For the past six weeks, I’ve been on a tiny fellowship.
I came into the fellowship wanting to build an entire organization. It was ambitious and I didn’t do that. It wasn’t for lack of trying; it is just hard to do that in two months of time.
I was feeling kind of bummed about this today when my friend Ben told me to look at the fellowship differently. “You’re building a foundation,” he said. “You might not have built all of the tools and the organization yet, but you’re infecting people with ideas, and you can be as public as you want to be with them, and you’re learning and meeting people and writing and sharing and trying. And that’s not without value.”
He’s right. My metrics were off.
What I’m trying to say is: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Set the bar at a more manageable level. I will try to do this too.
Also, a word of advice, if you’re ever starting a project: I wish I had made a list of everyone that I have emailed or spoken with about the project, along with their email addresses. It would be really good to have this now, so I could update them on the progress of the project. I did not do this, and regret it. (Like a Kickstarter project update, but for the mental investments people have made.)
And the best thing about this project has been meeting people who think about these things in a similar way, who have reached out. We are building something - it will just take time.
PS: I’m currently writing a complete report of everything I’ve learned over the fellowship. And working with a group to build a website to house it along with a lot of other stuff that will be useful for people who work in public (which can mean a lot of things.) And trying to figure out the next steps. There are a lot of next steps.