Spoken by The Tribe: There’s a Long Road Ahead But We’re Picking Up Pace…

I had it right there. The answer. My ‘what’. Shining in front of me like a bright gleamy bubble I could almost reach out and touch. I was excited, bouncy, evangelistic even. But that was Thursday.

With Saturday came some validation. Ideas are good! Writing ideas down is great! Turning ideas into tangible action is bloody brilliant!! Way to go bubble.

But the weekend also brought a good dose of reality. Forcing us to revisit our values; to explore more deeply our drivers; to face once more our saboteurs; and to re-identify our Tribes and role models. For some this simply helped to take them one step further along the road. For others it was overwhelming…more information to add to the last lot they just hadn’t had the time to do anything with yet. And for those lucky enough to have the gift of time to explore burgeoning ideas it threw in an uncomfortable feedback loop – a return to a stage we’d naively thought we’d cruised through and moved beyond. Bugger.

But on closer examination none of this was 100% new; more a reminder of the things which had triggered our motion in the first place. A timely sanity check to ensure we weren’t beginning to doubt ourselves, take short cuts, or clutch at straws in desperation to find an answer. Our School was doing exactly what most schools on the planet DON’T do. It was giving us the tools to firmly, and more tangibly, define our absolutely, unequivocally, unique contribution. And (and this WAS new), to begin to actually do something about it; to think about how we might launch ourselves, contribution, values, warts and all upon the world. In the words of Rikke Hansen “mindset is important, but it is action which cements that mindset.”

As ever with The Escape School, this was delivered side by side with well crafted guidance, as the fab four of Charly, Rob, Jules and Rikke swung into action once again. Cue tears, laughter, confusion, exhaustion, and a lot of tongue chewing concentration. They didn’t make it easy for us but the results were profound:

Rob brought us back to our values and decision criteria – our career must haves – and helped us produce a set of compassionate guidance for our future action.

From Rikke came a reminder of what career by design really is: taking what you have, determining what is missing, combining the two and then subjecting them to a continuous cycle of road-testing and improvement FOR EVER!

Charly – with the help of a red carpet ceremony – taught us to craft a Personal Value Proposition (our USP), through better understanding of our personalities and saboteur tendencies.

And Jules gave a practical guide to building a platform for ourselves, teaching us how to raise our credibility by showing rather than simply telling the world what it is we have to offer. Tips on blogging, speech writing and hustling were lapped up by the Tribe, many by now chomping at the bit to get going.

All of this was beautifully complemented by thoughtful, and moving open mic’s from our fellow Tribe members. Humbling stories of our shared humanity, both fallibility and immense courage; reminders that we are taking this journey with an intelligent, compassionate, extraordinary set of human beings.

So, action is to be the focus of our next 6 weeks. We each have a priority task, whether it be generating 10 ideas a day, or settling upon and testing one idea we already have with someone we think might help us. We also have homework to determine how we might move a step closer to achieving each of our decision criteria. Can we move our office closer to home? Sack all the idiots we work with? Increase our salary to 100K? Perhaps not overnight, but these are the realities of our goals and we cannot shy away from them.

Finally, by the end of March, we are expected to be able to deliver to the Tribe the story of what The Escape School has helped us to achieve. “This is what I did…This is what I learned….This is what I’m going to do next.”

Apparently this is the painful part, where statistically we are most likely to lose people who feel unable or unwilling to take action. But the Tribe has a rare positivity, energy, and can-do spirit. I have to believe that we can beat the statistics.


As for me and the bubble? You’ll be relieved to know it hasn’t entirely popped. But if I want it to last I’m going to have to settle on its shape, add a lot more fairy-liquid to the mix, and maybe even ask for a bit of help from my friends. No one said it would be easy.

This is a guest post by Charlotte Maddrell, from our Escape Tribe. You can read her previous blog post here

For more information on The Escape Tribe, visit here.

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