Start Dreaming Again Pt.1

 

Close your eyes. Dream with me again, dear maker.

 

I want you to dream as though money were no object. What team would you build? Who would you like to have come alongside you? What support do you feel like you need to continue in your mission?

 

In the beginning of our journey, everything seemed unclear. You were merely trying to stay financially afloat, figure out what the mission behind your dream was and do everything you could to keep yourself from jumping ship! These days, I hope your daily routine looks much different. I hope your mission is clear, your goals are set and a healthy daily routine is in place. I hope you realize how far you have come. I hope you take peace in everything you have accomplished. And I hope you are ready to hear that we are entering into a brand new phase of your journey!

 

Let us not go alone.

Today starts a brand new series. For the next few weeks, we will be discussing a very necessary, but sometimes difficult area to navigate: Community. None of us, not even the most capable of all, are meant to go alone. No matter the goal, the only way to fully attain success is to invite others in. We are all capable of working solo, sure, but why bypass the benefits of a healthy community?

When you surround yourself with the right team, you are allowing your mission to grow in completeness. You can’t do everything, you know it's true. Team members make up for where you lack. They sharpen your focus, broaden your reach and bring accountability to your work. I’m not saying that building a team is an easy task by any standards, but the benefits certainly bring worth to the effort. Think of your future team as the much-needed breathing room you have been so desperate to give yourself.

 

 

Let’s take a closer look.

Draw out a section for each of your streams of revenue. This will encompass in-house sales, online sales, special events, classes, parties, commission work, holiday events... and so on. How will each of these operations need to break down? Make an intentional area in each category separating the tasks you enjoy, excel at and are weak in. Your weaker areas will be the first you hand over to your new team members. Accordingly, these areas will be the first areas you solicit help in! Practically said: Don’t hire a sales member before you hire a bookkeeper if you are the best salesman no the floor, but your invoices are past due.

Looking at the tasks laid out before you, recognize that these are the responsibilities that need to be filled in order for your business to become fully functional. It is a possibility that your operation will only ever require one or two members to function. It’s also possible that you are looking at your list thinking there will never be enough people to fill your business needs even if you had all of the revenue in the world. Don’t assume too much too soon dear maker. There is always just as much peace as there is work ahead dear maker. Plus, we haven’t even talked about your organizational chart yet!

 

What in the world is an organizational chart?

It never ceases to surprise me how many business owners have never created an organizational chart! This isn’t meant to be a shame card, but rather an object of amazement. Personally, I could not function in any of my business affairs without first assembling the proper way to function. Even if you only have one or two additional members on your team, your mission needs to have every moving part accounted for in order to properly function. Without that written accountability, the small “unnoticeable” details will begin falling through the cracks!

 

 

Now it is your turn!

Above are three example I found through my search for a free organizational chart template. There are literally hundreds of these easy to follow examples of how you can organize your operational tasks and the team you need to get them done! This is the week dear maker. It's your turn to get organized! As I leave you to your assignment, take heart that the organizational chart you create is the tangible evidence of accomplishment and freedom. All of your hard work has lead you to this stage. Not only will the members you hire bring peace of mind, but the freedom to enjoy the mission you have so pain-stakingly sought to comprise. Take heart dear maker. You are growing!

 

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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You Are Your Brand

 

 

Your brand is what you stand for, the mission you want to get across, and who you are in the process.

 

 

 

There is a business truth I have continually held tight to over the years: Your clients will latch onto you before they ever latch onto what you are selling.

When you are passionate about your pursuits, people take notice. The drive to share your passion can be seen as a mission in and of itself. In order to make something of your dream, you must possess the unwavering drive to share the story of your mission with anyone who will listen. Your audience will take notice when you display your passion and as such will support and soon emulate that addictive fire.

 

What does it mean to inspire?

We’ve discussed before that when you step out as an entrepreneur, you step out as an influencer. Your clientele is your audience. They are waiting for something great to enter the market. They are wanting something to rely on. You are that answer dear maker. Pursuing your passion means a market need is being met and as such, sharing the heartbeat of your mission will inspire them to share your passion as their own.

 

How am I my brand?

Every choice you make in your lifestyle and your business alike will support your brand platform. When you think of Gerber, Apple or Amy Howard at Home what comes to mind? What about Nike, Disney or Google? The same way each of these brands induces concise familiarity upon mention, your brand should carry a clarity of mission. From your logo to your labels, from the music played in house to your decor choices--all elements you choose should point to the same direction...the curated representation of why you do what you do.

