What happened when I created my first flow

As I consider myself to be a non-technical person working in IT as an Office 365 Consultant focusing on Service Adoption, I never felt like using Microsoft Flow could be a thing for me. I thought that automation and business workflows wouldn’t matter to me, as I worked independently without employees. Perhaps, I lack of self-confidence when it comes to my technical knowledge, but I never expected, what really happened, when I tried to create something in Microsoft Flow.

I wanted to figure out, if there was a better way than manually writing and calculating all the hours I spend on different projects and different customers, because I really don’t like that: It’s time-consuming, not really creative work and so I get annoyed about that.

It all started with a colleague of me, who told me that he uses a Flow Template from which he could use the Flow mobile button to trigger a date and timestamp row in an Excel table. I felt that Excel wasn’t what I really like to have these data in and so I searched for other solutions and found Jon Levesques blog in which he posted the perfect solution — with step by step instructions. It was written so good and I understood everything so I had the courage to try it out. But while trying out, I made a lot of mistakes. I chose the wrong column types and created a document library instead of a list, but the Flow community on twitter (Thank you JohnJon and my all time supporter Lou) helped me, when I asked for help. They guided me, so I was able to achieve that by myself. They asked the right questions instead of blaming me or doing it for me. They all were helpful, supportive, kind and nice. And these feelings made me more self-confident again and I finally build this flow. You cannot imagine how I felt, when I saw this:

4 failed attempts to run the flow, 1 test succeeded, 1 succeeded run

I felt like I was able to do anything I wanted. Sure, I am not! But if I can build this, everyone can! So again, what if it is a great illusion, that I am not technical (enough) to build something (with a little help of my friends). What if I limit myself and exclude myself from so many experiences, communites and workflows? What if this blogpost (Thank you, Jon!) was not only written to give an example of how to solve a real world problem but also to prove, that everyone can build this?

Wonderwoman Lego figurine

With this in mind, I added a dropdown menu to the project field in my flow and again felt like WonderWoman! I know, I am not, but I felt like I was high. In the meantime, I calmed down again. As you might have heard about my journey becoming a sketchnote Artist, I see some parallels to this story. I realized again, that it’s up to me, to take my journey to the next level and I am very grateful to be able to learn. My learnings in this case: More than creating that flow, but growing as a person. Altough I try to embrace changes and my own evolution, I still have moments of fear… not to be good enough or not to deserve being member of this community. But this experience took me a great step further.

What do you think? What are your inner voices telling you that you can’t do X or aren’t good anough in Y so you stop yourself from doing it anyway? I would love to hear your feedback!

Luise

Luise is an independent Microsoft 365 Consultant, Microsoft MVP for Office, Apps & Services, Sketchnotes Artist and Power Platform Advocate based in Germany. Do you need help with your project, want to exchange views or just connect? Feel free to follow me in twitter, LinkedIn or get in touch via contact form.

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