Vision is important to any business. We have to set goals. We have to have a plan. The plan can be formal, typed up, put in a binder, and made suitable for acquiring financing from a bank. Or it can be simple one-line sentence stating where you want to be in five years. If you’re like me, it’s a list of things and accomplishments I want to achieve. I cross them out, when I reach that goal.
Some oft-chanted phrases of Network Marketers are “a man without vision will fail” or “In failing to plan, you are planning to fail”. Both of these statements carry truth. But what about over-planning?
I call it the “playing bid-ness-man syndrome”. As you all know by now, I can’t really write an entry without telling a story; this one will be no different.
Back when I had dreams of being a big star, I was 17. I practiced everyday, my technique was flawless, my jokes were funny and I was ready to get “out there” and start the auditions. There was little doubt that I could succeed, all I had to do was a “little planning” and ” I have to look professional”.
I went to the bank to open a business checking account, so I could cash all those checks that the clubs would be showering me with. I found a graphic designer to design a really “cool” logo. I visited the printers and had stationary and business cards printed. I had brochures and posters made. And because every popular performer sells T-shirts to adoring fans, I had 50 printed up, just to get started. Now I was a “bidness man”. I had no gigs, no money, but I was in “bidness”
I did all this before my first audition. I did all this before contacting other comedians (networking) to get booking advice, tips or referrals. I did all this before searching for a single club to play in, (reading forums, researching, and making contact), I did all this before a single “open mike”; that would have given me exposure for free. (joining the Chamber of Commerce Mixers, Toastmasters, volunteer work, etc.)
We know what must be done to succeed…
We must network, make ourselves available online and offline; establish our expertise by just helping someone with a problem, address the concerns of people; connect with them, build a relationship; and wait for them to say, I’m looking”.
After they join us, we make sure they get proper training, we disclose the pitfalls as well as the pinnacles and we make sure they know the whole team is there to help.
We discuss building volume and sales, by encouraging them to get started with a few products, and we teach some successful retailing methods.
After that, we encourage them to duplicate the above efforts, without losing their own individuality.
Sure, we can network with CPAs, attorneys, stockbrokers, and financial advisors, to insure we get proper financial counsel. We can draw up legal papers to establish our business identity. We can open up our checking account or our Pay-Pal account. We can do all those things; BUT, did we even say “Hi” to anyone?
If we are not putting the basic principles into action first, all these other “plans” is, as they say back home, “like putting the cart before the horse.”