The Story of a Reluctant Entrepreneur

The Story of a Reluctant Entrepreneur

I am motivated by imposter syndrome. I don't feel anything I do is innately great. Or reflective of a special talent. Feeling I don't ever quite belong or have ever quite proved myself drives me. It's a weird type of motivation. I know I have done things that few others have achieved. At least one of which is pretty unique. It's also twice led me to starting my own company. Reluctantly so, despite my ongoing passion for what I do. 

But I can't throw it off. So I've learnt to embrace it. Despite the difficulties it brings. Here's my story. 

A Reluctant Entrepreneur: The Early Years

Having drifted around the world as a freelance artist and language teacher, I started my own company in my late 20s. At the behest of IBM, who wanted me to run their soft communications training in Scandinavia. But were under a hiring freeze. So they asked me to set up a company to run the courses as an external contractor. Which I did. For six years. 

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The Handyman's Bomb | Irony at Work

The Handyman's Bomb | Irony at Work

A lot of people ask me "why irony? What has it got to do with management and organizations?" While I'm always up for a theoretical discussion, it is often better to provide some stories that illustrate the point. In this instance, the story is from some empirical research in the UK.

The Theory

Situational irony occurs when the characters involved in a situation do not realise that their actions are undermining their intended goals. It classic literature, the victims of this irony are usually leaders, kings, princes (or generally important people). They see themselves as clever but are actually acting in a dumb way. That they are destroying their hopes and dreams by their actions is revealed by a supposedly inferior character, who is perceived as being dumb but is actually revealed as being the clever one all along and of central importance to the plot.

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Love & Children: Situational Irony at Work

Love & Children: Situational Irony at Work

I wanted to write this post from home. Instead, I am huddled up in the corner of a cafe, seeking protection against the insistent rain and hoping the internet connection doesn't give out on me. The reason. My 18-month year old daughter's love. I'll explain.

My daughter seems to very much be a daddy's girl. Whenever I'm home, she wants to be with me. We play ball, go for walks, have a swim, sit and read, wander off to a local playgroup, and generally have a wonderful time. Her strategy for achieving these goals is to bring me stuff she wants to do; the ball, my shoes, a book. She supplements this by hugging my legs, climbing on the bed, sitting on my lap, babbling away contentedly and beaming at me at every opportunity. It's obviously great to see your child showing you so much love and I fully appreciate it. Her strategy works too. We spend a lot of time together, have a lot of fun and are bonding wonderfully as a result.

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