According to Simon Sinek in his book (and in talks about his book) “Start With Why” he explains that our great ideas come to us while in the shower because we aren’t consciously/purposely thinking to solve anything–these great ideas just emerge out of our limbic (primitive brain) system.
So, that’s where this blog post came from–the shower!
I heard the forecast for snow last night and my wife and I were talking about what it takes to achieve goals. One foot in front of the other, persistent/consistency, focus…and eventually you’re there! Sounds easy enough. As the jets of water pounded my shaved head this morning and the suds raced down my legs, the image of snow flakes slowly falling slapped into my visual mind socket. A question whispered into my thought stream “How can you possibly build a snowman with so little snow on the ground?” Of course, when my neocortex has a question lobbed at it, I immediately go into “accessing” mode. The image of the slowly falling snow quickly shifted into a fast-forward display of thousands of snowflakes each falling one-by-one until the ground was blanketed in a thick sparkling comforter.
Instantly the perfect parable framed itself nicely for some nature confirmed principles that apply to any entrepreneur or person with a dream or five year plan for that matter.
Patience: If the snowflakes did not continue to fall at a persistent and steady pace, the ground would never be covered. Likewise, whatever your plan, if your actions don’t consistently add to or drive you towards your goals, you’ll lose momentum and possibly lose site of your goals. Don’t allow your excitement to cause you to move too quickly or you will overlook some critical steps necessary to ensure sustained success.
Timing: As soon as it starts snowing, you cannot make a snowman because there isn’t enough snow on the ground to form a snowball. If the beginning flakes don’t have enough moisture, the flakes will not stick together and no ball will form. Just because you have the germ of an idea and believe it worth investing the time and energy doesn’t mean the conditions are right to set your plan into motion. All factors must be considered when looking at the future–both the things you have some measure of control over, and those situations/conditions which you have no control over.
Snowmen: Maybe you want to build a snow woman? Do you want two large snowballs or three? Are you going to dress it up with a snowman kit, or are you going to find items ready for the thrift store to decorate your new Winter mascot? Do you want it in the front yard or the back? Perhaps you want to put food color in a squirt bottle filled with water to add some color to your new albino friend? Similarly, from a planning perspective for business purposes, what is your objective? Staging, launching, marketing, advertising….prerequisites abound and a great plan is backed up with thorough research.
- Market (demand~need) Research
- Local/national/international Competition in the particular field
- What Makes Your Idea Unique (specialty~niche)
- Licensing/Certification/Trademark/Patents/Copyright Requirements
- Business Model (Service or Product Delivery Methods)
- Sustainability (Funding, Profits, Reinvestment)
- How Will you Handle Success (Recruit & hire more staff, expand?)
I’ll close this posting with a final thought towards the work/life balance. If you are embarking on a new venture, how will you manage the commitments you’ve already made? This final question is really important if you are engaged to be married, married or presently committed to another full-time job. A word of caution to men especially, we tend to excitedly jump into our dreams with both feet–having fallen in love with the idea only to end up regretting the reality. You can minimize the regret factor if you follow this advice. I share this perspective from the school of hard knocks so….let the snow fall, keep an eye out for opportune conditions, and when you and your plans are ready, build that snowman!
Would love to hear your opinions, comments, stories of success or failure.
- How To Make the Best Snowman (cool-story.com)
- 15 Coolest Snowmen (oddee.com)
- Hundreds of Utahns set snowman world record for good cause ()
- Got photos from the snow day yesterday? Add them to the BB Flickr Pool! (boingboing.net)