Sprint 2 - A strong start, a little self-doubt and a positive finish

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I know you're waiting on tenterhooks for some big news this morning...well wait no more... Ross' Sprint Update is here.

I know it's not an easy feeling knowing the next month ahead with the uncertainty around the US election and more lockdowns across the UK and beyond. However, I'm sure you read, hear and see enough of that elsewhere.

As usual in this newsletter I'll share what I've been up to, what I wrote, what a read, what inspired me and put the spotlight on someone - this week my sister Hannah Power.

So what's with the title?

Yesterday my second sprint came to a close; a good 2 weeks with some good learnings, some strong personal wins but not without moments of self-doubt.

As I shared before, I find there's no good in people just sharing wins, inspiring quotes and how great things are going as its often not true, and just not useful, both for other people's mindset and their potential learning.

More and more I've found that when I read of someone's journey in a more authentic way its far more impactful, valuable  and in all honesty doesn't make me feel crap about my own progress.

I've had moment of self-doubt, you may have two since we last spoke 2 weeks ago. And that's just fine.

Self-doubt is actually more powerful than we realise. We're often told that confidence is the key. That being committed in our conviction is the route to success; anyone that lets on to others a slight hint of self-doubt has lost. Well. That's quite a load of bullsh*t.

Doubt derives from latin - dubitare "to waver, hestitate, and be uncertain". From an evolutionary standpoint doubt is a good.  To waver and hesitate was integral to our ancestors survival as they decided each day whether to cross a river, to go into the unknown.

Today self-doubt comes out as a lack of confidence in ourselves and our abilities. At times this is useful, it gives us the drive and motivation to keep improving and questioning our capabilities, however, taken too far it can rob us of opportunity or waste potential. The way to avoid the negatives is a combination of self-compassion - being kinder to ourselves, and self-efficacy - having confidence in ones ability to develop strategies and complete tasks necessary to succeed. Perhaps consider this next time you have a moment questioning yourself.

Anyway, a few updates on what's been happening in Sprint 2.

💻  What I’ve been up to…

Having spent the first two weeks in an organisation and admin focused mindset, this last two have been a little more creative and centred on building my consulting services as well as a site for Collecting Dots. My key points:

  • CollectingDots.club -  Completed the build of a site for the Collecting Dots community (you). This is where I'll store these newsletters, written content and a few other things I'm considering working on. You can check it out here - CollectingDots.club (built in Webflow - happy to chat anytime if anyone is interested in my tips and more specific learnings)
  • Email Service Migration - As SubStack didn't offer quite what I was looking for I've changed my approach to the newsletter. I'm now using ActiveCampaign linked via Zapier to the subscription form in Webflow. You may have noticed you received two emails from me last night. This was a c*ck up on my side in the Zapier setup (I ended up creating a Zap which welcomed the entire Collecting Dots list whenever someone signed up it - rather inclusive perhaps but definitely not the intention). So, apologies for the extra emails and thanks for understanding - just the one unsubscriber - you can't win them all :)
  • Ross Power Consulting - I've also started working with two clients which has given me a good motivator to get some more of the adminy things sorted. After a week of pondering I opted to go self-employed/ sole-trader rather than setting up as a limited company. Certainly makes more sense for the stage I'm at but its a good thing to consider. I'm also all setup up with Starling for business banking with Xero connected for invoices (Ross...why seriously, why are you telling me this? Well, you may not need it now, or ever, but I do believe this blueprint could well be useful for you or others one day, who knows).
  • Products & Brand - Now I'm getting more into the describe phase of things, whilst still testing and experimenting with ideas, I've started to hone in on the services I'd like to offer, my value proposition, and the methodologies & systems I'd like to use when with companies. Working with Powerful Leaders has been a brilliant way of getting into this, a company founded by my sister Hannah - more on Hannah later in this update.

✍️ What I wrote…

I was uneasy as I got to this one as I haven't shared any writing this last week. Oh no! But my fans are waiting...I joke! Obviously this is not the case.

I have actually done a fair bit of writing in my daily journal which has helped massively to get thoughts out of my head and into a place I can look at them and realise what it is I'm trying to think. Sounds weird but I do think just writing for yourself without a big outcome in mind really helps with clarity.

If you want to use my Morning Journal for inspiration if you're thinking of doing something similar you can grab the template here (just duplicate it to your own notion).

I'm also working on a series of articles which I've opted to write in a more connected format. A lot of ideas and philosophies that I've come across are intertwined, therefore writing about them in separate pieces has been a challenge. I'm aiming to share the first next week.

📚 What I read…

  • Late Bloomers - I've just finished a brilliant book which shares some insights into the challenge we now have in society about our obsession with early achievement and the affect this has on young people and older alike. It moves between neuroscience, history, philosophy and business to reveal some truly remarkable insights into why we have become so engrained in the idea that early success is best, and how this is so sorely misunderstood. I'm working on a piece to share some thought on this in more detail, however if this sounds interesting to you check it out here.
  • Atomic Habits  - Continuing with Atomic Habits however as its an audiobook I'm finding it more difficult to get through at the moment - I tended to listen to books on my commute, sure many others have noticed this too). I've certainly learnt some powerful insights already into what one must aim to do for real and lasting change in our own lives and for groups. To make a change the focus has to be less on the outcomes and more on the identity of the person or group that you wish to become - "Improvements are temporary until they become who you are".

🦋 What inspired me

  • Ness Labs - I've followed Ness Labs and Anne-Laure for some time and love what she's created.  As an entrepreneur, ex-Googler, and a neuroscience student her aim is to bring products to market that help people be happier and healthier. Something in particular that has got me thinking over this last sprint is her ideas around networked thought and the execution of these ideas through MentalNodes "A gardening guide for your mind"
  • Burgs - Mt Wolf - I came across the song below which grabbed my attention and I've played a fair few times. Take 7 minutes out of your busy day if you can and have a listen.

🔦Spotlight on… [Hannah Power]

As I mentioned, I've started working with Powerful Leaders this week so it seems like a good time to put the spotlight on my sister Hannah Power. Having been on a similar journey to me a few years ago, Hannah has now built a brilliant business which supports people in refining their niche, honing in on the value they'd like to offer, and crucially guides them in creating tangible products that they can take to their target audience. Hannah has been an incredible role model growing up and continues to in her determination, creativity and eagerness to support people not only in their discovery but the execution too.

Thanks for reading - I hope this offers you some inspiration, a little comedy, and some insight into the dots someone else has been collecting over the last few weeks.

All the best,


Written by
Ross Power