Form and Fill
Creating most anything involves a form and fill system. There are many examples of this principle in construction, art and even nature. Most every foundation in a construction project is first created with forms, then filled with cement. For example, the main bones of a home consist of a solid form, or frame, before filling and installing with insulation, drywall and other elements.
My mother took up ceramics and porcelain work when I was in middle school. My father built a little shed out back for her and she filled that room with a kiln, firing cones, slip and greenware. I grew up creating many porcelain and ceramic pieces, along with ugly mugs (not purposefully!) for my teachers, where the form, or mold, was filled with the liquid substance, slip. After a certain length of time, the object is removed in order to be cleaned, painted, and fired. Carrying that principle to the outdoors, when planting a tree or plant, a hole, or form, is created to provide a place for roots grow and fill out the space.
Life and Business
In the same way that construction, art and nature illustrate the form and fill principle, so does business. With a good outline and plan, (the form), business projects and activities fill each of the defined areas with a greater chance of success and effectiveness. What if you're a creative soul? The form and fill principle is especially valuable for creatives who find themselves jumping from project to project, whether it be a song, a book or a business opportunity.
How do we create a system to form and fill without feeling boxed in, especially as a creative? I propose three steps:
STEP ONE: Define the parameters of your form, or business. If you are working in multiple areas, define those basic areas for each. For my business, I’ve defined different areas in both music and speaking, then a separate area where both are combined. You may have only one main area, which will make this process simpler, yet not always easier!
STEP TWO: Further define your form with the different category elements you’ve created. For example: online training, licensing, live events and others. Every basic area you’ve defined in step one will have different elements.
STEP THREE: Fill each of the elements you’ve created with goals and projects that are measurable and achievable. After spending time defining step one and two, this step will help you stay focused with a greater chance of success and achievement! My advice is to take small steps that will give you confidence and encouragement as you move forward.
Solid Form and Structure
We recently put in a new driveway in our home, replacing the old, cracked and pitted asphalt. It was a huge project, but very successful as the contractors took a great deal of time to grade, level, then create exact forms and borders for all the different areas, section by section. We had three different types of concrete, as we wanted stamped and colored concrete in several sections and a different style for the porch area. Without a good plan and form, there was no chance for success.
When cement trucks arrive, the concrete comes out quickly. The solid forms the workers created held fast to create a beautiful project that literally transformed the front of our home. This is such good advice for entrepreneurs. Stepping back to make sure your form or structure for your business is solidly in place will do the same for you. Just like our driveway, it may take some grading and scraping away unnecessary dirt and gravel, but the outcome will be an object of beauty that will be transformational and rewarding. I wish you wonderful success in your journey to form and fill!
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