Recently, my son Jack and I went to the local bookstore in search of the book Harry Potter 4. We have an agreement that we will read each Harry Potter book in the series together and then watch the movie. This has two wonderful benefits: One, I get to spend quality time reading a great series with my son and, two, I’m hoping it will increase his love of reading as much as Greg and I enjoy reading.
When we located the book, I picked up the hardback edition (which was extremely heavy) and then chose the paperback version, as it would be much easier to hold. I compared the fourth book to the first book in the series and noticed how much thicker the books become as the storyline progresses. This got me thinking about how smart women build businesses in the same way.
When J.K. Rowling (a very smart woman) wrote Harry Potter 1, she created an amazing story with a handful of characters that you wanted to follow and know their every move. Each book is more captivating than the last. When women create a new business from their Big ideas, they typically begin with a single idea or two and take action to make it happen. The “story” begins to unfold with one or two products or services and from there, the business has the opportunity to grow and become much larger.
One example that quickly comes to mind is Bobbi Brown cosmetics. If you know her story, she was a makeup artist that was dissatisfied with the product lines she was working with and went on to create her own line of cosmetics. To make a very long story short, Bobbi Brown cosmetics is owned today by Estee Lauder. Her single idea turned into a multi-million dollar enterprise. Your business is like a story that continues to grow, adding new and interesting products and services over time.
As J.K. Rowling began to write the series, she continued to add more interesting characters and add more depth to the plot. Of course, the books became heavier and heavier, due to the nature of all the adventure going on inside the book. Each book in the series offers you more characters to love, dislike, and laugh at. This is certainly the case in my business. As I reflect on my journey to the present and the plans for the future, my “story” and its “characters” have certainly grown and will continue to grow. If you are planning, strategizing, and taking action to make your goals and dreams come true, then naturally your business will change over time. You begin to notice what products and services are doing well and you begin to add on or take away.
How about you? Are you adding new products and services that will compliment your original brand or is it a new venture where the products and services are just now beginning to take shape? It’s essential that you continue to evaluate your business and make changes or additions along the way so that your “series” will continue to grow and your customers will want to follow you as you create and add to your business.
Successful businesses rarely operate with just a single product or service. They build their ‘core” brand (in JK Rowling’s case, it’s Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione) and then find other products or services that compliment that brand (think Dumbledore, Snape, and Hagrid).
I’m not sure if JK Rowling knew in the beginning how all of the characters would unfold in the series; however, I am sure of one thing: When she completed Harry Potter 1 and saw the world’s reaction to her creative writing, she very quickly went to work on realizing a bigger vision. I invite you to think about your biggest vision moving forward and how you can add new products or services to your already existing core business.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2008 Joy Chudacoff
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