Look at the tape

In Founders, Freelancers, Lessons Learned by Jay Clouse

Last night we wrapped up the current session of the Unreal Collective 12-week accelerator. We always finish with a Showcase and an opportunity to hear from and share with members from other groups.

The first time I did this, I thought it would just be sort of a show and tell of things we’ve built/accomplished, but it actually serves a better purpose than that.

I’ll be honest — 12 weeks is longer than it sounds. Throughout a three month period, every individual goes through his/her own version of the ups and downs that come with running a business.

And being so deep in the day-to-day, it’s really hard to zoom out and think about what you’ve accomplished over the last 12 weeks. I find that when I’m thinking about what I’ve gotten done lately, my mind bounds the consideration to the previous 2-4 weeks.

Last night’s showcase was an awesome opportunity to reflect back on the original roadmap/goal setting exercise we did back in January. We all looked back on where we started and the goals we set for ourselves three months down the line.

And as we all looked back, many of us were surprised at just how far we had come!

It’s natural to be frustrated with your own pace and accomplishments. We are our own toughest critic, and we expect to be traveling at light speed and posting new highlights to our social media reel every week — or every day!

So if you’re like me, you can easily feel frustrated and think that you’re just not doing the things you can be doing.

Looking back at the tape let’s you take a realistic look at what you’ve gotten done. It allows you to reflect and celebrate the things you’ve accomplished, which are generally more impressive over a 12 week period than you realize.

Goals are great, but if you don’t celebrate the achievement of a goal, you won’t refill your tank and set yourself up for the next goal.

It’s hard to look at the tape. We self-deprecate and under-appreciate our own skills and abilities. But if you don’t look honestly at your work, you’re missing the best way to improve quickly.

I’ve had two fully edited episodes of my podcast in my Dropbox for several days, and I’ve been avoiding listening back through them. Listening to them both today, I was both impressed with the overall product, and very quickly aware of the things I could do better.

If you take growth and improvement seriously, you need to be looking back at the tape — it’s not just for athletes!

PS: Interested in learning more about or joining the next session of Unreal? We start in June — get on the waitlist here.