Archive for April, 2014

Discovering your Mission Statement

Discovering your Mission Statement

Do you remember in second grade when the teacher would ask you to draw a picture of what you want to be when you grow up? I know I’m going back to childhood on some ideas. The reason I do this is because when we were children, we had this amazing ability to see everything as reachable and attainable.

I remember drawing a picture of an alien. Because, I knew that aliens traveled the universe and saw these amazing things. An astronaut just wasn’t enough. I wanted to be able to breathe another atmosphere without a helmet. I wanted to experience things that were normal to a human with an alien’s eye.

So I drew an alien.

My teacher smiled politely and gave my work an “A”.

It was the best day of my life up till then.

Then I grew up and as a grown up, learned to put away my childish dreams and face reality.

Cue the music....

Cue the music….

Your Mission Statement, should you accept…

Your business plan mission statement is the dream that you started with when you first decided to go on this path. It is a sentence. Just one, that says exactly what you want to do with your small business life when you grow up.

Your mission is your second grade drawing. It’s why you decided to do this.

For me, it’s why I decided to write. I want to help people.

To help others by writing stories that allow people to feel when they read them.

There isn’t enough feeling in this world any more. There is plenty of passion, but no one feels.

Because it means accepting where you are in this very moment and FEELING through it.

Sometimes it hurts so much you want to curl into a tiny ball of hedgehog and disappear  under a mass of prickly spines.

Sometimes it is so good your body can’t contain the joy and you swear the rays are going to pierce out of your skin and spray the world with light.

Sometimes it is so fearful that you are sure your heart is going to burst out of your chest and run ahead of you screaming like a banshee.

Passion doesn’t encompass those kind of emotions. But Feeling does.

That’s why I chose the word for my mission.

Here is a different one for you.  The Mission Statement for my small business coaching is this:

To assist small business owners in realizing the potential of their dreams and help them achieve it by giving them the tools and inspiration to succeed.

Now it’s your turn. I’ll leave a space for you below to picture it and you can put it in the comments.

My Mission Statement is:

 

 

 

 

 

There is the space, fill it up with tbe drawing of what your business is going to be when it grows up. Don’t hold back and don’t be afraid. If you are worried that your statement isn’t good enough, talk to you business friend. If you have no one to bounce it off of, contact me. I’ll help in a post. No names of course. And if you want to retain my services, well, then, lets talk.

Tomorrow should see me on track with the A to Z Challenge now. The letter is “E”. Wanna guess what it’s going to be?

Have a great day/night, my friends.

M.

When I grow up....

When I grow up….

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Create

Create

So we’ve talked about the fears of a business plan.  Today’s post is about starting to create one.  If you go on the World Wide Web, you can search for “Business Plan Template” and come up with a nice long list of helpful templates.  Next Post will include the links to those templates I’ve found helpful.  But first, take some time and search for them.  Use your favorite search engine.

As an introvert, I want to be able to cut through the hype and understand what each sections mean to me.  So I’ve come up with a list of key ingredients for a workable Business Plan for a small business.  I will focus on a writing career, but I will also throw in a few suggestions from other small businesses I’ve encountered. Here it is:

  • It must have the following sections – Vision, Mission, Objectives, and Goals.  If it has more than that, well, you decide if you want to spend the time understanding them.  If you get lost, feel free to contact me, I will try to help.
  • You must have a SWOT template.  Remember yesterday?  Strength’s, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats?  I have to tell you that I have a hard time remembering that last “T”.  Because, when you start to understand the SWOT, you realize that the “T”, Threat, is actually an “R”, Risk.  Because, threat’s are outside risks to your business and risks can be managed.  Threats make it sound as if you are in a castle besieged by bandits.  You’re not.  Those bandits outside your business are risks that can actually help you and you can help them.  I’ll talk about that a little later.  As an author, other authors are not a threat to me, they are an asset and aligning myself with them makes us both better!  Trust me on this one.
  • Finally, you need a good friend or business partner to help you get through the tough parts.   This last one is important.  None of us live in a vaccum, although, I’m sure there are times when I’ve wished with all my heart this were so.  Everything and everyone around us can help us.  We don’t have to find more than one person to bounce our ideas off of, but you need at least one.

As an introvert, that last bullet is really difficult.  Because it is easy to look up an extroverted business partner who doesn’t understand your way of thinking and you will be discouraged before you’re five minutes into the conversation. Not that anything like that has ever happened to me… Okay, maybe once or thrice. Take your time finding the right person/people to help you..  This isn’t a 2K sprint, this

Marlie Sprinting.

