Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

This may be hard to see and that's fine. The details of the picture don't matter. It's the big picture that counts. This is the beginning of revamping our business plan and I'm excited by it because it finally reflects ME. How did I get here?

1 - I asked my new business coach, Sandy Martini, about her timeline for the program I am participating in with her called Get It Done Right the First Time. "But this isn't your first time, Monica. You're already started!" I know, I know, but it's never too late to get it done right. Anyway, she told me and I thanked her, telling her that I need to see the big picture before I could get mired in details. She thanked me for telling her my preference for receiving information.


2 - I am preparing some thoughts for a meeting I have with Bizzy Girl and Design Guru next Friday as we start to create systems for soliciting new business from our target market. My telling Sandy about my big picture preference and thinking about the systems made me think of our business plan, which I never loved because - believe it or not - it was too wordy. Me - a runner-up in the Mrs. Loquacious Contest (I've met people worse than me) and it was too many words. "I am creative," I remember. "How do I learn best?" Seeing then jumping in and doing. (I'll read the instructions later.) "Of course! I need a visual business plan!"

3 - That led me here to a man named Andrew Smith. And I really appreciated the simplicity of what he was saying and his visual examples.

4- I then went to the site a guy who was talking about circular business plans and I got dizzy right away. I already had circles in my head. Didn't need more. So I ended up here on the site of a woman named Julie Stuart who draws these AMAZING visual business plans. You can even see her portfolio on her site. Good stuff. Still not quite right for me, though I did sign up for her newsletter. She was on the right track at least. She asked the right questions about my ideas spiriling out of control.

5 - I need a mix of the spotaneity you see with Julie and the clarity you see with Andrew, but a little linear thoughts too because I need things to be visually organized. Julie stuff is great but I can't look at her plans and see the direction like I could in Andrew's example.

Thus the picture you see at top.

I stood in my living room racking my brain, wishing I had a chalkboard or white board or a way to write on my walls that came off easily. I needed to write the vision, not type. Not yet. I thought about that chalkboard and imagined making something to use on my refrigerator so I could stand and write. Then Mr. T's not-yet-discarded-40"-inch-TV-box winked at me. I remembered I had brought home a dry erase calendar that my boss couldn't use and I thought I could. I had paper and markers. I would make something to help me purge. And I would perch it on my ironing board because the next best place was downstairs on the table in my office and it's cold down there in the winter when you're just wearing a long shirt!

Now, on my makeshift white board (card board?), I could write and still take the paper with me later. I could see the mess dumped on paper in every possible category. I could ask the questions and write whatever answers I had and then leave it there while I continued to think of things to add. Then, when I think I've purged it all, I could start working on whatever details I had for each section of the brain dump. Only then could I see maybe typing some stuff up, but not yet. I've got to finish getting the stuff out of my head. I need to sleep on it, come up with more stuff if there is any and then call Bizzy Girl to see what she can add to it. By the weekend, I should be able to start getting details down.

This is good. It helps to know how I think and learn. We may just get organized yet.

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