Brand association is a powerful thing in today’s market dear maker. Every choice must mindfully and purposefully draw your target audience in. The way you communicate to your clients displays the importance you place on them. The local and global events you attend or support speaks volumes about your associations. Even the typography you use in your digital and printed publications says something about your brand.

I know it can seem a bit of an overkill, but we all do it. Taking in every move a brand makes is what we as consumers utilize to make up our minds about what we buy into. It’s how we determine whether or not we desire to be a loyal patron of a company and if who they are, represents who we want to be.

 

Ask yourself these questions:

 

  1. What does your brand stand for?

  2. What have people said to you about what sets your brand apart?

  3. What steps can you take to share what sets your brand apart?

  4. Does your lifestyle support your brand and vise versa?

 

In order for someone to believe in what you sell them, you must be a person of integrity. Never underestimate the market's desire for something real and pure. Nowadays consumers want a real face attached to a real person behind a real brand. By being a trustworthy supplier, you represent a trustworthy product and therefore a trustworthy mission to believe in. Dear Maker, your mission is what inspires your brand, your brand is what inspires clientele loyalty and your brand is YOU. 

You are a beautiful thing dear maker. By pursuing your dreams you have stepped out in strength, virtue and excellence. Each of us is at our best when we allow peple to see the pureness of our real selves. Take my encouragement to heart and show the world what you got!

 

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Calling Cards

 

The very place your potential clients will look for their first impression could very well be your greatest weakness.

 

In the sea of visual stimulation that is our modern society, your brand must stand out if you want to grab the market’s attention. The importance of these type detail decisions often get underestimated, but in actuality these are some of my favorite parts of being in business for myself! I get to dream up of all of the creative details that define the business my dreams are made of. No matter if you are picking out your name, your merchandise, or simply the font in your logo, you get you throw in every ounce of creativity you have into the mission of your dream. You have been given the freedom go all in and all out dear maker!

In today's market, before potential clients ever speak with you or step foot in your store, they will look to see what your web presence is like. Your website is the visual representation of who you are & what you are aiming to bring to your clients. Think of your web presence as your 24-hour digital marketing platform. Your social media accounts and website are accessible at all times. Not only do these platforms give you credibility, but are give your audience personal access even when you aren't available. The process of establishing your name, logo, aesthetic, website and branding needs to be one of the most thought out pieces of work to date!

Once ‘Amy Howard at Home’ was declared the name of my mission, I knew I needed to call in the professionals. I spent $14,000 on my initial logo and website design. Wow, was that ever a hefty bill to pay. Like you,  I was just starting my journey and honestly didn’t own enough substantial residual income to back up that grand of an investment. I knew, however, that if I wanted to grow the way I had dreamed, a top notch website wasn’t an option...it was a necessity!

To some, taking the plunge to hire a professional web design team isn't an option just yet. To these creatives, I say there are still a great many options you can utilize. Website services with ready-made templates are available everywhere now. Most of these services come with personalizing options such as blog pages, merchandising capabilities, and email links. This option is great if you need a little more saving time before hiring a web design team.

One piece of advice I would offer no matter if your are going at this task alone or are ready to enlist the help of a professional: Always tailor your design choices to your target audience rather than your own taste.

Before you begin the branding process, take a look at other business that draws you in. Look at your number one competitor's site. What is it about the font, the colors, the link placements and the general “feel” that captured you? What areas have room for improvement and need to be revised? Now think about how your branding. How does your business compare? Can you allow some of these choices to influence your branding? What can you do better? How can you learn from their choices and where can you stand out?

As you begin to make your branding choices, think about your aesthetic. How can you ensure your media accounts and branding represent you well? Is your brand clean modern, bright eclectic, or perhaps rustic farmhouse? Defining your business aesthetic or “vibe” allows all of your branding decisions to be streamlined. From your typography to your logo and photography, simplifying the aesthetic you wish to attain will streamline your branding process greatly. What your clients see on your website, social media posts and business cards defines who they see you be. You are your brand. Likewise, every visual representation you offer viewers needs to be purposeful and well curated! Every display has to draw people in and keep them there!

 

Simple. Accessible. Engaging.

If you do decide to spearhead your branding process alone, I recommend enlisting the guidance of a branding professional. Hiring an expert to review and assess your decisions is not only an affordable approach, but a savvy one at that. Sometimes all you need is a little guidance to raise that figurative bar ten notches!

