[Courses] chapter nine: Running A Business- Business Plan and Focus

Marcia Barrett Nice mimerki at myrealbox.com
Fri Aug 30 19:29:05 EST 2002

On Wednesday 28 August 2002 10:34 pm, Carla Schroder wrote [Courses] chapter 
nine: Running A Business- Business Plan and Focus:
| You've seen the books, you've seen the software- must you have a business
| plan?
| Yes. But perhaps not for the reasons you think. I like a business plan as a
| tool to organize my thoughts and goals. No planning = no success. Your
| eventual achievements may bear no relationship to your initial plan. But it
| helped you get there.
| Focus is everything. My downfall has always been being interested in too
| many things, it is hard to pick one or two. If I had nine lives to live all
| at once, they may be enough. So I write a plan, with daily, weekly,
| monthly, quarterly, yearly, five-year, ten-year, and 20-year milestones.
| The way my life has unfolded has not been according to plan! But it keeps
| me focused and productive.
| This doesn't have to be a hideously huge, overwhelming project. Make an
| outline:
| 20-year
| 10-year
| 5-year
| 1-year
| q3
| q2
| q1
| 1 month
| 1 week
| today

Alright, my question is this: How realistic should the further flung goals be 
(in your humble opinion)?  
For example, I took your list here and applied it toward my goal of being a 
professional sf novelist (please stop laughing at me, I'm serious).  So my 
goal for today was: Revise 10 pages out of that blasted novel.  Doable, 
realistic, and a solid start since so far I had printed it and written notes 
on the printed copy.  (And done, yay me!)
Next week includes things like: set up the printer (we just moved last month, 
so this makes more sense than it sounds like) and submit a piece I've already 
And so on, obviously becoming somewhat more vague as I move outward.
Now at 5 years, my goal is to have written one novel per year, which isn't 
particularly unrealistic if I apply myself.
But at 10 & 20 years, I'm just befuddled.  I can get starry eyed "Be more 
famous than Stephen King".  I can be more realistic "Have published 10 
novels."  I can do both.  I can't determine from where I sit which would be 
more helpful, and so I'm asking.

Thanks for doing this Carla.  You've done a great job of putting this into a 
format that's helpful.


So why, pray, sign anything as long as every word, letter, penstroke, 
paperspace is a perfect signature of its own?
- James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

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