Microconf Europe 2015 – thoughts and takeaways

I've just arrived home from MicroConf Europe, which was the best conference I've ever been to.

The things I learned and ideas I had will definitely have an impact on my working life, as will the new relationships forged with the people I met.

At the start of the start of the first day Rob Walling challenged us all to come up with 3 takeaways that would have an impact our businesses.

These are mine.

Takeaway 1: Join a mastermind group

A mastermind group involves 3 or 4 small business owners meeting regularly to discuss each other's businesses. Over time you get to know each other's products well, and can offer each other objective advice.

I've experienced how difficult it can be to think clearly about my own strategy. I've also surprised myself by giving some startlingly good advice to some friends, so I can really see the value in this.

I've joined a group with somebody I met at Microconf, and have signed up to mastermindjam.com (a matching service for micropreneurs).

Takeaway 2: Setup a productised service

I've been building Agile Planner (my project management app for iterative software teams) for over three years now. It doesn't pay the rent yet (I'm working on it), so I’ve been taking a couple of freelance jobs every year.

This obviously takes time away from working on Planner, especially as freelancing requires complete focus on a client project.

Productised consulting would enable me to provide lots value to multiple clients, on a recurring basis, without forcing me to stop working on Planner.

I became interested in trying it back in 2014, and even had a product in mind. I’d previously decided to focus all my efforts on Planner, but I think it's time to give it a try.

Takeaway 3: Relentless execution

At the end of his talk, Rob Walling dropped in the catchphrase "relentless execution".

Rob's comment reminded me of a time when I was no stranger to the joys of shipping feature after feature, in a sustainable manner. It's how I feel when I'm freelancing, or working for somebody else.

When working on my own business I usually spend a while thinking hard about what to do, then spend a few days or a week executing the plan.

Doubts about the strategy can easily creep in during the execution phase, but it’s rarely productive. It’s better to complete the work quickly, then take stock and assess progress and strategy afterwards.

Saying “relentless execution” ought to keep me on track. It’s working great so far…

More on Microconf...

To read more about the conference, including other people's blog posts and some notes from the talks, see Christoph Engelhardt's recap page.

I love feedback and questions — please get in touch on Twitter or leave a comment.

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