Last and not least by any means, make sure you are telling your story dear maker. We’ve discussed this before, but I never want you to forget...your story is the part of you that no one can replicate or replace. Your story defines you.  As such, your branding, web presence, logo, business cards and the like should not only represent that very best part of you but tell the story as well.

Some simple rules for the road:

  1. Keep all of your contact names and web handles under the same name. This guarantees your clients will be able to find you easily no matter where they are looking.

  2. Your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and blog posts should all feed into your one central hub: your website!

  3. Think of the main bullet points you want your clients to retain when they visit your website and make those the first and most visual components of your homepage.   

  4. Easy navigation tools and well-placed links will keep your viewers coming back time & time again!

 

More in-depth advice from my own journey and hard learned lessons can be found in A Maker’s Guide! Grab your copy here

 

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Budget and Investments Pt. 2

 

The preparation for greatness.

 

Last week we dove straight into what a healthy bottom line should look like: Your business operating on a budget and making a profit! Hidden within these first few years of operation are the foundational cornerstones of your rise and fall. I know it sounds like a lot of pressure, but really it is more so that the habits you form today will not only set your future in motion and be the same habits you follow for the lifetime of your operation. There will always be lean months and there will be astronomical growth seasons, but no matter the terrain, you must have a constant. You now and how you operate your business is that constant. The only tool I have found that brings me peace of mind no matter what my month looks like has been my budget.

Think of your business as a gourmet meal. Everyone believes the magic happens when the first bite of decadence is tasted and enjoyed, but every chef knows, that moment is simply the spoils of his hard labor. The real magic occurs as he pours every ounce of his passion, gifting and education into the perfected decadence being enjoyed. His measuring, whisking, mixing, watching and waiting––every attentive minute he gave to produce his masterpiece–– was the real magical moment.

You are that chef dear maker and your business is the decadent dish. Most business owners miss the real magic––the greatness to behold––the preparation. Your mind, money, dedication, hard work, education, passion and willingness to do the grunt work all come together to make your mission great. Some of us miss it altogether while most underestimate its power. Some call it a budget, but I call it wisdom.

 

When you prepare for greatness, something wonderous is found....greatness!

 

Where do I start?
A budget provides you with a guideline for the income and expenses you stand to face. In other words, it serves as a barometer for how your business is performing. Budgets manage cost, profits, and determine what your actual worth is. In its simplest form, a budget is your indisputable tool for providing peace and control.

A budget should first include your revenues, costs, and most importantly – your cash flow. Generally, budgets are laid out in yearly increments, then broken down monthly, weekly & daily to back up the numbers and calendar. By the end of your yearly budgeting, you will know exactly how much profit you need to bring in every day you are open for business.

Start with:

1) Cost of labor and materials:

  • What is the total sum of you start-up costs?
  • What is the sum of your operational costs? (including wages, advertising, materials, etc.)

2) What revenue is necessary to support the business’ monthly operation?

3) What is a realistic estimate of expected profits each month?

4) What are your yearly fixed costs? (expenses that remain the same, whether or not your sales rise or fall. Some examples include rent, leased furniture, and insurance, etc.)

5) What are your variable costs? (cost of raw materials you need to product products/service according to demand and inventory level, etc.)

 

 

Nothing is set in stone.

Based on your monthly review, make changes to your budget to ensure your bottom line is healthy. First, start by month and then assess your year. It is possible you need to take advantage of free marketing options and devote more of your budget to employee support. You can always reassess where you need to focus your spending according to your costs. For example, if you look ahead at next quarter’s budget and see this month’s sales volume was higher, you can plan vacations, marketing activities and inventory accordingly.

Your budget is here to help you adjust to the natural ebb and flow of your fiscal year. It will also enable you to make educated decisions to grow your business operations in peace and clarity. Once you experience the efficiency of operating your small business on a budget, I know you will never travel blindfolded again.

Nuggets of wisdom:

Self-trust is going to be your greatest ally through this entire journey. You are the visionary that will be taking your mission to the next level and the next and the next. You are going to have to trust that the work you have put in every step of the way will reap a reward. But be mindful if you begin to see that this whole budget business is too much for you to handle. Don’t underestimate the power of bringing in a professional! Consider consulting a trusted CPA, financial advisor or banker to help you create a budget. A trusted professional can help get you started on a budgeting system that will work best for your individual needs.

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Budget & Investments Pt. 1

 

However far your revenue stretches this year will be the jumping point for next year's growth.

