Dec 29, 2020

Ask questions

How to build an annual plan

Step 1: Ask questions

The first step to building an annual plan is to ask yourself questions and answer them freely. Just brain dump answers to these questions. Do not filter or organize your thoughts until step 4. Below are some questions to ask and my responses to them as an example for how you might go about doing this exercise:

What do you want? What matters to you? What doesn’t matter to you?

I want a launchpad business. Something to get me started. Something that will make it possible for me to quit my day job and free up more time. String Theory is the launchpad business. We need at least $1M in revenue per year before I can quit. I care about creative control. I care about expressing my creativity. Making more money than I make now is not important to me. Time is most important. Let’s make String Theory successful. Worry about revenue now and profit later.

What are you best at as an individual?

I can code. I can design. I like to work. I can string well. I can cook well. I’m good at learning new skills. I enjoy it.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why does it matter?

I want to free up time to do more creative work. Creative work requires experimentation and doesn’t guarantee financial success. I need to be able to fail and still put food on the table. I want to create great products and services. I enjoy making things that are useful to others. I want to come up with better solutions to problems. String Theory is a better way for lacrosse players to get their stick strung. It is a better system for stringers and players.

What do you think attracts people to your work?

It is designed well. It has personality. It dares to do things differently. It is convenient. It is more reliable to know who is stringing your lacrosse stick. Stringers get paid more when it is direct-to-consumer.

What are your fans like? What do they get from your work?

My fans are open to trying new things. They get services and products that are designed with every detail of the experience considered, iterated on, and improved. They like the quality, reliability, and convenience of the String Theory service. 

What do you want to be doing in 5 years?

I want to have a few businesses generating income. I want to become more ambitious with my business ideas as I have more capital to play with and more experience to pull from. I want my businesses to not require my physical presence anywhere specifically. I want to be able to live anywhere, making things that people love. I don’t want my businesses to be so formal. I want them to have a sense of humor while also offering kick-ass products and services.