“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” ~ Tom Brokaw
I know of nothing more exciting than launching a new business. Taking it from absolutely nothing – to something.
There’s also nothing more challenging. I’m in the midst of my third go-around in a new business launch and among all things, it’s a time-consuming, moving target that brings out the best and worst in me.
About a year ago, and during a time when I was fully invested in finding a literary agent (a notion I’ve long since abandoned for the brave new world of self publishing), I came across a candidate with whom I felt a kinship connection.
He was the first and only agent who shared a tangible method for writing a successful book, and his counsel came from the Bible‘s book of Ezekiel, Chapter 37, otherwise known as the parable of the Valley of the Dry Bones.
Read Chapter 37’s conclusion:
“So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on the slain, that they may come to life.'” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
And no, I’m not a religious wack-job as one former colleague once mis-characterized me.
The agent’s lesson was this: One way to write a great book is to: assemble the bones (academically formalize your ideas); put flesh on the bones (tell great stories that support your ideas); and breathe life into the bones (give the reader added-value to help him/her understand their own application moving forward after they’ve read your book.)
I adopted the theory immediately in book writing, and almost everything I’ve done since.
Today, Dana and I are 35 days out from wheels down in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador, where we’ll launch a new marketing agency and an expatriate guide service for adventurers exploring the Ecuadorian Pacific coast. You can see our new business cards in the right sidebar.
And we started at ground-zero.
Here’s what we had to do to:
GATHERING THE BONES
- Create Mission, Vision and Purpose statements to better understand our business culture and self-understanding of what we’d do, how we’d do it and how it would be designed to make a difference for the greater good.
- And primarily, in developing a business framework, we identified effective, affordable resources that would maximize our time, money and productivity to create excellent client services and products. Among them, but, but not exclusive of them are:
- http://www.godaddy.com for domain research and support
- http://www.wix.com for website development
- Obviously, I’m a big fan/supporter of http://www.wordpress.com for communication
- http://www.mailchimp.com for email marketing campaigns and newsletter templates
- http://www.internationallivingmagazine for research and relationship building
- http://www.consumerbase.com for target market email addresses and email distribution
- http://www.pageturnerpro.com for creating virtual, online magazines.
- And a plethora of relationships we’ve developed with fellow bloggers and expatriates around the world.
PUTTING FLESH ON THE BONES
- Hands-on conceptualizing and execution for an effective social media platform
- Hands-on branding (graphic design, logos, message, theme, consistency, etc.)
- Hands-on content marketing development
- Hands-on web design
- Hands-on social media marketing and researching what’s free and what’s not
- Hands on partnership and relationship building ( a dying art)
- BTW – This is a pretty “hands-on” ordeal.
BREATHING LIFE INTO THE BONES
- Launching new blogs, websites and other methods of communication. Timing is EVERYTHING
- Creating real and tangible added value in our services
- Interacting (as a real person, not a voice mail or text message) with potential clients
- Bouncing ideas off those who have been there, done that
- Creating the proper expression to clients, and everyone else how truly passionate and excited we are about what we’re about to do
Ezekiel got it right.
The model’s working, and for that, we give thanks.
- New Horizons. Different Hemisphere. (stevenwwatkins.com)