First, you will share your idea with the list. Tim has his list, but he also took the time to build a larger list. I’ll discuss soon how to build a larger list, but in the meantime let’s focus on your list of friends, family, co-workers, exes, etc.
You’ll need your list for a lot of reasons, but as you build your business plan, you may choose to call on your family, friends and colleagues to support you financially. We will talk about how to enroll your closest peeps into your new ideas. Hint: advisory board
First, read this article that talks about the “ins and outs of raising money”: here’s the article.
Will you call them? Suggest a lunch date through text? Send them a handwritten note? Print an advertisement? Send them an email? At a later time, I’ll share with you my suggestion on which (and how many of the above) you could do. Bottom line? Having a conversation with someone is the greatest way to convey your ideas. Simple, right? Yeah, but a lot of people don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable.
Whichever method you choose, before you communicate, know the following:
- What is your idea?
- How will you and the person you speak with be impacted by your idea?
- Why do you have this idea?
Go here to type up your answers.
Later we will focus on where and how to best convey this information given your personality type. Not everyone wants to do video or write an email, and for some, the idea of networking events makes you want to hurl. For now, just answer the three questions.
It isn’t enough to think you know the answers. Putting pen to paper (or thumbs to cell phone buttons) and reading your own words about your work will begin to confirm in your mind, “this is something I am doing now. “
Once you have the answers, you can turn them into to talking points, or if you’re like me, just simple reminders when i speak to someone on my list. Whether at happy hour, on a group chat, or sending an email (make it personal—ask me how later), have some idea of what to say. The easy part is being yourself. It could be shy and funny, introverted and personable, or quirky and awkward.
One last point before i get back to Noelani. Don’t think so much when you answer the questions above. I am guilty of this myself, but learn to use other tools, like talking out your idea with a confidant or journaling about what you envision or trying a new hobby that has nothing to do with the idea. Overthinking doesn’t solve problems; it creates new ones.
The trick to writing these answers is to allow yourself to say what you’ve only let be a passing thought, and then start typing/writing what comes up. If you get nothing, let it be. Then come back to it once a day or once a week until you begin to type.
So Noelani went to live with her parents. This was before the awful government job, but after the dream design job that laid her off. It really upset her, as she loved the people she worked with. I think she would stab me in the eye for saying this, but if not for being laid off, she would never have thought to open a business. Neither option (“real job” or “fake job”) is better, in my opinion, but one incident led to another, which led to her work. She could have made any number of decisions, but she got her business. I mentioned in the last note that she did what most people dread: returned home. It’s not so much living with the parents that sucks people; it’s what it means: failing. “is this all I have to show for my life and my work so far?”
I’m not suggesting this option for you, but we need to be honest and realistic about what it takes to strike out and do the work. One or more of the decisions listed below must be made, with a plan to soon follow. Even if you’ve had a successful idea, business, initiative or project, as you raise the bar on your goals, you’ll have to decide and plan with one or more of the following again and again.
- Living with parents.
- Talking with your mate about finances, emotions, fears, possibilities.
- Three-to-six months of savings (the amount depends on your comfort zone, but don’t make the bar so high you won’t do it).
- A side job to save for it.
- A side job while you’re doing it.
- “buy in” from the people that need to be on board.
- An honest, no-holds-barred list of your fears and what needs to be true in order to move forward (here’s a linkto read more about fears and how they can stop you from even thinking about your work).
- Create the list (not optional).
- Write down any and all questions that come to mind.
- Ask a friend/mate to keep you accountable. (they are more likely to stick to this if you communicate what you are doing and why they should care.)
There are more items, but this is a good beginning. Over the years of having clients who don’t consider what it means to do the work or do consider it and fear paralyzes them, I have found that ultimately, anyone can do it, but spending time on the logistics is key.
Ah, logistics. My absolute favorite pastime. It is the meat and potatoes behind The Idea, Inc.: what are the desired outcomes and the steps for each? What do you need emotionally, financially, and physically to get there? Who is going to do it with you?
Noelani finally left the parental units’ abode for the awful government job. She needed to work. She was off to d.c. I think she knew right away she would loathe the position, but she met her current husband within two weeks of moving and also made a few lifelong friends. I am an advocate for the “fake job,” but don’t knock the benefits of what you learn and who you meet while on the “real job.”
After a few months, Noelani hadn’t done much with the design business. The allure of consistent paychecks stopped her from pursuing the business she started a year before. The allure is real, folks, but at some point, you have to “stop eating the cookies.”
For the cultural reference i just made, click the link below. Don’t judge me, i thought it was a cute movie: cult classic?
P.s. My experience with our “creative clients” is they tend to be extremely hard on themselves. So much so that to move forward frightens them. The idea of showing someone their work debilitates them. Even in success they find creative ways to stop the momentum. But the problems creatives see are real, legitimate problems to which they can’t figure a solution. When we worked with Laureen, the photographer and teacher, she did the harmful thing to herself that could have ended her opportunity to have the business she really wanted.