What’s on the iPod: Risk of Change by Holcombe Waller
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How was your weekend? Ours went by too fast. Friday was a blur — I think we stayed home and waited for his daughter to arrive from Maine. She appeared well after midnight, so I saw her in the morning, but only briefly. We headed out on a botanical walk. And it was lovely. A cold day, but the people in the group were so helpful to me, the beginner. He was in his element, and it was nice to see. I learned a few things and had great fun doing so. The plants in winter are just as interesting (maybe more so) as when they’re in bloom.
Then we headed off to a holiday party at the home of one of his coworkers. It was great. There were ten people — just big enough to be vibrant, and small enough to be intimate.
Sunday was church, then brunch. Then I attempted to find some decorations for the house, but came up short. So I decided it was time to shop. Malls –let’s just say nothing crushes the meaning of Christmas like a mall. My personal low was as I was walking through the mall, watching people whizzing by and ignoring the decorations, and hearing “O Holy Night” playing in the background to the oblivious masses. I left. Shopping will be done at the local stores or online. I’d rather get things from people who smile and appreciate your business anyway.
Today starts our month of business planning strategies. Probably the most frequent question coming from new writers is “How do I start?”
With a plan, dear writer.
That plan starts with a good brainstorming session. Even those of us who have been working at it for years can benefit from revisiting regularly the brainstorming part of business planning.
If you’ve never actively brainstormed, here’s what it looks like:
The more ideas, the better. Just start thinking and writing it down. What you want to earn, how you want to earn it, who your clients will be, how you’ll market…. all of it goes down on paper. I suggest you tackle each of those areas separately so as not to get overwhelmed. Start with what you want to earn — and be bold about it.
Don’t edit. Brainstorming isn’t about shooting down your ideas before you even consider them. If it pops into your head, it gets listed. If you’re thinking of projects you’d like to work on and “screenplays” comes to mind, that should be on your list. No idea is too wild or too ambitious.
Get really creative. If you think you’d love to write biographies of race car drivers, list it! The same goes for movies about unusual phenomenon, ghostwritten love letters, conference speaker presentations, etc., etc…
Build on your ideas. Don’t limit yourself in any way. If you want to ghostwrite for business owners, brainstorm on who else might you write for, such as celebrities, sports figures, television personalities, local historians….
Brainstorm with a colleague. Here’s another fun way to get wildly innovative — call up a writer friend, turn on the tape recorder, and start brainstorming ways each of you can build a stronger business. Remember, judgments do not belong, and no idea is thrown out. If it comes to mind, speak it. Jot down notes at the same time, and let your two imaginations spur new ideas.
The goal of the brainstorming session is to generate enough ideas on how to build a business that fits you so that you’re excited and interested in working the plan once it’s in place.
So let’s do a little exercise. Let’s take one section of a business plan — how you’ll earn money — and brainstorm it right here. Don’t second guess anything that comes to mind. Just write it in the comments section and see what other ideas that generates.
So how do you want to go about making money?
How often do you brainstorm? What do you think belongs in a good brainstorming session?