… and what we didn’t do

The most focused creative enterprises are clear about where they want to go and have a clear vision of the future and exactly what ‘Success’ means.

In a ‘Designing Your Creative Business’ workshop for creative entrepreneurs in Taipei, sponsored by the British Council in Taiwan and the Taiwan Design Centre, I suggested a technique to help develop a business strategy.

  1. Firstly, imagine you are already in that successful place in the future. Maybe you are being interviewed by a journalist about your journey to success.
  2. Then look back on the most important things you did to get to that point. These are the things that really made a difference – the things you are most proud of when you look back.
  3. Now return to the present, and those key things you were looking back on are now still in front of you. They are the main elements in your business strategy.

In my book T-Shirts and Suits I recommend that sometimes we need to Say No in order to focus on the right things to do. This came up again in a conversation after the workshop.

So we also need to reflect on what we deliberately didn’t do, which helped us achieve success.

And these ‘Things Not to Do’ in your business strategy are just as important as the things you must do.


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