As I come to the end of my time in Italy it is only natural to reflect on the reason for being here. Ultimately the goal was to make me more proficient in the management of my business and specifically in business development.
As I look forward to the coming weeks and months I don’t have a huge amount of confirmed work in my diary so it would be very easy to think I have failed in my quest (and believe me, I have had the odd moment where I wondered ‘should I have just stayed at home?’).
When I am being rational I know that 8 weeks is simply not enough time to both revolutionise my abilities in business development, and to try them out (realise they lack a little sophistication, refine and try again) before I see some real tangible results.
However as I operate much more instinctively than rationally, I need to know in my heart this was worth it. So how do I align my head and my heart so I leave Italy knowing this whole trip and experience were really worth it?
This was actually a lot easier than I initially thought and I looked at it from a career and personal growth perspective. Here is a summary of my 2 step process:
- I listed every new experience/ learning from my time in Italy
- I identified the benefit personally and/or professionally for every line item
To illustrate my approach, here are a couple of examples
|The Erasmus+ Programme||
|Using a tour guide for the first time||
I included the personal aspect because my business brand is me, so my growth in experience, perspective and confidence is just as critical as technical knowledge that allows me to do business. And as I made the list I could see the personal growth enable aspects of professional benefits.
Sometimes simple lists and analysis can be the best way to reflect and reinforce the benefits of what we do. The only thing I would change about my approach is to document as I go, perhaps as a little journal or experience scrap book – then the concern around ‘was it worth it?’ would never have arisen as I would have kept my head and heart together throughout.