Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
In 1997 Jo Rowling began one of the most amazing personal transformations in the world of literature – from unpublished, unknown writer into world-famous billionaire author. “Forbes” named her as the first person to become a US-dollar billionaire by writing books, the second richest female entertainer, and the 1,062nd richest person in the world. Plan for business success!
How did this happen?
How did a poor nobody writer launch a massive epic of seven enormous volumes that captured the imagination of an entire generation of young readers?
A random idea!
Harry Potter first popped into Joanne Rowling’s head during a long, boring train trip. What if, she wondered, a child rode a train that took him away from the confines of the boring adult world, to a place where he had power, both literally and metaphorically? In the four hours from Manchester to London she conceived, without pen and paper, and clarified her vision!
“I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.”
But did she go home and immediately begin scribbling a story with these characters?
No, she didn’t.
She spent five years, yes that’s right FIVE LONG YEARS creating and developing every last detail of the wizarding world, including government and education systems, how the wizarding world stood shoulder to shoulder with the muggle world, and she devised a highly sophisticated system of magic that would eventually form the backbone of her own special brand of writing magic.
On top of this she sculpted out the entire story, planning the details and events of all the seven books, before she put pen to paper to begin writing the first.
Five years of planning and preparation!
Once writing began, Rowling edited and rewrote with some parts of the book receiving up to fifteen rewrites!
Nothing was left to chance and, in retrospect, success seems assured!
The magic of planning!
“For I dipt into the future,
As far as human eye could see,
Saw the vision of the world,
And all the wonder that would be.”
– Alfred Lord Tennyson
I have spent twenty-five years in direct sales; building sales processes and helping clients design and build businesses. In that time I have been witness to the fact that most businesses spend less than a few minutes a year in disciplined planning of the business in which they will invest years and fortunes.
The most successful businesses consistently invest significantly more time in planning business and in preparation for growth than competitors!
Professional speakers will spend an hour of practice and rehearsal for every minute on the platform but most businesses will launch and promote products and services with only minutes of preparation. Many companies invest only a few hours training new salespeople and then are shocked when results are lack luster.
A different approach!
When you finish reading this blog post locate your business plan and ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do I have a business plan?
2) Is it current?
3) Is it a working document that I use to manage my business?
4) Does it outline my business in complete detail?
5) Does it show me how to get to year one, two and three?
6) Is it full of assumptions?
7) Has it been reviewed by an outside professional?
Is your business plan, if you have one, preparing you for success or mediocre results?