When the 2008 recession hit, small business owners had to start thinking differently. Big budgets were rewritten. Marketing plans revised. Avenues for growth re-evaluated. In some cases, company mission and vision statements changed. As noted in this recent article, Ft. Collins author Harrison Hand was one such business owner, and he did think differently. He thought effectually.
In 2008, Hand postponed turning his screenplay into a motion picture (Plan A) and embarked upon a new path (Plan B). Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, professor at the University of Virginia, authored the theory of effectuation right around the 2008 recession. She posits that the effectual entrepreneur ‘fabricates’ opportunities by starting with “who they are, what they know, and who they know.” And that’s what Harrison did.
After releasing his first book of the series in December 2015, Harrison went with simplicity, practicing what brand strategist Vaneese Johnson calls the “BOLD” strategy: Branding Out Loud Daily. That is – do something every day to brand yourself, your business, your product – out loud. How does Harrison do this?
One of the book characters, who dons a wide-brimmed brown hat, reflects Harrison’s personality. There’s an image of this character on the back of the book. Harrison wears this same hat when he’s out and about – he’s “in character,” Branding Out Loud Daily. When I see him writing at coffee shops or at local events – I spot him right away. He’s always wearing his hat, smiling, and often drawing (he’s the illustrator too). He has a few copies of his book on hand. Wherever he goes he leaves an impression, inviting conversation but never forcing it.
How else does Harrison think effectually?
— He, like many authors, writes effectually. He draws from his backgrounds, experience and personal connections (the “Bird in the Hand” principle of effectuation).
–He’s developed relationships with local professionals. He’s recorded a podcast and radio interview at no to low cost for him (the “Crazy Quilt” principle).
–He’s not afraid to go for “The Ask.” He solidifies an idea, finds people he thinks can commit to a small piece of the project, and asks.
How can you achieve success or find a new path in your small business by thinking effectually? When you ask questions like, “Who am I, What do I know and love, and Who do I know?” what are the answers? How might your path be different – be better – by thinking effectually?
Cindy Skalicky is passionate about developing effective messages. A public speaking coach and branding consultant, she is the owner of On Point Communications, LLC. Learn more at www.onpoint-communications.com or contact Cindy at: firstname.lastname@example.org