Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How a 7/9 Split Improved My Business

Sharon Wildwind

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite math was geometry. Last weekend when I came upon Seth Godin’s Acute Heptagram of Impact, I loved it. Even the name. The Acute Heptagram of Impact could be steam punk, could be Dr. Who and I’m into both right now. Cool title aside, I like Godin’s blogs because they are gems of business information that make me think.

The Heptagram of Impact contains seven area, which Godin suggests successful businesses have to address simultaneously as they work to improve themselves. The problem is too many businesses try to address one areas at a time, instead of looking at the whole picture.

The problem was, I saw the heptagram as an optical illusion. If I counted the individual points, there were seven, just like they should be for a heptagram. If I looked at the drawing as a whole, my brain registered 3 sets of 3 points each. That makes nine. Seven—nine—seven—nine. My eyes and brain totally distracted me from thinking about my writing business, which wasn't what Godin had in mind. First, I had to sort out how seven points could become nine.

Godin’s drawing was in black-and-white, and since I love colors and fancy letters, I redrew the diagram. All that did was make the 3 sets of 3 stand out better.

What I finally had to do was make seven copies and, on each one, eliminate all but three points. What I ended up with was seven sort of Star-Trekie badge designs of three points each. What I’d missed before was that each of the seven elements shared a point with the one next to it. That’s why my eyes sometimes saw seven points and sometimes nine.

This is the triad that popped out at me. Oh, fiddle, that encapsulated a business problem I’ve wrestled with for months. I’ve made some promises to people that I haven’t kept, so I’m pretty sure that my reputation is certain quarters in the pits. I thought I was putting off rectifying those situations for lots of reasons, but it boiled down to fear. Fortunately, I think I have the persistence to make them right, and everything will probably be okay. That gave me a tremendous sense of relief.

I went into this writing business knowing there was a huge business component. My total qualifications to run my own business were
  1. I’d sold Girl Scout cookies as a child.
  2. I knew how to make a personal budget and had navigated filing my taxes every year, so how difficult could it be to do a business budget and file business taxes every year?
  3. I knew how to write education objectives, so how difficult could it be to write business objectives?

Building business acumen has been a bootstrap operation, literally pulling myself up one bit of information at a time. That’s why I’m so delighted when I find something that explains business simply, something I can get.

The seven triads, in case you want to look for connections related to your own writing business, are
  • Desire—Strategy—Tactics
  • Strategy—Persistence—Execution
  • Persistence—Fear—Reputation
  • Fear—Tactics—Desire
  • Tactics—Execution—Strategy
  • Execution—Reputation—Persistence
  • Reputation—Desire—Fear

Quote for the week
You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.
~Seth Godin, entrepreneur, author and public speaker.


Edith Maxwell said...

Really interesting, Sharon. I'm building my own business now and will keep this post!

Anonymous said...

Edith, congratulations on getting into the business business. Sometimes, it's really fun. Sometimes. Not.

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