I'm learning to be focused and thoughtful about what needs to happen. BlogPaws, the pet community Tom and Caroline Golon and I are creating (with the help of Donna AND Lena, both Lip-sticking writers, and a LOT of pet bloggers and pet brands) is a big task. Any new business is a big task. You often don't know what you don't know. I've written about this before but since that post, I've learned a LOT.
As we move into 2011, it's apparent that growing BlogPaws into a successful online and offline business, needs careful thought. It's not just about the pet bloggers, although they are always our first consideration. It's not even about the brands, although they are important to our overall ability to make a profit.
It's more about us. It's about choosing the 5 Things that need to Happen NOW! In other words, what five things do we, the co-founders, need to get done this week, to make sure we're not only still alive next week, but viable?
After considering those 5 Things, it's helpful to drill down into each of them and consider the 5 Things that need to happen for each of them. Bruce Peters, our business mentor, has taught us that we can only handle the 5 X 5 effort of creating those 25 action tasks. And, he's right. When we make our 5 Things that need to happen list, and drill down to figure out the 5 things for each of them... it's a bit overwhelming. But, doable.
For instance, maybe these are 5 Things you can relate to:
- Create a website with contact form
- Create a newsletter to keep people up to date
- Obtain a DBA (doing business as)
- Form a management team
- Outline our sales plan
Now, what needs to happen within EACH of those 'things' to make THEM happen? Notice I did not include "create a business plan." That's not a bad idea, but trust me - your business plan needs to be so flexible that it can be recreated on the fly. Hence, while I approve of the practice (it uncovers a LOT of valuable information, not the least of which will be the power of your competitors in the market), I do think any new business needs to be doing business at the same time they are creating a plan to do business.
As a wise sage once said, "There is no try, only do."
Sit down today and create your 5 Things that need to Happen - and then work on it over the coming holiday. 2011 isn't going to wait.