Marlie Sprinting.

is a 1,000,000 mile marathon.  Your business will be with you for the rest of your life, hopefully.  You don’t want to burn yourself out before you’ve even caught your second wind. Please understand, I am NOT saying you can take a very long time.  Services and products need to be offered in a timely manner.  What I AM saying is take the time YOU need to do it right.  Trust yourself to know and trust those you surround yourself with to know. Later I am going to post D.  I want to catch up to the monthly challenge.  I don’t think I can safely say that I’ve succeeded at this, however, I’m not giving up just because there was a minor setback.  This isn’t do or die, this is helping you.  At least I hope to help you. Let me know in the comments.  They are in the upper right hand corner of this blog.  The speech bubble.  Click on the red number. M.

BHow many of you actually know what a business plan does? Show of hands. Yeah, I didn’t know much about them either. I’ve heard from other coaches that the business plan is the “Plan for your business.” Well, that’s a big “Duh!”

But what does it really mean? What’s a vision? What’s a mission? and those three acronyms… S. W. O. T. that stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT. To me I could go down to the dollar store and buy one to kill my flies.

After a lot of researching, sweating blood onto the page, and then ripping it up to start again, this is what I have learned about the business plan.

 

  1. You need a working business plan to move forward and grow.
  2. Your business plan needs to be a living document.  It is looked at as often as you need to be reminded of why you’re doing this, what you plan to do, and the list of steps to get you there.
  3. It will change.  I guarantee, the business plan will change.  No one likes change.  Especially when you think you are building momentum, but trust me.  Change is good, even when it looks like the worst thing that could ever happen.
  4. It.  Is.  Not. A. Monster.   I know some of you are looking at blank business plans imagining it to be this huge purple and green hairy monstrosity ready to consume your soul.  (Okay, maybe that’s just me talking.)  But it’s really not.  Especially when you break it down into its parts.

    Parts is Parts!

    Parts is Parts!

  5. Once you understand what each section means, it will actually be fun and energizing to complete and play with.  It’s sort of like building your own map.  No one tells you what you have to put on your map.  Only you.
    Cowbell The Dog

    Cowbell The Dog

    Do you remember in kindergarten when you could draw whatever you wanted on a piece of paper and your mom would look at it and say, “Wow, honey, that’s the most beautiful horse I’ve ever seen!”  and you reply, “No, Mom, that’s Cowbell, our dog!”  That’s what you get to do with a business plan.  Draw Cowbell the dog.

So today’s post is a day late.  I’m using up my Sunday because of circumstances that happen in life.  Don’t be afraid, I’m still going to write these.  Tomorrow is C.

Tell me below what you think C would represent in a business plan.  I would love to hear from you!

Have a great day!

M.

 

 

A

A to Z Challenge

There is a myth about Icarus and flying too close to the sun. This story is about hubris. But I look at this story from an introvert’s point of view and I see something else there, too. I see Daedalus, the father, worked hard to fashion the wings and actually tested them himself. Then as he was flying off to freedom, he told his son, don’t do these things because I know they will be disastrous. Daedalus was an introvert. A person who wasn’t looking for glory, he just wanted success.  He wanted to be free.daedalus 2

I, personally, am getting pretty tired of being told I can make a million dollars in two days without any work. I am getting tired of someone telling me if I work twenty hours out of twenty-four each day, I will succeed and be free. If I push myself beyond my limits I will grow and learn freedom.

For awhile, I actually believed in what people were telling me. I worked long hours, consistently, and fervently. I was driven to succeed. Did the business I worked for succeed? Yes. Did I succeed? No. I made myself sick. I lost everything and I had to start over again and again and again. Every time I pushed beyond my limits, I fell.  That’s when I realized I was attempting to be Icarus, when in fact, I was actually more like Daedalus.

How many times does a person have to ram their head against a wall before they realize than can turn? Well, the answer for me was over twenty.Hit your head here awhile Over twenty times I rammed my head against the ceiling of extroversion. Over twenty times, I fell flat.

Why am I starting this series off by telling you about my failures? Because each of those failures brought me closer to accepting who I am. I am an introvert and it took me too long to realize it and use it. I don’t want you to be like that. Ramming your head against the wall of sales pitches that tell you if you don’t do it their way, you will fail. Tell you, if you don’t push yourself beyond your limits you won’t succeed. Don’t make yourself sick like I did.

We are exploring introversion in small business. We will start to understand that nothing is perfect. No extrovert method is exactly right for you. We will begin to understand as an introvert, you have the freedom and confidence to take time to be alone, recharge yourself, and still make a successful business.

For me, writing is turning into the lifetime dream I’ve always yearned for. For you, it might be crafting widgets for woogles. Whatever it is, the skills to make it happen lie inside you. In all your wonderful, amazing, thoughtful, alone but not lonely, introverted self. Tomorrow, we explore B – Business Plan for introverts. I hope you join me.

M.