Life Design Action: Paint box your business plan
Requires: All your normal business plan info and also Sharpies, a journal, exotic paper, pictures, magazines to cut up, scissors and glue
Does not require: lines, boxes or spreadsheets
In the absence of Inspiration I decided to do something that would really cave my head in.
(Sometimes you have to throw sanity to the wind).
I decided to tackle my 2014 Gorgeousness Ltd business plan. This may sound like the final straw for a brain was already short circuiting with too many demands, facts, figures and graphs … but actually it was through the business plan that I had to start picking my way through competitors and that’s when my motivation returned.
Also – I had no intention of creating any old business plan.
I was going create something that got my artistic side drooling and my colour antennae waggling more wildly than a Springer-tail at walkie time. Stealing some secret time, I sloped off to my favourite art shop. The moment I walked in, the sumptuous, velvet treasures started calling.
“Over here! Pick me!”
Seriously. The materials were actually demanding attention. Especially the wrapping paper covered in Russian Dolls.
And because pining for Inspiration had put me into a slightly deranged mood, I started picking up all sort of decoupage papers, glue, stickers, glitter, Chinese papers from the orient, ribbons, luggage tags and all sorts of other items of gorgeousness. I also purchased a very large pad with natural brown paper inside which made me think about when I was little and my only ambition in life was to go and live in the Amazon.
I then drove very fast home, hurried into the house, put on my rainforest sounds CD and spread everything I’d bought over the kitchen table. I think that the tree frogs, bird calls and monsoon music must have influenced my selections, because the front page of my Business Plan was suddenly covered in the same colour green that you get when the sun shines through a leaf.
(I can imagine these are the sorts of trees that grow in the Cloud Forests?)
And from its limbs hung tags with the areas that I am passionate about working within.
That reminds me of a lovely quote by Mark Twain that I read today: “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”
Thanks Mark Twain. Whoever you are. I’ll have to Google you!
Next my business plan took an interesting turn and we delved into the sultry temple woods of India where exotic Sharpie butterflies drummed fragrantly through the blossoms. (The butterfly and blossoms were kindly donated by Roo – who by this time had come and joined me and started his own journaling journey. He told me that the images represented “carrying on”).
And it was in this curious neck of the woods that the mysterious core values of Gorgeousness Ltd could be found – guarded by a beautiful Indian woman with a sari studded with lapis lazuli.
“Excuse me? Have you seen Inspiration here?” I asked the Core Values Goddess. A silken smile spread across her face and for a moment I thought she might be able to help me, but then she shook her head and instead pointed me to the next page of my business plan.
So I journeyed on.
And on turning the page I came to a vast business landscape that I now had to trek around and explore. The land here was dry and sun baked; not lush and growing, but arid and scorched.
In the distance I could see the mountains where I was going to write in the barriers to Gorgeousness Ltd’s success. Then there was the bright sun waiting to beam opportunities over to me and fed by the river of customer needs. And then there were the luggage tags, labelling my unique selling points … and then … the bit that made me uncomfortable …
… the train station that would lead me on a expedition through the strengths and weaknesses of my competition.
Very gingerly, very reluctantly, I ventured onto the train.
“All aboard!” hooted the driver and the great, chugging machine lurched to life. I found a seat, took out my pad and started taking notes about the places we passed through … and just as I was losing the will to live …. there was a knock at my door and this happened.
Now I need to get on to the next chapter of my business plan and when it happens I’ll be sure to invite you along for the adventure.
In the meantime, if you are feeling stuck, in a rut, have been in anyway drained of your Inspiration for life or your business, I would massively recommend paint-boxing your own business/life plan. There are two good reasons for this:
1) Traditionally business plans are created in a very left-brain formats; words, lists, analysis, data and organisation. This is all well and good, but it completely neglects the complimentary genius of the right brain; seeing the big picture, finding patterns, drawing links, colour, visionary, emotion and motivation. By creating a Painbox Life/Business Plan you access both halves of the brain, taking your thinking into the whole brain realm of breath-taking action.
2) Business plans focus on goals and milestones. When we set any goal it becomes automatic target of the subconscious mind to fulfil that aim. The subconscious mind does not think in black and white words. It thinks in picture, vibrancy, colour, movement and shape. By creating a Painbox Life/Business Plan you powerfully access the subconscious mind and everything that is stored within there.
Oh – and actually there is a third reason too: because getting a great big book and collaging loads of lovely things in there is bloody, bloody good fun!