 

In the early days of any business, there isn’t much talk of investment because there really isn’t much extra money to invest...or is there?

What if I told you that budgeting and investing your money is something you are already doing & will continue to do for the lifespan of your business. Every purchase you make is an investment in your business. Every dollar you spend should be a part of a big picture investment plan.

People fail to properly invest their money because they don’t realize that every dollar the have, every profit they earn and every dollar they spend is encompassed into their budget and investment system. Accounting for your money is something that will make or break the lifespan of your mission. If you aren’t saving or spending wisely, you are wasting costly resources. Think of every item you purchase as an asset and every expenditure as a necessary means of growth.

Most businesses fail to bring in the income necessary for proper investments because they didn’t first appropriately set up a budget. When you believe in something as fiercely as you do dear maker, you must choose to set your company up for growth. Salaries, rent, inventory, the cost of maintenance, supplies, taxes, advertising must all be accounted for, but also seen as an investment in your future.

Edit and Focus

This beautiful practice will make its way around time and time again. One rule of thumb I pass onto to new entrepreneurs more than any other is the 50/50 margin. Where your overhead meets your profit reveals the health of your business. Your mission cannot stand on any less than 50% profit. After you account for all costs involved in your fiscal year, how much profit are you left with? If it is less than 50%, you simply cannot sustain business as is for very long. It is time to edit your costs and refocus your budget on wiser investments.

The Seven Streams

Some of you out there might be reading this while thinking, “I don’t think my business can produce enough revenue to support me, let alone bring in 50% profit.” As an entrepreneur or sole proprietor, you are not just responsible for the growth of your company, but also sustaining your own welfare. Those first few years might result in slow profits, but in order to take your business to the next level of growth, the money must come from somewhere. An average entrepreneur will always have seven streams of revenue they can use within their giftings to broaden their income.

When dreaming up the different areas you could utilize your gifts to bring in revenue, continue to focus on your passion. This isn’t about losing momentum in the mission of your dream, but rather broadening the horizon of all it’s potential. For instance, your brick and mortar shop can be rented out for private events or house private classes that teach your clients a few tricks of the trade they too can learn. Once your mind starts dreaming of all the potential income your gifts and assets stand to be used for, your revenue will have quadrupled in an instant.  This practice equates to quicker financial freedom than you could  have ever expected. If your sales are slow one month, you always have an alternative avenue of income to pull from.

Profits aren’t free money

Every dollar in sales can build up and lead you to your dream life, but those first profits aren’t free-flowing cash dear maker. Reinvesting your money should always be at the top of your list. Take the money you make this year and invest it into your growth for next year. Your dream costs money, but so does living. A healthy net worth is the result of finding a balance between cost and revenue or better said, investment and growth.


It is natural to have apprehension about taking investment leaps. I have experienced this myself. In A Maker’s Guide I tell the story of our first brick and mortar purchase. Boy, was that ever a leap of faith! But looking back now I realized that as scary as that just felt, the opportunities that investment opened up for us changed everything. Without the disciple to budget our cost to revenue percentage we would have never been able to make our first large scale growth. Without that first large-scale growth, we would have never been able to make another, then another and so on. These foundational years are everything dear maker. Don’t fear them, but rather live them out with wisdom and excellence.

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

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Business Plan

 

Ahh...The struggle is real.

 

Last week we talked about finding your greatest strength as an entrepreneur–your hedgehog. This week I would like to walk you through the practical implementation of all your soul searching. Enter your Business Plan.

As a creative you are likely very "right brained" in your thought processing patterns. Imagination, artistic sensibility and the ability to visualize your plans are a few of your greatest strengths. It can often be a bit of a battle, however, to hone your creative energy focus into practical acts such as fact gathering, crunching numbers or simply writing out a linear timeline! No matter how great to left brain struggle can get, your counter hemisphere is there for a reason! There is no better way to pursue the business of your dreams other than to utilize the entirety of your design. The rubber meets the road when your right-brained creativity works in tandem with your left-brained business sensibilities. 

What else sets you apart?

The average small business owner has never taken the time to discover his or her hedgehog let alone lay out a business plan around such. Your business plan isn't just for the special occasion of applying for a loan. Your business will almost instantaneously need fool-proof organization plans. Financial accounts, target audience, future plans, financial projections, and a business overview are just a few of the beginning questions you will need answers to. When you have your business plan in hand, that imperative information is already laid out.

