Procrastination is the key to your life story...or in this case a great business plan!
Anyone that is starting or has started a business gets told that you have to start with a business plan. It isn’t so much the content of the business plan but the process of working through each of the sections. It forces you to do the homework, put your ideas on paper, outline your direction and may be used to seek funding.
My business plan has been a work in progress for a really long time. It’s been the perpetual item at the top of my
to-do list. Every time I would sit down to begin writing, I would have immediate writer’s block and would quickly get bored and distracted and move on to something else… something more important like actually learning about running a business and what I was providing. Why would anyone do that on paper?? How was I supposed to know what the financial projections were going to be if I didn’t even know exactly what I was marketing? It was just a bunch of guesses. My minimum viable product hadn’t yet been discovered and I wasn’t even sure what problem I was trying to solve for people. It was still just a concept and a dream. I was fighting against the concept of writing the plan because I didn’t have a full understanding of what the business looked like. Then again why would you start a business without that? (Did I say sometimes I do things backward?)
My friend (thanks Gretchen!) just reminded me of something important and it seemed to all make sense because for the last 3 days I’ve been cranking out that business plan. Winter is a time for rest and discovery, it is nature’s way of giving you permission to slow down and reflect back on the year. Spring is when new seeds push out of the ground. If you force those seeds too early when they are not ready you are trying to control what shouldn’t yet be controlled. (paraphrasing but you get the point). My business wasn’t ready to be a seed out of the ground. I needed the time to discover it and nurture it and allow it to rest and come to light when it was ready.
So instead of writing, I set forth to prepare the ground. I spent a year discovering, learning, doing, reading, and experimenting all with the end result in mind of helping people preserve their stories. During this time the business was becoming the pieces of the puzzle I needed to create the full picture. I still don’t have it all figured out, but by starting with the end result in mind and working backward I’m a lot further along, plus I now have a business plan!
“A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on its own.
That’s when you’ll start writing.
What does this have to do with your life story you may ask. Well, you wouldn’t write about your story without having lived it would you? You might like to, in a way that you write everything you want to achieve and accomplish and exactly how you want to live. But you wouldn’t learn and grow from that and discover the paths that eventually lead you to your destination. So procrastinate, take your time, discover new paths, even if they are wrong, and grow. When you are ready to preserve those stories, I’ll be here to help you organize them so you can write your “business plan”. After all, I’m good at working backward!