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A new business is like a puzzle & other bits of wisdom from Smashing!

February 26, 2010

The last few days us partners at Smashing have realised that we’ve had a lot of excellent & critical information at our fingertips and in our email inbox for months and didn’t realise it.  We’ve been pretty excited about the progress we made this week, but also a bit frustrated that had we only knew what to do with this information we already had – we could be 2 more months down the road. 

Last night I attending a lecture by Dr Kenneth Ginsburg at Barrington High School, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine and the author of A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings.  A fantastic book that has a lot of practical and common sense advice, but presented in a way that you will have many “aha moments” reading it.  (Bear with me….I hope to link this with starting a new business soon. )

One part of the lecture he talked about the importance of setting boundaries for our children – the many reasons for our children are in the book.  But I was also having a Smashing “aha moment”.  Dr Ginsburg used the analogy of building a 1000-piece puzzle.  After you open the box and dump out all of the pieces – one can feel overwhelmed and ask “Where do you start?”.  This is where we were a few months ago.  We were provided a lot of fantastic information by several friends and contacts.  We also spent countless hours googling everything we could think of, from pattern makers, fabric reps, manufacturers, etc.  We had the 1000 pieces of information on the floor in front of us. 
What do you do when you put a puzzle together, you can look at the picture on the cover of the box and see that this was the goal, but how do you get there?  What most people do is gather up all of the flat pieces and put the border together.  It takes a little while to gather up all the flat pieces and put the outline of the puzzle together, but once the boundary is done, it’s much easier to start working your way inwards with individual pieces. From there every piece was a challenge and you have a lot of trial and error with them to make sure they fit, and sometimes you try to jam the last few frustrating pieces in!  The puzzle can be a slow but challenging process, but it is much easier when you know the goal and you’ve established the boundaries.

We’ve known our goal for a while, but the last couple months we’ve been establishing the boundries and only now can we work on fitting the rest of the puzzle together.  I just hope we didn’t buy this puzzle at a garage sale and discover later than it’s missing a bunch of pieces!

Smashing© and©, 2010.

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