 

"The practicality of your passion can be found in your willingness to account for every detail."
 - A maker's Guide

 

A healthy business plan should be based on your hedgehog. The chaos associated with new businesses who lack the vital details that support why they are doing what they are doing is immediately bypassed. In other words, this initial act of detailed planning sets you way ahead of the game even before you open up shop.

The day I set out to write my business plan, I went into lockdown for the entire day. I was determined to hand myself over to whatever it took to flesh out every detail of my dream. I consider that long research filled day to be the pinnacle of Amy Howard at Home's transition from big idea to legitimate business. Knowing what I know now, I couldn't ever imagine living without it!

 

And so we begin.

I'm no going to overload you with an entire business plan outline just yet dear maker. That beautiful information and more can be found in A Maker's Guide–when you are ready. I do, however, want to brush up on the first few elements that kickoff a concise business plan. There is no need to leave feeling intimidated. Every question you answer is founded in practical necessity. You might have just never thought to lay them all out until now. 

Question 1:
Describe what your business does:
a)What need does the market have that your business will be fulfilling?
b) Name 7 reasons why you are are going to be successful within your market. 

My Experience...

I always aim for my answers to be fact-based and arguable.
Example answers would be:
a) There is a $718.5 billion DIY industry. Within our upcycling market, 60% of all rescued furniture is used in children's rooms. Our paint line is the only methanol free, made in the USA product in the market today. What's more, it doesn't have to be sealed.
b) Our line is a lifestyle brand, not just a singular product. We are showing our customers how to upstyle, not just upcycle. 

 

 

End well to open ahead

Once completed, you will find all of your left-brained focus and hard work brings an additional source of confidence as well as peace of mind. The best way to extract value from your business plan is to use it as an ongoing management tool. Revisit and revise your business plan data on a regular basis. As your business grows, your business plan should grow with it. Remember dear maker, believe in yourself and they will believe in you! Find an outline of a proper business plan and of course countless other valuable tools in your copy of A Maker's Guide!

 

Until next time.

XOXO

Amy

 

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Competitive Landscape Pt. 2

 

Your story. Your competition. And a few things in between.

As you prepare to launch your company busy days, emotions, hopes and of course the nervous elation of finally seeing your dreams come to reality soon takes over. No more wondering what you were made to do. You are living it! At the start of this and any other journey, you embark with the hope that your efforts are headed towards world-changing results. But like all parents know, it is the single efforts of every small day that build towards those life-altering long-coming results. Your everyday strides are what make this journey a journey dear maker. Every choice, every block, every decision and every turn builds up the purpose of your mission. You are here to change the world–your world.


When you step out, you are stepping out  as a leader in your community. You as the sole proprietor, or perhaps a partner, are the driving force behind your beginning and every adventure which lies ahead. Knowing when to launch, how to introduce your product and who to make it accessible to are your top priorities. In my experience, one thing guaranteed to catch and keep your customers attention is your story. Tell your customers everything that sets you apart. The story of how you came to recognize your dream. Tell them all you have overcome to arrive at today. Tell them your plans and hopes to grow your dream. Tell them how they are your mission–who you are here for. Tell them every single beautiful celebration of your story.  Like your new company, the story of how you got here is unique and memorable. Every good and beautiful thing comes with a good and beautiful story. Tell them what you want them to never forget.

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story. ” Mary Lou Kownacki

When startups hit the competitive landscape, the market’s terrain shifts to make room.  Companies like Pinterest, Instagram or Airbnb hit the scene and changed our world as we know it. It isn’t uncommon for brand new startups to encounter roadblocks as soon as they open for business. What is uncommon however, is finding a startup that not just survives the challenges, but grows better for them. Instagram hit the market with $0 in the marketing budget. What was the growth? Fanaticism. Customer loyalty and word of mouth grew this startup into a billion dollar company. Airbnb overcame unforeseen scandal in their first year only to see their value hit $1billion in their third year. What made the difference? They never lost focus on their mission–customer satisfaction. 

If your audience is your mission, Your competition is your greatest ally.

Last week I shared that your audience is your mission. Who you are serving and what you are serving them with is everything. They are the very reason you are doing what you are doing. Much like your mission, your competition is the “tell all” clue as to what you are doing right, what you aren’t doing enough of and where you need to up your game. Your competitive landscape is the ecosystem where your startup will live, thrive or die. Every startup inevitably changes the market landscape. Meaning: When you enter the scene, you will shift the terrain. You want to make you mark count dear maker!

