This is a continuation of the last blog post – BUSINESS ON MY MIND – where I talk about how my current business fits into my life and how I want things to change.  Now I want to figure out what is next for me.  Documenting this thought process and the actions I take is a way for me to be more objective about my decisions and have a record what I do.

I am tired of my current business and want to try something new.
My first idea might not be my best idea.
Oh wait… there’s a self-discovery journey now?? When did that happen?

My First Idea

That title is a bit comical to me. This first thing I’m going to talk about is more than an idea. It’s a fully developed business model plan and the initial groundwork for the idea is already laid. I’ve already written two of the books on this “idea” plan and have taken steps to begin it. But let’s still call it an idea for now.

In a nutshell, this first idea has me taking a giant step away from being a graphic designer but still doing design work when a project comes to me that I really, really like. Instead of design, this business model would help me use my skill in building small businesses and teaching …. and help others do the same.  The general idea has five focus areas and streams of revenue:

  1. Writing books and workbooks for small business owners and solo entrepreneurs that help them develop or grow a business on the foundation of their strengths and passion so they can build a business they love. (Yes, this is the part where I’ve already written two of the workbooks on the list of ideas.)
  2. Developing online and in-person courses that are based on the workbooks I write.
  3. Coaching is something I already do in my current business as I help small businesses use brand management to grow successful businesses. In the new business model, I’d formalize that into actual coaching services.
  4. Consulting would involve brand reviews, one-time strategy or brainstorming sessions.
  5. Graphic design and brand management is something I’d offer on a very limited and highly vetted basis to clients who go through the above areas of the business.

So as you can see, this is a bit more than a mere idea. So what’s the deal? Why not just jump into that and plow a new path? It’s a good plan. It’s solid. It will definitely work. So why all the doubt?

So Much Doubt

About 3 or 4 weeks ago I put the brakes on this new plan. At the time I claimed it was because I needed to stop splitting my focus between this new business venture and my current business obligations. That’s is sorta true. I mean… it’s definitely true. It’s just not really what the core of that decision was about.

I didn’t know it at the time and have only just begun to realize that the decision to halt has deep roots in self-doubt.

I’m a very confident person. I am decisive. I am known for doing lots of research, looking at all the options, then picking a direction and moving forward. I make up my mind quickly and I take action.

Which means this whole self-doubt, false-start, indecision thing is foreign to me.

It’s Not All Self-Doubt Though

I trust my gut. It tells me stuff that I might not understand immediately. But if my gut says stop, I stop. If my gut says go, I go. I don’t trust blindly though. I need to know the why behind a directive… even if that directive is coming from my own gut.  I’m a rule-breaker and rebel by nature. I don’t like to be told what to do unless I first understand why I’m being told to do it.

So as I’ve been in this holding pattern I’ve been turning the decision over in my head a lot. I believe that the decision to put this idea on hold is based on a few other things:

  • The above business model relies on building an online audience and create an influencer-type reputation in the business development space. As an INSF personality type – this is not something I’m particularly enthused about doing. In fact, the very idea of it turns me off. I’m capable of doing it, but it certainly wouldn’t be comfortable or fun.
  • This idea would require a whole new business for me. Basically starting from zero and spending the next 2-3 years building an audience, creating content and creating authority. That’s a lot of energy to expend … I’m not convinced that I have enough passion for this business model for that much energy.

Self-Awareness is Key to New Ideas

My good friend, Nikki, once told me that I’m the most self-aware person she knows. It’s true that I’ve got a pretty high level of self-awareness. It truly bugs me when I can’t figure out what’s in my own head so I pick it apart until I understand.

I am thankful for the level of self-awareness I have even if sometimes it gets in the way of acting… like now. But I’m going to embrace this and see how I can leverage my self-awareness to help me develop a business based on my strengths and passion to grow a thriving business that I love.

That last part – “business that I love” – that’s the key for me. It’s easy to build a thriving business that makes money. But if I don’t LOVE it, why am I giving it my passion? So it’s time to focus on that part of the equation and see where it takes me.

Self-Discovery Journey

In the coming weeks, I will use my own sly techniques of discovering my strengths, expertise, and passion in an attempt to generate business ideas that are a good fit for my personality and lifestyle goals.

What the heck is a self-discovery journey?  Ha! I have no idea! In fact, when I started writing this blog post I had no idea it was going to end up here. I guess it’s time to figure that out, huh?

I do have a technique where I help people identify their skills and strengths to help them build a stronger business. Read it here: How to Identify Your Business Strengths. So I guess I’ll start there and see where this journey takes me. I did that exercise about 4 or 5 years ago so it’s probably time to do it again. I’ve learned a lot of new stuff in the past 5 years. I’m way more brilliant now!

So I guess that’s what’s next. Come back soon!