10 Weeks Isn’t 10 Weeks

Article written by Jack Cassidy 

I’m Jack Cassidy, the new(ish) Collaborative Innovation Officer here at the Canberra Innovation Network. When I say “new(ish),” it’s not just a reference to time; it’s a subtle disclaimer I’ve been using to cushion my transition. This post is about how I’ve grown in my role, what I’ve learned, and why I’m so enthusiastic about embracing change. Spoiler alert: it pays dividends to lean into new experiences and be comfortable with not having all the answers.

The ‘Recently’ Crutch:

I’m not sure when I’ll stop telling people I’m new here. In my first few weeks, I found myself frequently using the word ‘recently’ as a safety net. If I made a mistake, ‘recently’ implied I was still learning the ropes. If I did something well, hopefully it suggested I was a quick study. It became a running joke between me and my manager, Kelly Cruz. I’d say, “It’s only my fourth day of my seventh week,” and we’d laugh, imagining how long I could keep it up. Today, I had to check my calendar to confirm I’ve been here for 10 weeks. The word ‘recently’ has started to fall out of my vocabulary, and frankly, I’m excited to see it go.

Embracing the Unknown:

Diving headfirst into unfamiliar territory is, as it turns out, a fantastic way to force self-growth. On reflection, I’m glad I went into this role knowing very little about how to do the actual work. Being comfortable with not knowing everything (or anything) meant I was always open to learning new things. I can see – even with my limited experience – that this mindset is crucial for entrepreneurs facing new challenges daily. The real question for established businesses is: How can you continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone? What can you learn in 10 weeks when you already know what you’re doing?

In my short time here, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects that were completely foreign to me just weeks ago. I’ve helped organise innovation workshops, contributed to grant applications, and been inspired by countless new perspectives and approaches to life I’d never considered. Each new experience was a chance to learn, grow, and add value in unexpected ways. I never knew exactly what I would learn from these new experiences (I suppose if I did then they wouldn’t be new) but I found time and time again that I learnt the most when I kept an open mind.

Jack pitching at First Wednesday Connect

Time, Change, and Growth:

So, if 10 weeks isn’t 10 weeks, then what is it? It’s all about perspective and intention. At 24, I’ve experienced about 125 sets of 10-week periods. Some brought extraordinary change – moving countries, graduating high school, starting this job. Others felt static, like during the pandemic when it seemed like nothing changed except the number of hours I clocked watching Netflix. The amount of growth you experience in any given period is largely up to you. For entrepreneurs, this means actively seeking opportunities for growth and innovation, especially when things start feeling a bit mundane. For people who are inundated by new experiences, lean into them, because before long they won’t be novel, and you’ll have to work harder to create those valuable new perspectives.

Compare yourself to a past version of yourself, and you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come. Ten weeks ago, I was nervously stepping into CBRIN, armed with boundless enthusiasm and zero experience. Today, I’m marginally more experienced, and the enthusiasm isn’t fuelled by obliviousness, it’s fuelled by excitement at how much I’ve learned so far and how much I can learn in the future. The journey hasn’t always been smooth – I’ve had my fair share of “deer in the headlights” moments – but each challenge has been an opportunity for growth.

The Takeaway:

The next 10 weeks are yours to shape. As I’ve learned in my role, your experience is what you make of it – and then some. Embrace change, stay open to learning, and don’t worry about not knowing everything. Your growth as an entrepreneur depends on the experiences you choose to engage in.

I’m committed to making the most of my next 10 weeks, pushing myself further out of my comfort zone and contributing even more to CBRIN’s mission. How will you approach yours? Whether you’re a startup founder, a seasoned entrepreneur, or somewhere in between, I challenge you to approach the next 10 weeks with renewed curiosity and openness. And if you need a partner in innovation, well, you know where to find us.