“Without great management and stewardship, creativity – like fireworks – will flash and then dim to dust. Creation must be made accessible for consumption. This is your real job. It takes struggle that you genuinely believe is worth the pain,” – Scott Belsky, entrepreneur, author, investor, and Adobe’s Vice President of Products-Community.

 

What is my advice for setting yourself apart?

Make your competition irrelevant and make your audience your world. Your product or service has to be so great, your market drops everything they were doing before to come see you shine. Likewise, your product is the focus of all of your marketing and your story is what they should never forget. When an advertising pitch strays away from the purpose of its existence, it threatens to confuse their audience. Keep your mission and focus simple dear maker. Your passion is what the market is hungry for. Let your fire burn with excellence. Keep a sharp eye and your attentiveness even sharper. The proof of your success will always rise from the praise of your customers. Lend an ear!

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Competitive Landscape Pt. 1

 

There is a universal rule in business: 
Don’t be afraid to do what’s already been done; just do it better.


In the weeks past we have been focusing on the art of discipline. My hope is that you have since been able to find what it means to live a life of intention and enjoy the peace your newfound freedom reaps! Today kicks off a brand new series : The business of your dreams.

When you are working to make a living from something you hold dear, it is a very personal affair. Actually, every detail can begin to seem like you have to filter it though you “feelings” before you can make the right decision. The problem lies in the fact that we are hopelessly fickle dear maker. We may “feel” a certain way today, but boy can that change fast! My advice to anyone out there who has since navigated this journey with feeling is that there is a better, more reliable way.

Your success thus far has been mainly attributed to your determination. While this will forever be true, it is time to introduce another, sometimes some powerful unit of measure: your Competitive Landscape. Who you are serving, what you are serving them with and how you are serving them is just as important to your mission as any amount of dedication. In order to uphold the integrity of your mission, you must first reveal all that your market demands. You must aim to stand out in a sea of those who might be just as dedicated as you are. You must aim for greatness.

 

Your Dream; From Good to Great

Greatness comes from focus, dedication and a willingness to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. In order to focus on what you can do best, however, you must first uncover it. In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins expounds his theory of the hedgehog concept. His concept is derived from the parable of the clever, devious fox and the simple steady hedgehog. The fox is continually devising new tactics to help him capture the hedgehog, but the hedgehog continually and quite easily defeats the fox by doing his one timeless trick: rolling into a thorny ball. He tells his readers to simplify their mission by honing in on the talents and passions specific only to them. Plainly said, you will always be at your best when you are focusing on what sets you apart from your competition.

 

 

 

 

Collins offers three steps for finding where your focus should lie. Here goes:


First, understand and articulate what your central passion is. Go ahead, take your time and then write it down.
Second, understand and articulate what you can do better than anyone around you. Same rule, write it down.
Third, uncover and understand your economic drive. The core of this last answer should center around your profits. What will propel growth in your profit margin? You might have to do some research for this answer. When you have a decent grasp, write it down as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Look at each component laid out in front of you. Collins goes as far as to direct his readers to encase each of their answers in a separate bubble. As the bubbles are drawn together, the middle portion should begin to develop as the bubbles overlap. This new area reveals where your focus should always be. This is the place where it all your hopes and dreams begin to make sense. Some of you have already known where you want to focus, while others have only been guessing thus far. What Collins breaks down is that whatever you decide your business  should be, your choice -- your mission -- should line up with who you are and have always been. The results of Collins hedgehog test paints a picture of your core -- that little thing which gives you the most potential in the world.

                                         Image via pivotmarketing.com

                                         Image via pivotmarketing.com

 

Thoughts for the road:

Even though the business of your dreams is extremely personal, you must do what it takes to make sure what you are offering is so great it will pull your target audience away from their previous purchasing choices. How do you ensure that will happen without feeling like you are compromising? Always take your customers feedback to heart and always make sure your focus aligns with filling their needs. They are who you are doing this for. They are who you are serving. Serve them well and serve them passionately.  


When you realize you can produce something the world needs, your drive for excellence grows stronger and stronger. You will be known for what sets you apart. What sets you apart is your hedgehog! Still need further proof? Try asking your closest friends these two simple questions: 1) What attributes do they think of when they hear your name? 2) What skills do they see in you and your business ideas that are unique?

 

*You can find more on Jim Collins navigation tools here.

Until next time.

XOXO

Amy