5. With the capacity that you have, start to take small steps

- what do you need to learn, what experiences do you need to get, what relationships do you need to develop

6. Be more honest with yourself than you've ever been before

- do you have something to offer that can really make a positive difference?  Why are you considering a leap?  What impact do you want to have?  What are you awesome at?  What new skills will you need to develop?

7. In leaving an established organisation you'll leave a lot of great things behind

- understand if you're willing to make this sacrifice

8. Know that there will be amazingly brilliant days & there will be some tough days

- fact

9. What does it 'not working out' look like

- understand the risk you're taking

10. Surround yourself with people whose opinions you trust & who are honest with you

- and who are honest with you because they believe in you & the potential that you have

11.  Whilst 'not very British', believe in yourself & show your passion  

- it's going to be you, out there talking to the rest of the world.  

12. Know that all of the experiences you've had so far, in all of the organisations you've been a part of will set you up really well

 - and know that you're going to need to rapidly learn a shed-load more

13. You won't know until you try - can you live without trying?  If so, fantastic!  If not, what are you waiting for?