Archive for April 2011

Once Upon a Napkin

April 6, 2011

I’m reposting this blog from my friend Linda who is the founder of Affiliated Women Intl (AWI), which is Enriching Women Worldwide. I’m a member and co-Director of our local neighborhood networking group. The Tulsa AWI Neighborhood Gathering meets every 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 11am at the Agora Coffee House. Check out the website at http://www.affiliatedwomen.net.

Strange title and funny thought.

Early a.m. I was thinking about some videos I watched on Sunday from a site entitled “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur“.  The videos are quite informative and I was educated & impressed with the material. So as I thought about his clever title, I was reminded of how often great ideas start on something so simple as a NAPKIN!  Usually over a meal as two folks share ideas and one grabs a napkin and starts recording the brilliance.

I’ve been known to do the same.  In fact, I framed a NAPKIN from the oldest ristorante in Venice with the date 1600-something. I mean, that napkin tells me that a business has survived for nearly 400 years – same city; same location!

How many great ideas do you know that first found life on a NAPKIN?  I bet each of you have done the same – an idea is spawned over lunch or coffee and before you know it, the nearest napkin becomes the seed of greatness.

Great business doesn’t have to start with an awesome business plan unless one plans to seek financial support for the effort.  It doesn’t have to start with a full-blown strategic plan with all aspects perfectly in place. A NAPKIN will do.  All great ideas need is someone to record them, believe in them, nurture them and put forth the sweat equity it takes to make them happen!

In fact, I believe the best laid plans for any project begin on a NAPKIN.  There’s something about the simplicity of rapidly scribbling notes on a soft white piece of not-really-paper, that makes it seem much more realistic and feasible.  I recall stuffing a pile of napkins in my purse after a meal that turned into an awesome brainstorming session.  As I pulled them out upon returning home, I was impressed with how much a NAPKIN will hold of collective brainpower.

If you’re in business now or thinking seriously about entering the world of the entrepreneur; may I suggest you gather a group of bright folks about you over a meal.  Start sharing your thoughts and see what happens. . .

And make certain you have ample NAPKINS about you, for you may never have another opportunity to begin a remarkable journey with an incredible outcome as you do the day you begin with “once upon a NAPKIN”.

Then add a bit of BELIEF. Belief that you can do it! Belief that what sits on that napkin you pull from your purse is possible. Then sprinkle those thoughts with energy, creativity and determination.

I leave this post with words from the famed British tenor (and my favorite), Russell Watson from a recent newspaper interview:

“The most important thing in life is self-belief. You have to believe in yourself and be convinced you can achieve the very best you’re capable of. Everyone is surrounded by people trying to pull them down, but the test of a man is his self-belief.” I might add the “test of a woman is her self-belief!

And plenty of NAPKINS!

Warmly,

Linda

Share with us below some of the great ideas that you have put on a napkin.

About Linda: I’m a ‘vintage woman’ traveling well into the 2nd half of the journey. My background is in counseling education & organizational development. Most of the work I’ve done over the years has been in O.D. – program & project development & management, including fund-raising as a development officer & a consultant. For a few years, after moving back to home territory to be close to daughters and adorable g’children, I engaged in private practice professional therapeutic intervention. I gave that up after only a few years & now consider myself to be a “recovering professional therapist!” Quite frankly, coaching & mentoring are a whole lot more fun & less stressful as well!
You can connect with Linda and/or AWI Tulsa on:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/lindaAWI or http://twitter.com/#!/AWITulsa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AWITulsa?ref=ts or https://www.facebook.com/affiliatedwomen?ref=ts
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