The Forest and the Trees: The Five Year Plan

My husband plays poker for a living. He has a friend who is a poker professional as well. They like to talk and help each other develop their respective games, and they complement each other perfectly. My husband’s friend is especially skilled at the detailed mathematical analysis involved in each hand. My husband has an excellent feel for the players at a table, and how they interact with each other psychologically. He can see how past hands affect present hands, and may affect future hands.

My husband loves to view the forest, and his friend is familiar with the trees (especially the bark). Both of them have talents important to the game. And both of them will have the greatest success the more they can incorporate each other’s skills into their poker play.

I started my business, Ranunculae, on Etsy about two months ago. While alternately thrilled, discouraged, and anxious over the past eight weeks, overall I’ve been happy with how business is going. But something has been missing.

I’ve been fretting over my inability to list a new item each day; I’ve been spending too much time on frivolous threads in the Etsy forums. Not to mention a minor obsession with heart counts and Majaba. While none of these activities is completely fruitless, I haven’t been thinking about why I’m doing them, or where they could take me, other than crossing my fingers for another sale each time I log on.

What I have realized in observing my husband and his friend is that I just see the trees, the details, not the full context of what I am trying to accomplish by owning a small business. So here it is: I want to work for myself and only myself. I want to make my living as an artist doing my own work. And I think I can do that in five years of hard work. Okay, five years is a little arbitrary, as there are forces beyond my control involved. Maybe it’ll be three, maybe seven. Either way, I can make it happen!

I have been working hard at my business without a long term vision of what I want to accomplish and how to get there. What form will all that work take? Truthfully, I don’t know yet. I’m a poker player who can read the two cards in my hand but can’t predict the action and interaction of my opponents. Still, this type of focus has made me feel optimistic. I know that I need to develop my business on many different levels, and to continually ask myself where my efforts fit into the big picture–staying focused on the forest while I work on the trees

A large part of this blog will follow my seriously steep learning curve along The Five Year Plan. How do you build a successful small business? Well, I’ll keep you posted! This week I will be receiving guidance on writing a business plan and will post about the process.

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1 Comment »

  1. Danielle said

    Hi Maeg,

    Welcome to the blogosphere! Great introduction to your plan. I’m looking forward to your forthcoming posts; I think your art and your quest will touch many readers.

    Thanks for the link!

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