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- julie

Arlington, VA
United States

Tailored Output is a professional development coaching company with an emphasis on goal-setting, career-planning, and team-building within the context of creating whole and fulfilling lives. 

Individuals working with Tailored Output will uncover their unique genius to identify career opportunities that will contribute to a whole and fulfilled life.

Organizations working with Tailored Output will learn how to assemble multi-disciplinary teams--staffed with engaged and motivated members--to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks in alignment with the corporate mission and values.



The Tailored Output Blog


The Cost of Creating the Future

Julie Slanker

You know this already: The future you are creating won't show up for free.

If it was going to be easy, or cheap, it would be done already.

This work that you're doing is going to cost some significant time, energy, and money.

As the leader of this effort - the owner of your Vision - providing sufficient resources is your responsibility.

If that feels daunting, you're not alone. When we start out, most of us are at a disadvantage. First, because our access to resources is historically uneven. And also because - culturally - we don't talk about money. It's rude. Uncouth. 

During our formative years, if it wasn't for The Price is Right, many of us wouldn't have known the cost of anything. As entertaining as that show is, I'm willing to bet your Vision will not call for a jet ski or a new bedroom set... 

Instead, it will require labor and travel, education and nutrition. Ways to compensate and communicate with your team. It will require short-term surges and long-term sustainment. Prototypes. And printer paper. As well as your time and energy to pull it all together and keep the whole operation running.

How do you put a price on all of that? 

And then, once you do: Where does that fit into the budget?

Daunting is probably an understatement. 

The first step is to shorten your time horizon. You don't know (yet) what it will take to get you all the way to the future you are creating. So trying to estimate the cost of that (non-existent) plan would be an exercise in futility. So only budget as far as you can see, up to and over the next major obstacle. And if that still feels too far away, or uncertain, consider the next 18 months of sustained activity.

What will you need?

Make a list. Then talk to your team. What are they willing to do, for what compensation (if any)? For everything else? Consult Amazon and Travelocity and Frelancer.com to estimate what it will take to successfully complete this phase of your work.

Hint: It might be nothing! It may just take a whole lot of your time and elbow grease. That's good! You already have all that, and you know how to create more if that's what you need.

What if it's not nothing?

What if all totaled up, even the next few months, are going to cost much more than you have to give, financially?

The answer - and you're going to hate it - is that this is a chance to see your financial constraints as an opportunity to re-think your plan. If you don't have the resources to make it work, you will need a different, more-creative way forward.

What could you bootstrap? Or DIY? What could you scale back or change and still generate the same result? What could you share or borrow or rent? What could you move closer to home. What could you make more personal and less high-tech? 

[Quote: "Money is an accelerant, not a silver bullet." - Ash Maurya,  Running Lean ]

[Quote: "Money is an accelerant, not a silver bullet." - Ash Maurya, Running Lean]

Sure, you could raise money. That is another option. But not necessarily a good one. If your plan is solid and well-tested, outside resources can accelerate your progress. But if your path is still uncertain, you run the risk of pouring gasoline on the wrong fire and creating a bigger mess for yourself in the long run. 

That is the other responsibility that comes with providing sufficient resources: Ensuring good stewardship. 

You have a long way to go between now and achieving your Vision. And it is only going to get more complicated. What you learn in these next few months about how to provide and manage necessary resources will be critical to your longterm success. 

Want to go deeper? Sign up for my weekly Rise & Shine! Monday morning email. Every week, we'll work to turn a piece of The Activated Genius Method into practical, actionable steps to access and engage your Genius so that you can improve your work, your life, and our world.
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