The #1 Excel Question (and the answer)

Excel users are people from all kinds of backgrounds, who are at all different levels of comfort and confidence using technology, working in tons of different sectors, and who want to do vastly different things in Excel. But all these different people inevitably have the same question over and over again when working in Excel, whether they are asking their coach or themselves:

“Am I doing this right?”

With my coaching clients, I hear this question after we go over doing something new in Excel, and it’s time for the client to try it on their own. They take a few tentative steps, and stop just before finishing to ask me - “is that right?”

It is a totally natural question to ask - before you take that final step, you want to validate that you’ve done everything right. If not, why take the time on the last step? Of course, the answer everyone wants to hear is “yes you did it right” or “no, you messed up, here is how you fix it.” But neither of these answers is the right one - in fact, no answer is right to this question. The reason for this is because there is actually a really important reason to take this last step before getting any validation. Creating anything in Excel is a series of steps that are getting you from point A (the idea of what you want to do or make) to point Z (successfully creating or doing it). Every single step taken along the way is a critical learning moment, and none more so than those steps that you are unsure of. And that is why I always answer the question the same way:

“Try it out!”

My coaching clients tend to give a nervous giggle at this point, and then they go for it. About 50% of the time, everything has worked out and they feel excited and validated in their work. The other 50% of the time, they get an unexpected result and we have to go backwards over our steps to figure out what went awry. There is a built in safety net when you have a coach watching you work and helping you troubleshoot. What happens when you are on your own?

The best thing that I can teach as an Excel coach is how to do it without me there as a safety net. That takes a lot more than just technical knowledge. It takes the confidence to try things out, to get things wrong. You need the approaches and the mindsets that will help you to stick with your work and figure things out on your own. These things are what will support you in taking the technical Excel skills that anyone can learn and applying them to your unique needs and the outcomes you want to achieve.

Ready to learn the mindsets you need and how to apply these with technical skills? Join my FREE email course:

Mastering the Excel Mindset