Smart Women Can Learn a Lot About Business from a 3rd Grader

Recently my son Jack, who's in 3rd grade, had to do a book report and I spent some time guiding him through the process. His teacher had asked the report to consist of 6 elements: Title, Setting, Main Characters, Plot, Problem, and Solution. This got me thinking about how Smart Women could use this exercise to create a clear and focused plan for their business and entrepreneurial dreams. Having a firm foundation is essential for any business to have sustainable growth and long-term success. What do you need in order to create a firm foundation for your Big Idea, Dream, or Goal? You need the same 6 elements that my son Jack used in his book report:

1. Title - What's the name of your business? Does the logo reflect what your business provides? Does your business card or web site accurately reflect what you do? This is a basic but very important part of your business. Many times, it can be the first contact someone has with you and your business. It needs to be clear when someone picks up your card or visits your web site.

2. Setting - Where will you operate and run your business? Will it be home-based or do you need to rent office or warehouse space? What setting will best serve you in running and operating a successful, profitable business? When I first started my business years ago, I had a small desk in my bedroom that served as an "office." Today, I have an office that is dedicated to my business needs. It's light, bright and has a 360-degree window view all around me. Your environment is very important when you are working on your Big Ideas, Dreams, and Goals. The key is to get started in whatever space you have but make it a goal to "create your own space" as soon as possible.

3. Main Characters - Who will support you in your business? Do you have an assistant? Coach? Belong to a Mastermind? When I first started my business, it was just me doing everything. Along the way, I added support as I quickly realized that I could not accomplish my dreams and goals without more help. Today, I have a virtual assistant, a web designer and a project assistant. Support is a key factor in building and sustaining a successful business.

4. Plot - What's the vision for your business? What does your Big Idea, Dream, or Goal look like? This was the most challenging part for my son Jack. Taking what he read and being able to articulate it in a format that would make sense to anyone who picked up the report but may have never read the book. This, too, is true for your business. You need to be able to articulate your business idea and what it does with real vision and clarity, so that when you meet with your ideal client, they understand that what you have to offer is for them.

5. Problem - What problem does your ideal client have that you can solve when they work with you or use your product? This is key to writing effective marketing materials.

6. Solution - What's the solution that you provide? For example, are you a small business attorney who helps entrepreneurs keep their businesses legally healthy? Do you provide services to help people grow their businesses? People will always invest in solutions that they believe will clearly solve their problems.

Jack's book report was on Doctor Doolittle. He enjoyed the book and all of its characters. Taking everything he discovered in the book and putting it on paper was not always easy at times, but it clearly helped him to better understand what he read. He had to get up a few times, walk away, and take a break but in the end, he was really proud of his work.

I invite you to sit down and do a "report" on your business. Whether it's a new business that you've been dreaming about or a business you've had for a while, visualizing and clarifying these steps will bring about some positive ideas and new thinking for 2010.

Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.



Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach and Motivational Speaker. A highly skilled group leader and business consultant, Joy has helped scores of women design the lives they choose to live. Helping women realize and achieve better ways of living is her passion, her purpose, and her business. As a wife and mother of two, Joy understands there is more to life than one's career. Like many women who are drawn to entrepreneurship, she inhabits ...

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