Nobody Cares If You Have an MBA
What Are You Leaving Out?

Sometimes it's what you don't know that counts

Yvonne-trans As we move forward with the new project, BlogPaws, and it grows exponentially because its focus is pet parents and there are a lot of us out there - Tom and Caroline and I are learning a lot about what we don't know.

For instance, we don't know how many pet bloggers there are, we just know there are a lot. We don't know how we're going to connect them all, because they do want to be connected, but we're going to figure it out. We don't know if Columbus was a good choice for our conference, or if it's holding things back. But, we're glad we're having BlogPaws there. We don't even know exactly what we're doing, we're just *doing* it.

At the start, as with any new endeavor, you don't know what you don't know. You *think* you know the basics: how to communicate to the world that you're creating an exciting new venture - using Twitter, social media, PR, and your network, of course.

You *think* you know enough bloggers to get your venture off the ground: that would be hundreds, not thousands, even though there are thousands of pet bloggers out there. And, you *think* you know the logistics: get a place to hold the event, have great speakers, tap into brands for sponsorship, create a newsletter, create a blog/website, create...create...create, until you can't create anymore!Mother-Earth

And, in the end, all that *thinking* pays off because you don't let what you don't know hold you back. You hit the ground running. You tap into business experts and friends and take feedback with a grain of salt. You watch other successful folks doing what you're doing, similarly but not exactly the same, and you imitate.

The "what you don't know" part might nag at you - and it might rear its ugly head now and then, giving you a bit of a setback, but in the end, if you are certain that if you allow the stuff you don't know to paralyze you - the stuff you do know will become suspect won't do anything. You'll sit on your hands, afraid to pursue the opportunity in front of you.

So, we knew what we didn't know - let me rephrase that - we knew we didn't know a LOT - but we found out we didn't really know what we didn't know, and it's a good thing! Because had we known all the work involved, the late nights, the disappointments (and the triumphs in unexpected places), we might have set off at a crawl instead of a run! We might have spent days and weeks deciding what it was we wanted to accomplish, instead of actually accomplishing it.

Tom and Caroline can add their own thoughts in comments, but I'm glad we hit the ground running and put the issue of what we didn't know to the side, fully expecting to learn by doing.

It's been a great run! And the road is stretching far ahead of us. It's got lots of bling pulling us along. I see twists and turns, but even the potholes aren't big enough to deter us! The crowds are cheering us on - that's what pet people do - and despite the alleyways that throw shadows in our path, we're not stopping now! We'll learn more about what we don't know as time goes on. We'll take these experiences and build a solid foundation to share with others, and we'll have fun doing it. Long nights, notwithstanding, we are fully committed to what we do know: that we want to do this and its the right time and place to do it.

Are you that committed to your business?


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Sybil Stershic

Great post, Yvonne. So BlogPaws is not just a networking event for pet bloggers - it's the ultimate learning experience! Many will benefit from your fearless foray into creating this special event.

I also like Tom's comments about the viability of detailed planning in today's fast-paced environment. It reinforces what I share in my marketing workshops - that planning is all about creating action, not just a plan.

Tom Collins

What we didn't know, indeed!

I've tried the detailed business plan method. I've been involved in group efforts to organize events or ongoing endeavors by holding lots of planning sessions. Most of the time that route has led to ... nothing.

By the time you get the detailed plan in place, the opportunity is past, or has changed so much that you either go back to planning, or go on to something else.

"Building the bridge while walking across the chasm" is a whole lot more exciting, exhausting, fun ... and for me MUCH more likely to get you there.

And "there" is the rub: where you get is often not exactly (or not at all) where you thought you were going! But if you just keep building, you're able to see a little further all the time, adjust course as needed, and not futz around checking on what the "plan" says you should be doing.

Life, business, and the business of life, keep moving faster and the boundaries among them keep blurring more. As change accelerates, I think making and trying to stick to detailed plans will get less and less useful.

In the end, though, it may be more about who's with you on that partially completed bridge. Do they enjoy the work and the company as much as you do?

Working with Yvonne and Caroline is joyful, in addition to all the rest. It may not be a coincidence that the tagline we adopted for BlogPaws was "a gathering of pet bloggers for networking, learning, and FUN"! The emphasis is just where it belongs.


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