Good Morning Everybody,
Can you believe it, we've been home 10 days and we're antsy to hit the road again ;~). It's true - we got a birthday invite from a long time friend we haven't seen in a few years. It's one of those "milestone" birthdays so we decided to hit the road and be part of the festivities.
Then it struck me that we have another friend about 30 minutes away from our birthday friend who we also haven't seen in a couple of years, Terry Deglau, who by the way has just started publishing his own info crammed blog – A Creative Mind Is A Moving Target [link]. I just called him yesterday and we're getting together for lunch tomorrow.
On the way back home, we'll stop by and visit our friends, Kent and Sarah Smith in Columbus, OH. Yep, looks like a road trip filled with reconnecting and making new friends. But before we leave, let me share a few early morning thoughts with you. Here we go...
Are You Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, But Don't Know How To Spend Your Money?
As I was laying in bed this morning, arising to the fresh morning chirping of the Kentucky starlings and the soft rising sun, I was struck with the thought above. LaDawn and I are planning to head to Pittsburgh, PA to visit some long time friends over the weekend. On our road trips we always pack a notebook – one of those very inexpensive Composition notebooks you can pick up at any office supply store. The one we currently are using is covered with small blue whales on the cover - it's not easy to miss.
Get Your Ideas Down On Paper
Anyway, we've been filling this latest notebook with fresh ideas and plans/goals/ideas from now until two years from now. I think we are on our fourth notebook after about six years of planning in this manner. What these notebooks have become are treasure chests of exciting ideas about new products, seminar plans, studio procedures, personal “bucket lists” - you name it, it's in our "whale book".
Here's the point - how many of this ideas do we implement? I have to admit, it's a much smaller percentage than what we write down. I was thinking this morning how, if we just took the time to implement more of those great ideas we have - those ideas we conceived and wrote down - how much "richer" we could be. I'm not talking about "riches" in the literal sense of the word. I'm using the term in a way that implies to a far wider interpretation - "richness" in terms of more time for ourselves, better workflow solutions for the studio, creative product development, and yes, increased profits too.
At Least Implement Some Of Them
Don't get me wrong, we really do get a lot of our ideas implemented, but I still believe better planning and follow up could take us to the next level. How about yourself - do you keep an "idea book" close by at all times? It can truly be your most valuable asset for your business. Ours is always at our side, most of the time in LaDawn's purse always ready for the next idea to be jotted down.
I can already tell you what we will be thinking about today as we make the five hour drive to Pittsburgh, PA. I hinted at the Napa Experience Workshops we're planning in the Fall - we'll probably get that project 80% planned in the car today. We're planning on putting together some brand new training materials - we'll work on that too. I'm planning to create 40 hours of content for the PhotoPro Network, our state photography association of which I'm president. We'll sketch in our plans and rough scheduling for that huge project.
Hey, It’s A Way To Stay Fired Up Too!
All in all we'll spend about 1 1/2 - 2 hours of our 5 hour drive brainstorming, planning, conceptualizing ideas. The entire process is quite energizing too. Why? Because once it's written down the ideas begin to take shape and once they begin to take shape you get motivated to get the concept to completion - and that folks is a good bit of the fun.
Like I said, I wish we could convert more of our good ideas into a finished product, but we still manage to convert a large percentage of them. If you're not recording, brainstorming, collecting your ideas for yourself, you need to start right away. Head to you local office supply store and pick up your own funny looking notebook. Then whenever you find yourself just sitting around, in the middle of a road trip, whatever, just start filling up your "idea" treasure chest.
Conceive It, Plan It, Implement It!
You'll be surprised how quickly it will fill. Before long, you be be rich beyond your wildest dreams. Now all you need to do is start implementing those ideas. And, be sure you do. No sense in having a treasure chest filled to the brim with riches and not "spending" some of it.
Once you've got the ideas down, you need to plan what you're going to do with those ideas. Once the plans are in place, it's time to implement them! And therein lies the secret to "spending" those riches you've amassed. It may take a little discipline to get started, but you do need to get started. Hey, get one like ours with whales on the cover ;~)
- Food For Thought
Hey gang, that's it for me today. I've got a client coming by in a short while and then it's off to Pittsburgh about 1:00 p.m. We're looking forward to the drive and the visits with friends. We'll be back in town late Monday afternoon so how about I see everybody next week.
Have a great weekend and I'll see you then. Remember, keep your pixels sunny side up and always smilin'.
I'll see you next week, -David