Persistence and Planning

If you aren’t already aware, an obsession of mine is day planners. I was sixteen years old when I got my first personal organiser from my mom at Christmas. I was enthralled with the concept of planning my life. To hell with the clothes, music and the coolest crappy appliance of the day – I had in my hands a place to dream my future. It has been this love of day planners where I became a huge fan of the Franklin Covey system(s).

The excitement of ordering a fresh batch of either 2 page or 1-page day-spreads or the week-at-a-glance system was like re-experiencing that Christmas ‘feeling’ every year.

As my business evolved, my planner needs did as well. I wasn’t finding the right ‘fit’ or ‘space’ to clear my head and demands of the job. So as it is with the ‘curse’ of a creative mind, I started thinking, pondering and realising that I have the skills to make my own unique system. I wanted flexibility and was conscious of wasting paper. How many times in a pre-dated planner do you waste pages because your day and needs at the time don’t require you to write anything down? So between those two spurring ideas, I started designing and mocking up, testing and re-testing the undated myDay concept.

I loved it – so much, I risked the investment to do a print run of 100 books professionally and figured they would be an excellent self-promotional tool. Nothing expected beyond that. But I started to get feedback, requests and ideas of selling them. I thought sure – why not make some of the money back on the cost of the books.

Things were fine for a while and then as my business grew and diversified, I found the one-day spread to be overwhelming. The most important part – the task list was overwhelming – it never really ended. I would end a day with lots of check marks but no real feeling that I made progress on specific milestones I needed to move forward. That is where I created the myWeek system. And since then, this tool has done a fantastic job of getting the ideas out of my head and onto paper where they can start to come alive and move forward. I am not longer ‘reacting’ to life as much and instead the focus and clarity it brings me allows me to live with ‘intention’ instead.

So with these two planners in stock, I was intrigued by the idea of selling them. I have found out of every ten people I meet, and there is one person who ‘gets’ the concept right away and seriously considers giving the system a try and eventually becomes a return customer. So I am at a crossroads of what I do with this ‘product’. The day planner industry is competitive. Fighting the perception of print being dead and who uses paper anymore, is a constant I also deal with in my print design services of my business. So, I am currently, or let’s be honest, I have been for the past three years, working towards re-defining my business and how my creations (Creatives’ Cupboard and myLife Planners) become integral parts of my creative business.

I was asked by a trusted peer, while we were discussing my desire to narrow down my inventory of involvement in both business and personal life, why am I so persistent with my planners? Do I want to get serious with them, and fight to make a mark in a busy industry that is overwhelmed with so many options? Or do I step back and focus on producing them for myself because the myWeek is a tool that I use and value greatly?

I am flummoxed. I have a firm belief in the value the myWeek system brings to my sanity in my life and am spurred on by those who agree and support me. As a creative business, I am aware the next step to creating a profitable return is to build a business plan that outlines marketing and sales strategies. It won’t succeed without it. So there is the risk. Time, money, sanity that I don’t have. I would need to partner with a right brained person I trust.

So here I am, not willing to drop the potential of selling my planners, but also aware that to move forward in my life I need to let go of some things I have been a part of so I have time to invest in the work needed to grow well on those that do. The kicker here, bottom line – the tool that is helping me make these decisions is by using the myWeek.

As I was in high school, today I am enthralled and excited every time I sit down and review the completed days/weeks and ponder what I have accomplished and look to the empty ones to see where I can set time aside to move forward in my dreams.

I will NOT be dropping the production and sale of myLife Planners, but how that will look down the road is still to be determined.