Fairytale Success: A Guide To Entrepreneurial Magic
Excerpt: The Business Plan
Once Cinderella had identified the kind of a future she wanted to herself, she had to find the courage and clarity to express that view to the world. It wouldn’t have done her any good counting lentils and dreaming of dancing at the ball. Cinderella had to manifest her wishes into the world, by saying them out loud, so that the forces of the universe could hear her. Further, she had to begin to live her newfound principles everyday so that people who could make a difference would notice her noble roots, and lend her a hand, or a wave of a magic wand.
Cinderella begins quietly, content to go about her daily duties, but letting her inner goodness shine through in everything she does, and says and thinks. And then, when she gains the courage, and as fully inhabited her higher self, she says her wish out loud and suddenly a fairy godmother appears.
In today’s fairy tale world, the most effective way to declare your wish to the world, and attract the attention of fairy godmothers (aka: mentors!) with the resources to make your wish a reality is to write a business plan. A business plan is like a blueprint for your own professional future, and how you envision your wish opening up and flourishing in the world long term. While it might seem daunting at first, Cinderella and her fairy godmother give us some very good tips and step by step instructions about how to put together all of the elements that you will need to make your dream a reality.
Writing a Business Plan for Fairy Tale Success
Step 1: Talk to a few good friends Make up a list of friends, family, neighbors and contacts to ask for some feedback about your idea. Don’t cheat yourself and stay comfortably within your inner circle. It’s important to talk to old and trusted friends, but stretch yourself, and include people on your list that you don’t know very well, and who are of different ages than you, so you get a fresh look at your idea from a variety of perspectives. Ask people for a little of their time. If people are reluctant to help out, don’t lose faith, keep asking around until you get a good test market together.
When you are interviewing people, don’t ask questions like you are a survey taker, but like you are the owner or manager of the business, which you are. Start the conversation with interesting questions. The first couple of questions are critical to the success of the talk. Establish a friendly and appreciative rapport with everyone you speak to, and remember to listen more than you talk. You are there to learn, not to win them over to your way of thinking.
Step 2: Create a business plan class with your friends.
I know, it sounds odd but creating a business plan class can build confidence and creativity, and also is a built in sounding board, brain reserve and source of support that you can reach out to when the going gets tough, or you are at a loss for answers. To establish a rhythm and make steady and consistent progress try to get together weekly, or monthly and become a support group for finding your path and finding your future. Always remember a group of people together is much stronger than one person. Your business group will be come your peers and maybe even your partners.
Step 3: Outline your vision
Create a rough outline of the vision you have for your business by writing down your answers to these questions.
- What are you creating?
- What will your business look like at start up? What will it look like in the future?
- What is your mission?
- What are your most important goals?
- What does success look like?
Each one of the below teens took a business plan class in high school and wrote a business plan that led to a successful business venture before they had graduated high school. Just goes to show you what a group of smart girls on a mission can do when they put their heads together!
Jessica Cervantes loved experimenting with ingredients ever since her grandma taught her to bake. When she was only 16 years old, she turned her passion into profit, and developed her unique spin on the cupcake called PopsyCakes, which are cupcakes served on a pretzel stick. But it wasn’t until Jessica became a part of the International Business and Finance Academy at John A. Ferguson Senior High school, that baking and business came together in a brand new recipe for success. Today, Jessica is the CEO of a growing business and is about to open her very first PopsyCakes store in the Miami airport, right next to Starbucks and Hagen Daaz!
Zoe Damacela started making custom clothing for herself and her friends when she was just eleven years old. Realizing she was on to something, Zoe enrolled in a Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship class at her high school, learned how to write a business plan, and Zoe Damacela Apparel was born. Today, Zoe makes and sells her own designs on line while attending Northwestern University on a full scholarship thanks to winning an entrepreneurial award. Damacela’s entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond the scope of her own business ventures to youth and innovation across the nation. She attended Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative in New York City and has been a keynote speaker for President Barack Obama’s Start Up America Initiative.
Zermina Velic and Belma Ahmetovic, two Bosnian immigrant sisters started their computer repair service for their community, Beta Bytes through a Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) program at their high school. After Beta Bytes won first place in the NFTE New England’s regional competition in May, the Hartford business became one of 31 finalists to compete in the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The competition required Velic and Ahmetovic to develop and present an original business plan, and receive hands-on training in launching a business and learn the real-world relevance of math, reading and writing. Now successfully serving their own Bosnian community in Connecticut, the sisters are studying Spanish with an eye toward expanding Beta Bytes into the Latin market.
Shomari Patterson turned her passion for jewelry into a business when she was just 14 years old. As socially aware as she is creative, Shomari wanted her jewelry company Shamazzles Dazzles to contribute something to the world. Shomari wrote a business plan and placed 2nd in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in October, Shomari and plans to use her $5,000 prize to continue her education by attending college and majoring in business, and ultimately hopes to take Shamazzle’s Dazzles global and continue to partner with a non-profit business that empowers girls rescued from the sex trade.