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The Perfect Plan by O.M. Braida©2013

Liriodendron tulipifera  Myosotis by OMB Squidoo

Dear Friends:

One of the first things you will hear over and over again before going into business is the necessity to create a business plan.  Ugh, arhh, grumble, we say, “I am an artist, do I really need to do that?”  In reply, Yes.  Stating it quite simply the “plan” helps you see how you get from point A to point B.  It causes one to look squarely at the obstacles and prepare for them.  It also helps define which action comes first, which ones are unnecessary or better saved for later or much later.  Most importantly, it puts “gas in our tank and a map to follow.”  It is a road-tested formula for not getting lost; well at least not too lost.

 

About three month’s ago, a former intern contacted me to brainstorm.  Evan Lovejoy wanted to return to the home of his birthplace, London, to develop his art career.  At Panera over dinner, I asked Evan questions while he wrote them down, together with answers.  This process was deliberate and antagonistic with me playing the devil’s advocate.  We flushed out some solid and worthy ideas that I share with you here:

 

  1. How much money did he currently have?
  2. What assets did he currently have?
  3. Did he have a place to stay in London: for a price, or for free?
  4. Who were his current contacts?
  5. What resources did he hope to tap for income while in Europe?
  6. When was he planning or hoping to leave for Europe?
  7. What was he hoping to accomplish?
  8. Did he have a backup plan?

 

Here is the importance of these questions….

 

  1. Current financial position applied to prospective costs for the first three months, allows us to ascertain how much more money will needed before departure.
  2. Available assets that could be sold, i.e. a car, paintings, could add to the financial picture.
  3. Having a place to stay assures that the people you network with will not be concerned that you are planning to camp on their doorstep.  It provides a professional appearance and demonstrates your seriousness to become established in your new surroundings.  It provides a sense of security.
  4. Current contacts will help develop further contacts.  This network of associates in a new and foreign place will create a sense of belonging, a sense of security, and the possibility to achieve desired results faster as word travels.
  5. Resources for income can be anything from a garage sale, royalties, paintings being sold while you are out of town, consulting fees, e-bay sales, a job lined-up before you leave.  In the case of my intern, we decided he needed to establish a connection with a local gallery who would be willing to represent him while he was away.  He would need to prepare a host of paintings that could be sold while he was away which would offer an opportunity for residual income.
  6. Setting a realistic time for departure helps to calculate one’s best financial readiness.
  7. All business plans have short and long term goals.  The short-term goals should help direct us to our long terms goals.  Everything should have a direction toward the ultimate design.  Along the way, the short-term goals flush out what is feasible and what is not.  Change is inevitable.  Short terms goals help us define the necessary changes that will help with the long-term goals.
  8. Why do we need a back-up plan?  Well, as Dorothy said, “There is no place like home.”  This is very often the case and the back-up plan allows us to return at least for a visit if not permanently.  In the case of my former intern, we applied #2 – Asset (car) to #7 – back up plan.  By selling his car, he accomplished adding funds to #1, while stashing half in a hometown bank.  If after his three to six-month trip, he decided to return to the states, he will not only have an air ticket, but money to purchase another car and money to find a job.

 

The power of the Perfect Plan….

 

I am happy to report that from the day of our first meeting, Evan and his plan have come to life.  It was a sure sign that he was on the right tract and doing what he needed to do before his departure.  He is even selling his work in a local gallery, which promises to be an on-going successful venture for him.

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Evan Lovejoy will be participating in the exhibit   shown below.  Join the Artist Celebration on April 6th.

 

 

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It is the miracle of spring that not only leaves behind that which has lain dormant, or died, but welcomes the new dawn with open arms. Renewal, rebirth, and new ideas are messengers whose gifts of grace help build faith in our new beginnings.  May we look on these gifts with a sense of wonder and let the laughter of our changing drive sorrow from our face.

 

So what is your Perfect Plan?

 

God bless.  OM

 

 

 

 

 

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