Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Business Chat - the Genie in the Bottle

While thrifting at a local garage sale, Sarah happily poked and prodded through piles of treasures and sighed. She was feeling a bit guilty. 

She desperately needed to catch up on her book keeping, the pile of receipts had outgrown 3 shoe boxes now, it had been at least 7 months since she’d bothered to enter anything into her spreadsheets. Since she hadn’t tracked her sales for a while she wasn’t sure how much she’d made in her business but she suspected that with her constant shopping for supplies (SO much fun!) that it was not as much as she’d hoped. 

And then there was her website. It was a mess. Her online store was making her crazy, it just wouldn’t perform. She’d taken some photos and listed 8 items just 2 months ago and not one of them had sold. OK, she admitted to herself, the photos were kind of crappy. And the descriptions weren’t great, she’d been planning on rewriting them when she had some free time. But seriously, she thought, who has any time these days between a part time job and her 2 kids?

Just at that moment, a glimpse of green caught her eye. Digging into a box she found it, a perfect green glass bottle. Gorgeous! Only $2!  

Back in her studio/spare room, Sarah placed the bottle on a table admiring it’s lovely lines. With a soft cloth she rubbed at a speck of dust and was astonished to feel the bottle shake. A puff of smoke rose from the bottle and poof, a genie appeared. 

“Much obliged, good to be out again! You know how this goes right? You let me out so now I grant you a wish. Thing is, times have changed. Thanks to cutbacks genies don’t do the 3 wishes thing anymore, what we do now is complete a task for you. One task only and it has to relate to where we are. I see I’m in your work studio, so here’s the deal. I’ll complete ONE task only that is related to your business. Think hard, what is the ONE task you would most like me to do?” said the genie.

Sarah thought for a moment and then said, “oh Genie, if you could only fix my website and online store! Nothing is selling!”

“Whoa! I’m a genie not a miracle worker!”

“So you think it’s hopeless and I should give up?” wailed Sarah. 

“Heck no, your jewelry is great from what I can see around here. But I told you, I can only do ONE task.”

“I asked for my website to be fixed.” 

“Sarah, an online store is a whole project. I can’t do a whole project, you know why? because you can’t DO a project. you can only DO a task. Why don’t you sit down and write out all the tasks that need to be done to complete the project, which is fixing your online store so that you can actually sell some of this stuff that’s piled all over this room?  
With a list of the tasks you need done, I can do the ONE task that is most needed to move the project forward.” 

Sarah sat down and thought. She broke her project into a list of tasks and handed it to the genie. 

“Great, so the first thing to be done is to rewrite your descriptions. Tell you what, while I’m whipping these up why don’t you take the next 20 minutes before your kid comes home to practice taking photos.”

The genie grabbed a pen and Sarah grabbed her camera. In 20 minutes the genie had rewritten all her descriptions and Sarah had 5 new photos for one of her items. 

“Fantastic Sarah. We’re out of time because you have other stuff to do, but tonight instead of watching TV why don’t you take 10 minutes and upload these descriptions and your new photos? It’s not everything that needs to be done, but it is one small step. That’s what we genies do these days, small steps all the time.”

And with that he vanished.

It would be great to find a genie in a bottle who would magically finish our projects for us. However genies are hard to come by, no matter how many garage sales we go to. And as we’ve seen, gone are the days when a genie would grant you 3 wishes.  

If a genie appeared, what is the ONE task you’d have them do to move a project forward? 

So do it. 

Be your own genie. 

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