Most people believe that a new venture starts with the idea, however it doesn’t it starts with the seed, the thing that makes you come up with the idea.
Before you have the creative power to come up with a new business idea, you first must have the seed to spark your imagination to life.
Let me tell you the story of my seed.
When I first started REDD back in 2000 I had a very simple business plan.
- Build websites for people to make money
- Invest some of that money in building magazine style websites of my own on subjects I was interested in (local events, music, lifestyle, food)
- Get those websites generating money, then stop building websites for other people
That was it, like I said – very simple. The issue is we got very good at number 1 and really didn’t get to number 2 because the worst possible thing happened… we got comfortable. We made money, we had a nice place to live, we did what we wanted when we wanted, and a good life got in the way of a great life.
So for me the ‘seed’ of publishing and telling stories was planted a very long time ago. But it was lying dormant in the soil of my mind. Just sitting there waiting for the day I would water it and watch it grow. Patient little seed…
As I said in yesterdays post, I have been heavily involved in community activities since we moved to our new home, and last year I was organising the Portland Spring Fair. As always I was in charge of marketing and PR so I contacted the local newspaper to see if they could help us promote the fair with a small piece about the event. I got through to a sales lady, who asked me if we had a budget for advertising, which we didn’t. The money we had raised in sponsorship was almost entirely spent on putting the day on to make it a great day for the community.
When I said I didn’t have a budget, I was then told they wouldn’t be able to run anything for us in the lead up, but if we sent some photos of the day in they may be able to run those after the event.
I was furious. If this was happening to me, was it happening to ALL community groups that try to get PR for their events? Most of these groups have no money and if they are holding an event it is usually to raise money to do something. How does it make sense that a community group pays to advertise a charity event. A chunk of the money they raise is already gone in marketing before they even start!
It was right there that I decided we should see if there was a way we could change that. That was October in 2013. So my seed was planted back in 2000, but the spark that ignited the seed came 13 years later.
The thing that had been lacking for over a decade was the ‘why’. The what was easy, but the why is what started the creative process, and the creative process is what leads to the idea. It would look something like this:
[blockquote source=”getting to the idea”](Seed + Spark = Creative Process) x time = idea[/blockquote]
So we knew what we wanted to do: create a platform to tell the good stories in small communities.
We knew why we wanted to do it: Because the communities achieve amazing things and no one ever finds out.
The only problem now was how. In the next post I will take you through the brainstorming process I use to determine how to solve an issue with a business.