My Vision for Our Best Version

Oddly enough, this is one post that is the scariest to write.

I am a big-picture person, and my imagination seems to see no ends. I can see one and imagine 100, or 1000. I can envision futures that are vastly different from what I see in here and now.

Until very recently, I couldn’t figure out what tangible good that can create. It’s entertaining to daydream, I thought, but I need to be a realist. I need to spend my time here and now, and try not to get ahead of myself. What good is it to imagine 10 years from now when I need to reduce my to-do list in the next hour?

But when my father was alive, he kept asking me things like “how do you see yourself in 5 years?” or “what is your vision for the next decade of your life?”

Stephen Covey says, too, that all things are created twice — first in your mind, and next in your reality.

Why is it so scary to discuss about future? Because I know that once I put anything out there, I’m bound to it. I’m holding myself accountable. To quit is to fail. To change my mind is to admit that I was wrong.

And that is precisely why I need to go public with my business plan. Because I finally came up with a vision that I know is close enough to “me” that I feel comfortable going public with. The details are going to change, I guarantee you. But the core won’t. Not if I’m going to keep growing, and follow my desire to be more fully “me.” It’s a business, too, so it will adapt and evolve as I figure out how to make it work. I haven’t figured everything out yet, but one thing I am certain: I will learn.

So, here it is. Ready?

Go here.

You can read either or both the summary and the detailed versions.

Please leave a supportive comment on the long version page (even if you only read the summary).

I’d like to collect as many supportive comments as I can, so that I can show prospective investors, business advisers and collaborators that a lot of people believe in me and support me.

Are you back? Left a comment there?

Great, thank you. Now, let me share with you what I see for this site, specifically.

What I Learned from OBV

OBV was my pilot blog business. And as an experiment, it was a rousing success. It gave me confidence as a writer, and try some promotion tactics. It’s not a big site yet, by any stretch. But I have good ideas of how to build it. To grow any blog is mostly just a matter of putting the time in, as there are clearly defined methods of how to get it done. Writing good content is hard, so I’m going to hire assistants to do the grunt work on promotion so that I can focus on the writing. Being a web developer in my (soon-to-be) previous life, I’m often tempted to work on my own site. I can’t allow myself to do that, if I’m serious about my vision. I need all the time I got to do the things only I can. I need to get over my fear of being a boss and do some serious delegation, including the things I can do.

The pressure to keep posting despite being fragmented and torn apart, time-wise, is stressful. But I tested myself by briefly creating a situation where I can focus solely on my own business. As I had hoped, I realized that the stress came from the need to create under such time constraints. Once I give myself more abundant time, I simply enjoyed what I naturally do — create.

I am more passionate about what I’m discussing on this site than ever. And as my growing draft list indicates, I’m not about to run out of ideas.

Some of you who know me primarily from this site may feel a bit perplexed about my wanting to be a musician. I admit that I myself have struggled to connect these dots — not just between self-improvement blogging and music, but between being Japanese and living in US, between being a family man and wanting to get into the music industry (which has deep aversion to family-men or women). I have quite a diversity built inside me, so it was a great challenge to come up with a vision that utilized all my major assets.

But here is what I’ve figured out. In addition to creating, I love mentoring. I’m not as good a teacher, as in presenter of information. I’m the one who listens, affirms, encourages, challenges, and perhaps most importantly, who asks the right questions. I love helping people learn and raise themselves. I am a catalyst for self-driven growth. We all teach ourselves, in the end. I’m the guy who can awaken in you the teacher, the nurturer and the parent you needed, the ones you thought you had to seek outside yourself.

I need OBV, because a lot of times, blocks we discover in our music-making is not related to our music-making abilities at all. The obstacles lie somewhere deeper, closer to our core. If you want to be a successful musician or entrepreneur, your best bet is to heal and grow yourself. That’s why I need OBV in my portfolio. So I don’t have to tell those who I mentor “well, you’re having a personal problem, and I’m not the one who can help you with that.” I want to run a one-stop shop, because I needed to deal with these issues in my quest to become a musician and entrepreneur myself.

And while it’s beyond the scope of this business plan, I definitely intend to reach out and be active in Japanese communities. That country needs a lot of help. Disconnected from much of the world because of its language barrier, they are smoldering in their own material success, trying desperately to keep up while ostracizing, suffocating and drowning those who simply don’t fit the collective norm. As long as I have lived in US, I am a Japanese and I want to be with and work with my people.

The Future of Our Best Version

So what all this means for this site? Several things.

First, nothing will change. I will keep posting, keep commenting, keep building traffic and the community, in a way my time allows. I refuse to strain myself, but I will continue working at a pace I can manage. When my business plan fully kicks in, I’ll probably be able to ramp up the activity a bit, though probably not dramatically.

Second, there will be an OBV forum. I don’t know when, but whenever I have money to hire someone else to set it up. I have enough comments now for a forum right now, but I’d rather not spend my time setting it up. The forum will further encourage the community building and discussions that spurn beyond just commenting on my posts. Yes, I’m copycatting Mr. Pavlina — but I’m reasonably optimistic that he won’t sue. 😉

Third, I’d like to find a partner(s) for OBV. Not right now, but down the road. Ideally, I would love to find a practicing therapist with naturopathic sensibilities. Or maybe a practicing life-coach. Hopefully this person can write posts, moderate the forum and lead the next offering, which are:

Two online mentoring/group programs. One is a group life-coaching program, using an exclusive forum and periodic teleconferencing. The other is an online group therapy. I haven’t done a thorough research, but I believe having a forum/teleconference based therapy sessions are better than having none at all. Some people who may have a hard time committing to traditional talk or group therapy may be able to take advantage of 24/7 nature of online communities. Some people may live in an area where there aren’t suitable therapists. Writing can be therapeutic, and to create an online “safe house” that’s guarded from general public, only seen by select few who are sympathetic, supportive and understanding — well, I don’t know about you, but I feel like joining such a group myself, right now! 😉

When will all these take place? I have no idea, but the time span I’m envisioning with my whole business plan is next 2-3 years. I hope to find a solution for my going full-time in the next few months. It’s all very ambitious, I realize. So I really don’t have time to be shy or hesitant.

