I finished listening to The Right Stuff and the Wrong Stuff by Carter Cast.

   Interesting book with a slant towards those people with managerial aspirations, still there were plenty of nuggets for those of us who consider ourselves to be professionals, but don’t want to get into management.  The persona I most readily relate to in the book is that of Sara the Solo Flyer.  I like autonomy, I like setting direction, and I love BIG projects!

   One of the exercises in the book, designed for the Pam – the One Trick Pony persona, was to perform a deep dive analysis into the critical pathways your company must master in order guarantee its right to exist in the market space.  Then define the activities which support those pathways.

   The critical pathways identified for EZInlays (Inspire, Educate, and Provide) are discussed on the Critical Pathways page.

   While working on the Pathways exercise I realized my mission statement needed to be re-tooled.  The essence of what I envision EZInlays to become is better embodied in the statement: “We create memorable crafting experiences which in turn fuels an increase in adoption and repetition rates.”

   On Thursday, March 28th 2019, I made a sounding board presentation to the Whetstone group.  The presentation outlined the pathways, the top 4 activities supporting the pathways, and product I want to sell.  After my presentation was over I asked for assistance in determining my next steps.

   The over riding response was “Sell Product”  At first it sounded like I was being told to invest a bunch of money into one template design and just go out and sell it.  This approach has led me to issues in the past.  Specifically the phrase “sell product” doesn’t resonate with me nor does it tell me how to do what I need to do!

   This time though I was armed with the framework, developed during Pathways dive, of activities supporting one or more of the the critical pathways.  After comparing what the pathways need with what is needed to sell product the next step was as simple as it was clear.   I just need to sell product!  🙂

   One of the things I kept saying during my presentation is “I want to test this and I want to test that…”,   To me the Sell Product advice was a call to initiate testing on theories I’ve identified as wanting to test.

   For the first time on my startup journey I feel like I have clarity of purpose and know the next step to take.  I understand how social media elements work together, I have content, I have product, I have resources, this time I have a plan too!

   To the Whetstone members:  Thank You for allowing me time to present my pathways Thursday.  That exercise made me focus on those specific activities which will allow me to build a company.  I now realize by laying out my vision of the EZInlays Critical Pathways for you, in reality I was laying out a marketing plan for me!

   My main task for this weekend is to create and post a 4 week ToDo list.  One thing I am certain of is the only things making the ToDo list are those activities supporting one or more EZInlays Critical Pathway!