In the process of re-creating her company and her work, Victoria has taken a deep dive into drafting a business plan. Using a crafty little, inviting book titled Business Model Generation she has added some juice to her efforts. Reading this book described the various sections of a small business that fit her thinking versus a standard business plan template. This new perspective seemed to fuel her ability to wrap her mind around the new business she is building.
This week she turned in a big piece of her new plan – a competitive analysis.
She also took herself through a budgeting activity that gave her several insights as well.
Left on her list is her is write up a section concerning her customer segmentation.
Victoria netted many wins as we checked in this week:
First she realized her current desired hourly rate really is the rate she needs to get/ask or in order to meet her reasonable, responsible annual budget. Said another way what she “wants” to ask is what her business “needs” her to ask.
Next, while she might not know all the “hard details” within her competitive analysis section, she has a cleaner view of the eco-system her company is growing up in. She has “enough” of an idea of what is in the environment already in order to begin establishing her differentiation and unique value proposition. She is clearer about which proposals would be good for her to write and which work to leave for others. As my mentor Marshall Goldsmith once told me in a private conversation:
“The successful individuals are those who know what they don’t do and are clear on those few things they do offer.”
All of the work she is doing will not only produce a business plan, it will clarify for her many things:
- How she presents herself out there in the competitive world.
- How she re-engineers her website to support her work.
- How to create structure around what is truly her work and how she presents herself as a professional.
It helps her “see” that she is not just another “consultant” who threw a shingle out and starts looking for work. She is someone who knows how to do what is being asked because she knows how to find out what that is and uses her tools, experience and talent to deliver on it. She is creating a name for herself.
These outcomes were not anticipated by Victoria. Which also reflects back to me one of Ibarra’s tenets in her book Working Identity: We have to experiment our way into our next Working Identity.
Not everyone I support within career transition coaching works as deliberately in the thinking mode that Victoria demonstrates. She is a wonderful case-study of re-invention for those who are analytical, driven and deeply interested in figuring things out intellectually. She supports the Creative Class in her work and yet is not someone I would classify as abstract, creative, … She knows things like what her overhead is. She knows how to hold the left-side of the brain facilitation in place while working with right-brain- dominates leaders and creative class members. She does this to help them get to the next level within the field of Arts Administration. She loves the creative mind. She is sensitive to it and how it rolls out within the field known as the “arts” while also finding a way to support the business functions so needed in this industry.