Paperwork, process, systems, checklists,… and in 3,2,1 your brain has shut down. Your body is still located at your desk, but your mind has wandered. Far, far away.
What’s the solution?
Some experts claim you just need to be more committed to using a system and following a process. Because having a mortgage payment in 5 days means I’m not serious about this.
Other gurus say outsource it all. Heck outsource putting on your socks in the morning. You could probably even find someone on Fiverr to do it.
A third option that’s been floated (possibly by large quantities of helium), is to think positively and it will all work out. The best response to that has already been written by The Bloggess on Storify (warning adult language, so you 12 year olds reading a business blog about profit can just skip right over this).
Then there’s me. I’m not claiming to be a guru, a paragon of process perfection, or even someone who
puts on their own socks each morning will transform your chaos into Stepford Wives order.
I’m laying claim to imperfect action served up with a big side dish of laughter leading to a profitable, sustainable business. All you need is an open mind, a thirst for an adventure, and an appreciation for fun.
Time for a Small Biz Sci-Fi Adventure
Meet Brenna Rain, bounty hunter and captain of the starship Tesseray. Brenna is my sci-fi alter ego. I’ve wanted this persona since this first time I read “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” on a movie screen. I wanted to be in space battles, hang out with aliens, and have a swashbuckling good time.
As a kid I imagined all those things. I collected all the cool ships. I knew the name of every character, monster, and piece of equipment. I had space adventures in my back yard. For the record the Upper Peninsula of Michigan makes a great Hoth environment in the winter.
Then something happened. I grew up. I got a job in the financial services sector. I was a serious professional. And I was miserable.
The fun was boxed up and only let out to play on weekends. With other like minded friends who watched X-Files and enjoyed a bit of RPG. Sure the occasional Trekkie comments were ok, I was a numbers person after all. They’re supposed to be a little bit geeky.
To be taken seriously, to be a successful professional, I needed to fit in. To be conventional. To act as others expected. To leave those sci-fi adventures locked up in a box. Set aside as something “childish”.
Even when I finally heard the siren call of being an entrepreneur I wore my serious professional suit. It took years to peel the onion layers off. To rediscover that joy in adventure. The ability to turn the mundane into magical. That ability which lives in all of us.
Choose Your Own Adventure
When I was a kid “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were a big thing. Mainly because back in the stone age people didn’t have computers at home, and Atari games were super simplistic with things like Defender and Asteroids. The books allowed the reader some choices, as well as consequences – good and bad.
Today we’ll start with Brenna. Over time her universe will grow and the options will grow with it. Rather be a sentient plant that communicates via scent? That’s coming! Prefer to be a twenty something human male? We’ve got that too. And much more. I’ll be slowly introducing them on #WarpSpeedWednesday as a lead up to my second book launch.
Today you’re a bounty hunter. You have the chance to score a big job, you just need to beat 3 other competitors to the planet. Ready? Go!
Don’t Blow Up Your Starship
Even futuristic starships can’t just take off. You have to power engines. Plot courses. Secure the ship. There’s a checklist, a process to follow so you don’t blow up your ship (or as Han Solo bluntly put it, it ain’t like dusting crops, you could fly right through a star).
Instead of a boring morning list of tasks to do, create a control panel for your business starship. Imagine sitting down in your captain’s chair, ready to get the jump on your competitors. Time to check all systems so you can get underway.
Let’s take a look over Brenna’s shoulder.
Stay tuned for more on Brenna Rain and her small biz sci-fi adventures.
This post is part of a regular blogging event hosted by small business experts. Being wicked productive doesn’t have to come at the cost of fun. Joy can be had when you’re at your most efficient. This month’s topic They CAN Co-Exist: Fun and Productivity.
Very excited to follow Brenna’s further adventures, Nicole, and glad you have found out how to put the fun into finance. You rock (profits)! 🙂
Thanks Sharon. Adventure always spices things up.
SO very happy you’re making this dream a reality, Nicole. And from one fiction biz writer to another, this is the BEST way to have fun with your marketing!
Tea you’ve been a huge inspiration on this journey. Thanks for leading the charge and showing that it CAN be done.
For sure what Sharon and Tea said! 🙂
Sometimes I think you were an alien in your prior life, Nicole. LOL!
I admire someone who can take the adventurous route to sharing her gifts. Can’t wait to see where Brenna Rain’s adventures take her. Knowing you, they’re going to be perfectly planetary and precisely planned. 😉
You’re probably right — somebody on Fiverr will put your socks on every day. And most likely brush your teeth, too.
Ooh that leads to a fun question like, If I were an alien, what type of alien would I be? The cool thing about writing is I get to be ALL of them.
Well, after our recent soon-to-be-podcast episode conversation, I couldn’t help but read this with a giggle. Or perhaps a shrieking cackle. Or delightful chortle. Whichever… I saw the word “process” and all I could think is “blue elephant”.
Anyway, I can’t wait to read more of Brenna’s adventures and equate numbers with fun!
Yes Blue Elephant! Which leads to the scene in the original Star Wars when something that looks blue elephant adjacent leads the stormtroopers to the Millennial Falcon.
I seriously cannot wait to read the adventures of Brenna Rain and the Tesseray.
Anyway, yeah – processes and systems when created with my own flavor are a whole lot more effective than those created without. Like everybody I got crazy amped up when I read The E-Myth, but even so, I was bucking against a lot of that advice just in how he worded it (even though it was really good advice for the most part).
When I figured out how to do much of it on my own terms, it worked out a lot better. Choose your own adventure, choose your own toolkit. E-Myth is great, until it’s not – and then you have to figure out how to adapt what you know to work.
When I finally realized my brain didn’t work like everyone else’s it was liberating. There was a reason those supposed fool proof systems failed me (and not because I was the fool who broke it). Giving that gift to others is fun and rewarding.
Nicole, for the first time since I watched Space Odessy 2001 decades ago, you have made me regretful that I did not follow a life of science fiction with addiction. Brenna and you sound like you are going to have a blast together and build your business at the same time 🙂
Sandy it’s never too late to pick up the sci-fi geek banner. For the record you don’t have to follow sci-fi at all to enjoy Brenna’s stories. Because they are driven by the characters you just have to be interested in the characters. I know you are interested in other people, aliens just add a bit more spice to the m ix.
I’m a science fiction author. I never thought to incorporate it with my marketing. Interesting idea.
Amy Zellmer told me about you.