One of my very best friends from college recently decided to leave her corporate job and start up her own branding company. When she first told me, I knew it was the right decision for her. She’s amazing at being able to listen to a person talk about their product or service, pull out the unsaid details, put into words exactly where that person would like to take their product, and then provide a plan for them to get there. That’s strategy. That’s branding a product. Branding a service. Branding a company!
Since I’ve been through the process of starting up a small business, she and I have made it a point to talk every week to keep her on track, to brainstorm, and to stay motivated. We talk about everything from the company name (Savory Insights, Inc.), logo, and tag line to registering the business, the bookkeeping, networking, and building a client base. From this week’s conversations, a light bulb went off for me.
I love to strategize.
What does that mean? It means I love the planning. I know where to begin and where to end. It’s the middle that bores me and the reason I have to keep moving, changing, and creating. Let me give you a few examples.
Back in 2006, I started a website called PTO Ideas. It was born out of my involvement in the school’s parent-teacher organization when the kids were young. It was a creative outlet of sharing my marketing and promotions experience and applying it to fundraising and events. I loved coming up with the company name, designing the website pages, and writing articles. I could envision exactly where, if I were a larger company with IT consultants at my side, I’d take the website’s enrollment and promotion.
However, once I felt I had filled the website with all of the information any newcomer would need to successfully operate a PTO and the baseline was set to achieve my end goals, I decided it was time to sell it and move on because the steps it took me to go from start-up to the finish line not only were beyond my non-existent budget, but frankly they just didn’t interest me.
After selling PTO Ideas, I considered starting up a home organization business; but once I got through the initial process of coming up with a clever company name, logo, tag line and ad design, I decided the fun part was over and moved on.
For two years, I volunteered for a local nonprofit and helped them plan their annual fundraising auction. I worked with them to come up with an event theme – a Red Sox baseball theme – and then designed the promotional material around that theme.
Knowing how much I loved to write, I decided to keep that door open and work on a website to promote that service no matter what other projects were in the works; so was born Blazejowski Creative Content.
Next came Entri Window Panels. I had been sitting on this one for a while. I came up with a new design for sidelight window curtains for my own home and decided it was time to put these into production. Again, the creative process intrigued me – company name, logo, website, and packaging design – Love it!
And finally, EntriWP.
The point of all of these examples is something my friend put into words perfectly this week – and why she’s so good at what she does. I said to her, “I feel like I’ve never really been successful at anything I start. I love to start projects and I can envision their end, but I just can’t seem to implement the baby steps in between.”
Her response to me was, “That’s because you’re a strategic person.”
And there it was – that lightbulb!
All of a sudden, I didn’t feel like I had failed at every project I had started. I felt the exact opposite. I had actually been successful at every project I set out to work on by creating a brand and a strategy for that brand to succeed.
Entri WP is my latest project. It has two basic components. The Entri Window Panel sidelight curtains and the EntriWP refinished furniture. As far as the sidelight curtains, I realize that I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve created the design and am working on partnering with others to help me with the daily production and sale of the panels. That’s ok. I now recognize it which is huge!
As far as the refinished furniture… well, I think I may have found something that actually suits me really well because the design of each furniture piece is very short-lived. I come up with a design for an unfinished piece, paint it, and then promote the piece for sale. Every project is unique and I can move on to the next one quickly.
It seems to suit me because I AM STRATEGIC!