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  • Painful Frustration or Sweet Success? – Emer Johnston Donegal

    “Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success” (Bo Bennett)

    As Monday morning beckoned so did a very late night to be prepared to meet Gerry with my Category map and understanding the ‘how’s and why’s’ of where my idea would fit into the mix. Having defined our market drivers we reached logical explanations we were all happy to settle on….at least for now!

    Some in-ways into our secondary research were shared, and we all began to realise, the level of pain and frustration people go through in order to find appropriate answers. Scribbled notes to follow up on later and trawling through reports and research will definitely keep us out of mischief for the next few weeks!

    The penny began to drop as we saw the logic behind clearly identifying our core product offering and understanding that our augmented product would be what differentiates us from our competitors.

    Initial work on the broad concept of our community project is underway. Research and recommendations will be to hand for our next meeting when a more concrete idea will be agreed.

    Support for one another was high on the agenda when focus turned to selecting our 3 market segments. “Three” we asked as Gerry highlighted the importance of being able to survive the peaks and troughs that we would experience.  The now famous segmentation slide appeared as we began to explore and narrow down specific market segments under the categories of Geographic, Demographic and Psycho-graphic in order to focus our efforts.

    Ursula popped in and introduced Michael Tunney, CEO Donegal County Enterprise Board and Seamus Neely, Donegal County Council Manager to us. Ears were perked as we listened with enthusiasm and deep interest at the success of the previous programme. The belief in our journeys on the Discovery Zone was becoming more evident as we challenge ourselves and each other and leave behind our comfort zone.

    It was time to revisit our elevator pitches with our business mind-set and an understanding of the customer’s pain as the 14th May draws closer. Further changes and refinements were made to our pitches as we became more confident about our business idea.

    The SWOT analysis arrived on Wednesday and we set about exploring our internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. It wasn’t long before we were learning how to turn the negatives into positives. Many a laugh was shared and you may be surprised to find out who ends up ‘on the bus’ for one person!

    Next it was time for the PESTLE focusing on the possible external forces of change on a business. The ‘what if’ questions and the importance of highlighting all possibilities threw up all sorts of complications and challenges to address especially in the Social analysis! Undeterred by such obstacles we continued the round table discussion sharing snippets of information with each other.

    Day 3 drew to a close but more was yet to come as it was a 4 day week! A change of focus as it was time to engage in some personal reflection and work on our personal and business profiles. It took a bit of time for some of us to get over the idea and the importance of selling the person behind the business – uncomfortable territory and definitely outside the comfort zone!

    Exploring our SMART goals left us all more focused on where we are going, exactly what we want to achieve and what help we need to reach the goals.  We introduced some focused support mechanisms to better tap into the precious resource of each other and revisited the GROW model.

    Hopefully our primary research continues to gather momentum and we’ll all have some interesting results to share on Tuesday morning. The slide deck for the 14th May is becoming more achievable and doesn’t  it feel good to have a few slides sorted heading into the Bank Holiday weekend!

    The programme is a sharp, challenging learning curve but one that will bring tremendous results in the end, with our commitment, passion and perseverance.

    Week Blog Contribution

    Frustrated or Succeeding?

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