Is there a passion burning inside of you -Resort Girls and Guys- to change the world, invent something new or cool – or just make a living working for yourself and doing what you love? Are you presently “Living Your Dream Life”?
The first of the year is always an excellent time to plan for new beginnings. This article may provide insights and a road map to start your personal journey to begin building your dream life – or to make a dream come true.
My dream has come true, as evidenced by the fact that you are reading this Resort Girl article. Over a decade ago, my dream was to write for a travel and style magazine just like The Breeze. Over the years, my dream expanded to include becoming a travel photographer. My inspiration was Holiday Magazine, which was a groundbreaking American travel magazine published from 1946 to 1977. As Wikipedia states, “The magazine was known as a cosmopolitan travel wish book with photo essays in full color…along with articles by famous authors.”
My Resort Girl® (RG) brand was built upon this concept – to offer travel articles and social media feeds to inspire and construct your personal travel and experience wish book. Experience has become my number one goal in life…and for others too…those I hope to inspire.
The roadmap to building the RG brand was the same as when building my first firm, Finlistics Solutions, Inc., a sales enablement and corporate training firm based in Atlanta, GA. My role was CEO/Co-Founder, and it was my job to build, manage and market the firm.
As I traveled around the globe for almost two decades, our firm trained Fortune 500 corporations on how to show their value in the sales process. It’s a lot easier to sell your goods when you can show how it hits the bottom line in a positive way!
As I conducted this training, I also learned some very important lessons about building an idea. It is crucial to have a big vision for your dream, backed up with actionable steps. So, I decided to write my first book and challenge myself to start my writing career.
Many people had written about building ideas on an adult, business professional level. My thought was to do something different – write a children’s book, which was something no one had authored 10 years ago. The book series I created is called WizBizKids® featuring entrepreneur SmartSamantha and her sidekick Wally, One Smart Dog. From my past experience, I knew that the one unique thing you have to build on is your idea; and I developed a methodology based on core business principles to motivate, inspire and build SMART ideas. It is called the “6 P’s of an Idea.”
The proprietary “6 P’s of an Idea” methodology are: Product, Plan, Partner, Production, Promote and Purchase. And for each P, I developed tips to help one find or keep in mind ways to build a better P. I call them “Gottas”, “Nots” and “Tuck Aways”.
(What + How + Who + “To Do”) + (Sell + Sale) = Actionable Idea (Dream Come True)
My role is a creator of ideas – not a maintainer. And, as a creator, I understand that a crucial element in developing an idea, one of the first things you need to decide is if you will partner with someone on building your dream or do it on your own.
But…before you can get to that point, you need to answer the question, “What is your idea?” It can be a product or service or even a way to change the world…or even how to live your life. What I call this is your Product.
Consider these tips for your Product:
GOTTA: How will your idea be different? Detail its uniqueness – and remember this: Your idea must “Do Things Differently, Do Different Things and/or Do Things Faster!”
GOTTA: Most of all, your bright idea must have a value! What do I mean? It needs to bring a special something to the person who chooses and uses it.
NOT: What your product is NOT! Don’t focus on lots of cool concepts. One solid one will do just fine.
NOT: Don’t be or do the same old things. No one will email, text or call to hear your voice or see your idea. Instead, do new, do unique. That’s the biggest feat.
TUCK AWAY: Keep thinking of other ideas. Many times, the first idea blossoms into a brighter idea.
TUCK AWAY: How can you expand your product and make it grow?
Even though these were written for a child, they offer a fun and catchy way to develop your dream idea, as well as a unique way to communicate core business principles – doing something in a different way.
The next step is to decide if you will be “Living the Dream” alone or with a Partner. There are so many stories of famous partnerships. In my opinion, a partner is one of the best ways to go, as it is tough going it alone and there are many different skills needed to develop an idea. For example, I excel in the more visionary and creative skill sets of marketing, sales and even management. Where I find I fail is in the details, and the partner in my first start-up possessed a strong finance and detail skill set. It proved to be a good business match.
Consider these tips for when looking for a Partner:
GOTTA: Look for a partner who can work hard and do hard work – and work smart and do smart work, because building an idea is hard work!
NOT: Don’t be shy! Hold your head up high and ask for help with your idea when you need it. After all, it’s a good one!
TUCK AWAY: Consider adding to your team. You might just need one partner now but discover you want to add more later, so keep some names in mind for the future.
The next step is the “How’s and Do’s” for the Production of your idea; and the best way to do this is to start creating a storyboard for your idea. Gather up anything and everything you have saved, seen or dreamed and start sketching a map of your “To Do’s”.
Then it is to me the best part as a creative – how will you Promote your idea. You’ve got your cool idea and now it’s time to tell a darn good story about it. To do this well, your message about your Product must have POP! To skyrocket to the TOP! Think of your brand. What does it stand for and how will it inspire change? What will your logo look like?
Consider these things to Promote your idea:
GOTTA: Build up a Brand! Think colors, designs, images and cards to hand out or now. It’s also important to plan a day’s social media feeds.
NOT: Make sure you know who you want to see your idea. Think about who would like what you do differently. People like different things, so just try to find those who might really like what you do – and pursue!
TUCK AWAY: Be sure you stand firm with your idea brand; and along the way, always remain true to yourself and your values.
And building on these brand ideas comes the next step, Purchase.
Consider these Purchase tips:
GOTTA: How will people buy your idea? Initially, you may even have to hand deliver your product, but later, you can go online when your idea (and your cash flow) grows.
NOT: A sale or service does not end when your customer swipes their card. You need to keep giving back to your customers or they just might return your idea back to you. So, keep the cost of returns in mind. Bottom line: always try to make your product shine. Doing so is a sure way to keep your customers smiling.
And many times, Purchase can help you stand out among the big box competitors. Studies have shown that start-ups and smaller firms’ greatest advantage is their ability to provide great customer service – something different.
So, we are now down to the last P – Plan, which is just taking all these P’s and putting then on paper. There are plenty of free business plan templates available on the web. And, by doing the above exercises – you have a jump start on filling in the blanks. A Plan is a critical part of any idea – but the way it is presented can vary. If you are seeking funding, then you will need a formal business plan. But, if your idea is smaller or doing it on your own, it might partly be in your head and partly on paper. Regardless of which method you choose, it is a good idea to have an overall vision or you might lose direction. You can also share this vision with others, who may be able to offer additional guidance.
I hope this article offers inspiration and insights into just how you might make an idea into a product, service, charity or change in the world – and know that by reading my monthly Resort Girl series, you are making my dream come true. You can also follow me on social media at Instagram at Resortgirlcom or Facebook at ResortGirl.
January is a great time to REFLECT on new beginnings! Are you ready to start?
“Living the Dream in 2019!”