Do you remember when I first discussed Tory Johnson’s new book, Spark and Hustle. What? You don’t remember that! Okay, click here if you want to check it out. Or if you don’t feel like it, I’ll just tell you the quick version.
I received a copy of Spark and Hustle, which is meant to help you “break down the basics [of owning your own business] and create a plan for success.”
At the time of the first post, I hadn’t read the entire book. In fact, I’d only read up to Chapter Three. My purpose for reading it was to help me with my writing career. Up to that point it was more product focused, so not too helpful.
I kept reading though and the second half of the book was…AWESOME. When I read a book, I like to just read. I don’t like to stop and make notes or do exercises or things like that…I just like to read it, absorb it.
So, with this book, I folded down the corners on the pages where I thought there was something I should go back and revisit. Here’s how the book looks:
Can you see all those folded down corners? It was crazy…I was folding down every corner. You can see not much in the beginning and not much at the very end. That’s because the beginning was figuring out your product the end was setting up your business. Neither applied directly to my goals, so less folding.
The first exercise I did was to work on my branding by asking these questions:
- If your business were a color, what would it be?
- If your business had a dominant emotion, what would it be?
- If your business had a theme song, what would it be and why?
- What type of outfit reflects your business?
- Which celebrity persona does the core of your business most clearly mirror?
- Which place does your business most closely resemble?
- Imagining throwing a huge launch party, what would it be like?
It’s a little corny going through these questions with such an inanimate object as your brand but it was fun. And, it did help me really visual what I see as my brand moving forward. Try it! I bet it helps in at least opening your eyes to what you don’t want in your brand.
I also love that Tory suggests not doing a full-scale business plan but doing a down and dirty one-pager. This was a revelation for someone like me coming from the corporate world and a huge company at that…one that loved to hear itself ramble across pages and pages of plans. Then converted those pages into 70+ slides of PowerPoint presentations, which were discussed at such length that by the time a decision was reached, the time to act was over.
Oops, sorry – I’m ranting. Back to the point. A one-page business plan. Tory gives the basic of what to include.
Tory isn’t afraid to share her mistakes either. She tells of trying out merchandising with T-shirts that never sold. She says, “I was so taken with my bright idea that I assumed they’d be scooped up in no time.”
It’s so refreshing and nice to know that someone super successful has real-life failure experience. It makes me less afraid to try. The other good news is she provides a few key criteria that will help you not to make those same direct mistakes.
Okay, I think I’ve crossed the line to gushing now but it’s a great book. Check it out. You can buy it here. I’m going to continue to give you updates on my progress and maybe even share a little of what I’ve done based on her suggestions (if I’m feeling really brave).