(The following is a bit long, but I thought thorough explanation was necessary)
I firmly believe that if you are not growing, learning, adjusting, etc. then you are regressing. There is no in between. (I guess if you are moving at the exact same rate as everybody else, then relative to them you are standing still, but I digress.) I actually want to take it a step further. To be successful and not mediocre, you have to initiate the growing, learning, adjusting, etc before it’s required or even suggested. I’ve seen way too many times where companies or people only change when they have to. Don’t rock the boat right? When change is required, you are probably in last place.
So after 6 months of blogging, I’m stepping back to reexamine my motivations, my goal, and my content. (SPOILER ALERT: Some changes are coming! A slight revision to the blog vision you might say.) Let’s start at very beginning.
My motivations for this blog were initially summed up into four points in my Why post:
- Create something
- Write to organize the ideas in my head in regards to starting a business
- Start something public to keep me accountable
- Writing practice
I want to add one.
- Share what I’m learning (so that you can live a better story.)
Hopefully you see that I’m trying to do this already, but I want to emphasizes it. If any of you can learn something from this blog and apply it to your life or business, it’s a huge motivation for me. Bear with me, I’ll explain this more in a little bit.
Start and run a business. It’s as simple as that. It’s not if, but when. This goal isn’t changing and it’s going to be awesome.
This blog has been basically a blank canvass where I toss my thoughts about design, product ideation, business concepts, random thoughts, prototyping tips, etc. to see what sticks. However, there really hasn’t been a particular aim because I myself have been trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. But now, I know the direction I need to head in. Wanna know?
First, I need to take a detour for a minute. A story esque detour 😉 . (I promise to connect everything together)
Over the past month or so, I’ve run across multiple pieces of media discussing the elements of story and applying it to your life and even business. From online articles to books to podcasts, I just couldn’t get away from it. It could be one big coincidence or maybe I just became more attune with each reference. Or a new fad? I don’t know, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. (Oh and now I just remembered a high school buddy’s thoughts about living a great story for 2015. It’s a great piece. Check it out here.)
People love stories. They remember stories. People connect with stories and share stories.
I was listening to author Donald Miller on the Entreleadership podcast earlier this week. His book Storyline is about applying the elements of story to your own life. (To be honest, I’ve actually never read a book of his, but it’s next on my list). He then took it a step further applied the elements of story to business in what he calls StoryBrand.
From my very limited research (podcast interview and website) I already have two takeaways. First, a business needs to tell a story. This is how a customer will remember the company. (There is definitely a connection between this concept and Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why“, but I am not going to explore this at the time.) Interestingly enough and unknowingly, this blog in a way is telling my story. It’s just telling it in real time.
And the second takeaway is that businesses have to recognize that every customer has their own story. The key point however is the roles each character plays. Contrary to many business models, the business is not the hero. In Mr. Miller’s words, “The customer is a hero in their own story and they are looking for a guide/advisor to help them win the day.” In as many words, the business is merely the guide whom the customer seeks to help them be successful. The Yoda as Mr. Miller pointed out.
OK back to the direction of this blog. My content needs to do two things:
- Tell My Story – I’ll keep everybody up-to-date on the business endeavor. Successes to failures and everywhere in between. On top of that, I need to keep in mind storytelling because I want it to be memorable. I want this to inspire people to create their own story.
- Be A Guide – I’m not Yoda or some other wise character. Let’s get that out of the way. But I want my “customer” to be able to use the content in this blog to better their own story. My successes and failures in business will hopefully provide some wisdom. I also really enjoy writing about practical concepts and tools that hopefully everybody can use or at least make you think. This isn’t just for me.
How am I going to accomplish this?
Things you will see:
- Quarterly Updates – Easiest way to sum up my story. This update really helps tie everything together.
- Tools – Computer (Software, hardware), Manufacturing (CNCs, 3D Printers, etc), Business (time management, organization etc.) etc. Anything that increases quality and efficiency in both life and business I want to explore. Having the right tool for the job is critical.
- Practical insights – An engineer’s (my) perspective on concepts related to business and design. I love it with abstract thoughts turn into unique, practical applications.
- Business Milestones – Still haven’t done much on the business side, but I want to share my process from name development, incorporating, hiring, etc
- Family/baby – See picture below.
Things you won’t see:
- Throwing out new product ideas – While I have numerous ideas written down waiting to be tested (and only a posted a handful thus far), sharing these with you at this point doesn’t tell my story nor does it help guide yours. So I’m gonna hold off. Rather, when an idea is progressed though some iterations and ready for a manufacturing step, then I will discuss. Of course if there is a lesson I’ve learned in this process worth sharing, I’ll definitely write about it.
- In-depth design entries – These take a lot of time and I don’t think sharing the fine details will help your story. (If you do want these details, just come over and I’ll show you! Much better than writing about it)
This isn’t an overhaul. It’s what I’m calling a revision re: vision. An adjustment to the vision of the blog. I’m excited about this more focused direction and hope you continue to follow along. And don’t forget, don’t live someone elses story. Write your own story! But… while you are here, don’t forget to read about mine.