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After four decades as a small business owner, I use two main practices to keep my personal and business lives on-track: one is a personal goal setting template and the other is a feasibility process for assessing business ideas. Together they form the backbone of my new book, Pre-Launch Doodlepad: Self-Assessment and Feasibility Workbook for Small Business Start-ups.
My vision was to create a pre-business planning process to empower budding entrepreneurs to blossom. To that end, I have designed a process that systematically builds confidence and clears the way for inexperienced and cautious folks to get into their own small business.
I jumpstarted the writing of Pre-Launch Doodlepad by cobbling together the clips and bits that I thought should go into the book. That was November 2020, almost four months ago. We were all under siege by covid-19 then, as we are now. I quickly realized I would need to outsource some of the design and technical skills needed to build the book.
Several months ago, I watched a video of an Indie author who had used Fiverr for book cover, branding, and interior design. He had hired three Fiverr services at price points ranging from very inexpensive to a bit pricey (if memory serves, it was about $30USD to more than $800). He provided objective reviews for all three contractors, but in the end chose to use the more expensive one because it fulfilled all his book design needs. I had not used Fiverr before that, but the takeaway for me was a mental note-to-self to one day add Fiverr to my writer’s toolchest.
Zoom forward to late 2020 and the creation of Pre-Launch Doodlepad. What I started with was raw text and a sprinkling of tables—dry stuff! I knew I would need to add some artwork to prime the artistic pump a bit, inspire and entice doodlers to doodle and scribblers to scribble. My ill-conceived, wobbly-jointed stickmen just didn’t cut it. I found myself snooping around on the Fiverr website.
I jumped in. What began as a small test gig with a couple of graphic designers quickly expanded into my own tiny international collaboration with artisans and entrepreneurs from different countries and diverse cultures. For the most part, they are working from kitchen tables, couches, and corners of coffee shops—just like me—self-employed, home-based, remote workers.
Kudos to the skilled freelancers who helped me transform Pre-Launch Doodlepad into an educational adventure and many thanks to Fiverr for making it so easy for me to connect and work with these gifted souls. I have named the contractors in the acknowledgements section of the book. Here is a glimpse of their skills and locations.
The sketch above is one example of the artwork from Pre-Launch Doodlepad done by Ipan from Bali--a drawing of himself doing work he loves at his kitchen table. Looking back, Fiverr freelancers enabled me to do far more, a lot faster, for much less than was possible working alone. The possibilities are inspiring!
Do you have any projects imagined but not completed due to lack of one or more skillsets? The world really is at our fingertips. Think about it!
The Pre-Launch Doodlepad Paperback version is for those who prefer to ponder with pencil in hand via doodles and squiggles. The eBook version is oriented to those long for more of a cognitive experience, thinking without etching and sketching.
The eBook and paperback versions of Pre-Launch Doodlepad will be released on March 9, 2021. The eBook version can be pre-ordered now. You can learn more at the book page at Amazon.
If you dream of starting a small business but haven't managed to make it happen, join me on March 9th to pick up your copy of Pre-Launch Doodlepad, and let's make it happen together!