293. From Her English Seaside Home She “Helps Entrepreneurs Get Stuff Done”
Susan Weeks competed with 2,000 applicants for a coveted programming job at a new Nissan factory in Sunderland, UK. She won one of only two positions offered. The work was challenging but she felt like a square peg in a round hole. When a new start-up hit town, new vistas suddenly emerged.
Susan Weeks is a busy online implementation specialist and podcast producer who “helps entrepreneurs get stuff done.” With a focus on podcasting and video marketing, she has enabled her clients to create clarity, simplify strategy and tame technology. Happily settled in a small seaside town on the East Yorkshire Coast of England, Susan has developed her getting-stuff-done skills to support her busy life. A single mum with long-term clients and a regular schedule of work to accomplish, she has a lot to fit into her day. Add in a love of the outdoors, running, being a scout leader and an enthusiastic textile artist, people ask how she finds the time to smile and enjoy life.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Early in childhood, Susan realized she was a born organizer. She successfully competed against 2,000 applicants for one of two jobs programming mainframe computers at the newly opened Nissan Motor Manufacturing factory in Sunderland, UK. Although the work was challenging, “I just felt as if I were a square peg in a round hole. I became very frustrated and unhappy.” Rather than leave the job right away, she looked around for other opportunities to learn. “This gave me a fantastic selection of skills, which stood me in good stead even today. Things like general technology skills, testing, project management, planning, being able to communicate, work to the distance, all that kind of good stuff, which I still use today. It wasn’t wasted time, not at all.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“What really changed things was when a fast-growing start-up came to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which encouraged a group of us to leave Nissan. It was an outsourcing company working with a big American global bank.” Soon, Susan was managing a virtual office, with staffers working remotely in four locations across the north of England. The experience opened her eyes to opportunities for using the internet to free herself from the rigidity of a fixed office setting. New vistas emerged.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“From the time I was a small child, I’ve always challenged myself to (make) progress. I am more mindful of taking advantage of opportunities than I ever really thought I was. Clearly, I’ve made several drastic changes in my life. My attitude has always been, there’s got to be a better way. If you just start to look around, these days there’s so much opportunity to do something different. When I was a child at school, computers had hardly been invented. Now you can do just anything. And I’m just so happy to have been born when I was, and for being able to find the thing that I do like. You know, I’m good with technology and communicating, and I’ve really found my space. I’m really happy about that.”
Steps to Success from Susan Weeks
1. Keep your mind open to the fact that there are opportunities all around you.
2. Look for ways to convert what you’re doing now into something with more freedom built into it.
3. If you think about it long enough and look for it, there will be an answer. There will be a way.
4. Be a life-long learner. Take opportunities to learn new skills, even if you don’t know if you’ll ever use them.
On Her Bookshelf
How To Give It So They Get It: A Flight Plan for Teaching Anyone Anything and Making It Stick, by Sharon L.Bowman
The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months, by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs, by Kevin Kruse
Connecting With Susan Weeks
Susan loves using Trello to plan her life and manage projects. She also loves The 12 Week Year book (see On Her Bookshelf above.) Trello is very flexible and you can set it up as suits you. However, a blank screen can be overwhelming, so to help you get started, Susan has created two Trello boards for you, each with an explanatory video and infographic. One goes through the steps needed to launch a podcast. The other shows how you can set up and use Trello to capture and work your 12 Week Year plans and activities. Get started at http://podcastprogress.com/trelloexamples/
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