How You Can Help

Do you like my vision? Great! I need your help.

First, please leave a supportive comment on the main business plan page.

Secondly, please help this site grow. You know what to do — links, social networks, etc. Many of you are already doing that, and I am very grateful. Please keep doing it.

Do you have ideas that seem compatible with mine? Let’s talk and see if we can collaborate. Or do you like some of my ideas and want to use it in your vision? You have my full permission to do so. Just give me the credit for the idea 😉 and share with me what you learn.

Above all, please shower me with your well-wishes. I can use all the positive energy I can get. The more people know about my intentions, the better. Please envision OBV with abundance of in-depth articles, a vibrant forum, and a big community of people growing, learning, and realizing their potential.

Thank you.

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17 Responses to My Vision for Our Best Version

  1. Pingback: Our Best Version | How to Enjoy Challenges: Introduction

  2. I’ll save my lengthier thoughts for the main page, but here, at least, I wanted to express at least this:

    Ari, I am very proud of you.

    Dereck Coatney´s last blog post..Can Twitter Help Promote This Fundraiser?

  3. Hi Ari – It seems that you have been thinking about all the components of this and have now formulated a complete plan. I’ve just started visiting your site but I am very excited for you. Great job!

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Kim,

      Welcome to OBV! And thanks. Yes, I had to think hard on how all the pieces I have can fit together to create a complete vision. It took some time, but I am happy and confident about my vision. It will still change and evolve, sure, but this is a believable plan — I feel very optimistic that if I were to execute this, then I will make my dream come true. And that is a very empowering feeling.

      ari

  4. Hi Koinuma-san,

    I just got back from reading your full business plan. Very interesting stuff. I look forward to seeing your business growth.

    Blessings,

    Akemi Gaines

  5. Hey Ari, I read through your vision and your goals and I’m very excited for you. I know, as you mentioned, the key to being able to devote the attention needed to stand out will eventually require the ability to do it full time. This is the dilemma for all bloggers who want to do great things with their blogging pursuits. I hope the best for this more defined direction. Eric.

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Eric,

      If my pursuit was purely blogging, I think it’s possible to do it without going full-time right away — but it’s just not possible with music. It is so much more labor intensive, and it requires a dedicated room. That’s why I put together this plan, to show people that what I intend to do and how I will succeed once I start doing it, so I can get help on the key problem — how to get started. I don’t know how yet, but I feel that I’m one big step closer now that I made my vision known.

      I encourage you to articulate your vision for your venture. If for no other reason than to help yourself stay focused on what it is that you’re after.

      ari

  6. Dan says:

    If you would like a tool to manage your small business activities and Projects, you can use this web aplication:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your Goals (for business but also in other areas of your life), Projects and Tasks. It has a Checklists section, for the routines and repetitive activities that any business has to do. Also, it features a Schedules section and a Calendar, for scheduling you time and activities.

    Some features from GTD are also present, like Contexts and Next Actions.

    And it’s available on the mobile phone too, so you can access it from anywhere.

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Dan,

      Welcome to OBV! That looks like a cool site. I did do a survey of task management tools a while back, and I settled down to using http://todoist.com. It doesn’t have some bells and whistles, but I really like it’s clean and quick user interface.

      Keep in touch! I look forward to getting to know you.

      ari

  7. Maya says:

    Ari,

    Your commitment to the core vision is what matters. Plenty of things will change and they should – since it will all be for the better.

    I have dreams for what my blog will be when it grows up … it is great that I will be learning from you :). All the very best to you!

    Maya’s last blog post..Are we taking the time to meditate?

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Maya,

      Yes, I agree — I think the core is the part to keep an eye on, as others (especially how to get there) do and will change.

      My core is that I want to spend significant amount of time making music, while mentoring other people to pursue their passions. Blogging is part of my delivery mechanism, but I am not married to this machine. The plan’s purpose is to simply articulate my intention, making it believable and achievable, and figure out where my problems are, where I need help. It will evolve on the way, and I fully intend to let it, without losing sight of the core.

      ari

  8. Writer Dad says:

    Hi Ari,

    I haven’t read this yet. Before I do, I just wanted to say Bravo. I’ve been working on a manifesto of sorts, to kind of explain what I would like out of Writer Dad. It’s been the next thing I’m gonna do, for over a month. I finally started it today. With pen and paper (an unfortunate rarity for me). I’m going to work on it all this weekend. I felt kinship when I started reading. I’m going to check it out now.

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..The Quan

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Sean,

      Thanks. Actually, much of my brainstorming and exploration was done on paper — a computer is too distracting for me.

      It is good to articulate our vision, because it helps us moving. But I can guarantee you, though, that plans change along the way — and I intend to let it — I know we call it business PLAN but I like to consider it more of a vision. A plan can feel binding, like I have to follow it.

      I look forward to seeing your vision! Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t come quickly to you. I’ve been mulling over this vision for like 6 months. And that is after 13 years of trying to figure out how I was going to become a musician. 😉

      ari

  9. Avani-Mehta says:

    Hi Ari,
    Your plans seem great. I am sure you will achieve them. My best wishes with you.
    For create groups/forums, do check out ning.com It’s equivalent to what wordpress/blogger is for blogging.

    Avani-Mehta’s last blog post..How To Pick Your First Anger Management Area – Anger Management Series Part IV

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