I haven't written here in eight days, not because I'm forgetful or because I've been tied up doing 12,000 other things (though there's some truth to that). I've just been suffering some serious "writer's block" on several fronts, updating this site included.
My chief writer's block is occurring thanks to a business plan I'm working on for a new venture which may (or more likely, may not) pan out. Generally speaking I don't like business plans. Every one I've ever read tends to be written by someone who has a rosy view of an industry and thinks they have discovered that one niche in it that no one else has been able to exploit.
In rare cases (including the one I'm working on), that's true. In my case I've found a niche in a market which I think has the potential to develop into an entire new sub-industry within North American markets. But I can just as easily see it be greeted by those markets with a sigh and a shrug, resulting in a McPizza rather than a Quarter Pounder.
My block comes from my pessimistic nature - even when I'm enthusiastic about the prospects of a project or venture (as I am with this one), I invariably hedge when speaking about it. "Based on what data's available, X can become the leader in its market within a remarkably short time... but that's dependent on a number of factors, including..." I write passive-aggressive business plans, I suppose. 🙂
More to the point, I hate guessing at things I can't measure with even a modicum of certainty. In a 1982 prospectus written to potential investors in the USFL's Washington Federals, the team projected they would draw an average of 26,000 fans in its inaugural 1983 season and 35,000 by 1985. In truth, the team drew 26,000 fans precisely once (at its inaugural game), took their next three home games attracting the next 26,000, and by 1985 was attracting 25,000 fans per game in Orlando, Florida. I don't mind being wrong about something; I do mind being delusional.
Another thing I've noticed about myself in these instances is that the bigger the potential (for success or failure) with a project, the more I tend to keep it to myself until I've perfected the concept. The number of people who knew I was thinking of opening a floral shop (bad idea) a decade ago was, until the lease was signed, maybe 3, including the guy leasing me the storefront. The number of people who knew I was working behind the scenes to get FCC approval to build WKRP? About 5.
As for this current project, the grand total of people who know enough to call it by name is two: me, and the guy I've entrusted to create its initial branding elements. That's it. Members of my family don't know, nor will they anytime soon. Potential business partners don't know, nor will they until I feel I've fully fleshed out the concept. The number is about to expand from two to four within the next 60 days, but that's very much by design - as I'll be looking for holes in my plan; holes they can hopefully identify.
Seven paragraphs? Okay. I think my writer's block is dead at least for now. Back to it. Have a peachy Tuesday, everyone!