13 Apr Weekend Zen with Kelsey Ramsden
Kelsey Ramsden, in case you have not heard of her, is a business owner, a mother, and a cancer survivor. She was ranked as Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur in 2012 and 2013 by PROFIT Magazine’s W100 ranking. She is the founder of kelseyramsden.ca (a business services firm), SparkPlay (a children’s subscription company), Belvedere Place Development (a construction firm), and Tallus Ridge Development (a residential project management company).
She offers great inspiration as well as life lessons to budding entrepreneurs and businesses. In this TED talk she urges us to be in “a state of play.” Playhere does not mean a competitive sport but a space, medium or activity that enables us to have fun. In other words, we should engage in an activity because we enjoy it and not because it is the rightful thing to do. This helps us to break away from our current focus of trying to define something ahead of time and converting that into a deliverable. It provides us the space to indulge in our creative urges and explore possibilities that we would not otherwise be aware of. As a consequence of this there are several things we could learn about our own abilities and strengths, our intelligence, and our creativity. It primes us to be better leaders.
Related to the above message, is an important suggestion regarding focus. As entrepreneurs we tend to focus singularly on the outcome, which is not necessarily always a good thing. Being too focused on the outcome forces us to conform to specific paths that others have followed as successful business models. This teaches us nothing about ourselves. On the other hand, indirect paths that we take through our own experiences lead us to become better at understanding our strengths while still succeeding. This not only provides us with opportunities to know ourselves well, but also allows us to grow as leaders. To become great leaders, we need our employees to trust us while appreciating our vulnerability. The first step in getting our employees to believe in us is for us to know ourselves well. This would help us be ourselves instead of trying to be like someone we think we should aspire toward.
Finally, Ramsden also has an important message regarding failure. Failures are inevitable for all entrepreneurs. However, failures are relative, no matter how huge they may seem when they occur. Failures are helpful in leading us to success. We should embrace the opportunity to learn and understand from early failures. People who fail the most not only lead interesting lives but also end up being some of the most successful people; these are the people who can rise back from their failures because they have better knowledge about their abilities and know how to apply those abilities.
by: Sohini Bhattacharya (Co-Founder & Partner, Allegoro Communications)