Information (like a plan) transforms and takes on new energy once it has been written. Also, like a “plan”, if the written information is organized appropriately, it can become a very resourceful tool and even a powerful weapon. You’ve heard the adage “the pen is mightier than the sword” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton); well, as a consultant, I am always driving home the importance of mapping out your idea (even if it’s a well-developed “mental” strategy) on paper.
Does this mean that you need a formal business plan? My answer is, “Not necessarily and not necessarily RIGHT NOW.” Of course, every situation is different. A formal business plan is important and a necessity at some point, if you are seeking investment dollars of any kind. But what about the Independent Contractors and non-profit initiatives that are operating with invested percentages of their own income or local charitable donations? Many don’t have (or choose not to allocate) the resources (financial or otherwise) to “build or buy” a formal business plan. Even if they did…would it be a resource that “means something” to their growth or would it sit on the shelf next to last year’s tax returns waiting for an opportunity to shine?
In unison with sage advisors everywhere, I say, “If you have a vision, write it down.” Adding my additional two cents, I also say, “Pick up a pen and a pad of paper (some stores do still carry them….) and allow yourself to embrace the creative energy you’re likely to encounter without the rampant distractions available (or unavoidable) on your computer.
Don’t get me wrong. Computers are awesome and the Internet is mind-blowing. I travel with the Internet in my purse (thank you, BlackBerry) and have been overheard referring to my laptop as my “baby.” Still, I recognize that there was a time when ideas were cultivated, dreams were fulfilled, and social change was achieved without them. Even the original version of this monologue was drafted while putting “pen to paper” and in this case, “preaching to practice.”
Now that my idea has been captured, organized and humbly shared with those who care to listen, I hope to have inspired the transformation of your idea (or information) into a resource that proves to be mightier than the sword for your business and its mission.
Let me know how it turns out.
HireAlexis Tip: If your situation (or preference) makes it unlikely or inconvenient for you to write on paper, check out WriteRoom (for Mac) and DarkRoom (for PC). These applications “create a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Unlike standard word processors that focus on features…. it’s just about you and your text.”