4.15.2008

roadmaps: creating a life plan.



Roadmaps time! Welcome to the first step in the Roadmaps series: Creating a Life Plan. This is so, so, so important, for a variety of reasons, but I want to keep this post short and sweet. So here's a bit of a breakdown surrounding the Life Plan--- what it is, why you need it, and what to do with it...



What's a Life Plan?
Chances are, unless you read business books for fun (read: ME), you're not totally familiar with what a life plan entails. So think of it, instead, as a glorified list of goals for your personal and professional life, but written down. It includes your wants/not-wants, skills, assets, preferred work environment and the lot. All in one handy paragraph (or two). Coolio, yes? :)

Why You Need It:
Ever heard of a building without the foundation? I hope not, b/c that would be total craziness. If you're serious about creating a business or breaking out of your 9-to-5, you MUST consider the lifestyle you're looking for. Entrepreneurship is hard work, and it requires a ton of planning. Writing down your desired goals in life will be super helpful in the long run, and in the next few posts, you'll see why.

What You Do With It:
Keep it. Hang it. File it. Whatever you do, make sure it's accessible, b/c you WILL want it later. Trust me. ;)

With that said, I have a present for you...
I've provided a user-friendly guide to creating your life plan. Instead of simply writing a paragraph of your loves & hates, fill out the enclosed PDF and you'll be on your way to a stellar life plan.

Click here to download the first worksheet in the Roadmaps series [for free!]. Print this one out and add it to your Roadmaps binder. Enjoy, and stay tuned for the next step in your creative pursuit: The Business Model.

Need some further direction? I took the liberty of filling out my own life plan, and have posted it here for you, just in case it helps. Click here to download. Good luck, Biz Warriors! :)

61 comments:

A Print A Day said...

you've got such a lovely blog! i find it admirable that you and other bloggers write such inspiring things. so thanks :)

Diana said...

Thank you for the roadmap! What kind of business books have you enjoyed? I've been reading What Color is Your Parachute, which has similar road-mapping activities (but not as fun of course!). Any other good reads?

design for mankind. said...

Ahhh, thank you A Print A Day!

And oh my goodness, Diana--- what haven't I read? I'm a former advertising guru, so I've been through the gamut.

Some REALLY good ones: Do What You Are, Permission Marketing [anything Seth Godin is a plus], Brand Hijacks, Rules for Revoluationaries, The Anatomy of Buzz, Selling the Invisible, Nobrow, etc.

Most of these are marketing books, but Do What You Are is a REALLY REALY good "start-up" book if you're not sure where to start.

Hope this helps, dear Diana! :)

Krissy said...

Thanks so much!! I can't wait to sit down and do this tonight. I really enjoyed reading yours as well. (It's like I was allowed to spy) Oh and Diana, I can say Do What You Are is good so far. I JUST started reading it. (Thanks to Erin ;)

cindy k said...

I LOVE IT! it's very do-able and the doodles are a great addition. i just saw something about how companies are embracing the paper napkin doodle as substantive brainstorming.

i don't think i'm going to wring my hands trying to fill it out; the first things that enter my mind will fill in the blanks. but,the first thing i must do is cross out "chuck norris" and replace it with "kelly jones".

i love seeing your version, too.

Diana said...

Thanks Erin and Krissy - I will check it out...logging onto Amazon RIGHT now!

alyson. said...

what a fantastic post. I too will check out that book, myself having a start-up business!

Camilla said...

You totally rule! This is so un-intimidating I might even be able to deal with it. Now to find a binder...and not spend too long on decorating it with stickers.

Lesley Denford said...

Can't wait to fill out my roadmap worksheet tonight! Thanks for posting yours as inspiration. I don't love Chuck Norris, but I do love your beautiful handwritten life plan. :)

design for mankind. said...

HA--- I know, I'm totally obnoxious. Why do I find the Chuck Norris quotes so funny?

The world may never know.

design for mankind. said...

Oooh, I love Kelly Jones, too! :)

cindy k said...

that voice, those eyes - swoon! but, steve mcqueen is the ultimate. anyway, back to my life plan ...

Lesley Denford said...

Everyone's got their embarrassing little quirks. You love Chuck Norris quotes, I love those hilarious re-dubbed GI Joe PSA's and their many one-liners...

heidi said...

Erin, your post inspired my post today...
xo
h

Jen said...

I LOVE this!

Billy said...

Hi!

Your life plan is great and I really like the Chuck Norris tidbits. :)

Have to go NOW - to work on it, of course!

dianamuse said...

Adore the charming life plan (yours, that is). But I must say that the (multiple) Chuck Norris mentions make me a tad nervous. Wassup with that?

Melissa de la Fuente said...

I love this! You are a doll and what a lovely life plan and a lovely thing to share with us. You are a very good sharer! :)
xo
thank you,
Melissa

design for mankind. said...

HA. OK, I promise I'll leave Chuck Norris out of it next time, guys! Can't a gal dream? :)

If you'd like to know my TRUE obsession, it's Boy George. I know. I know. I carried a barbie doll of that man for FAR too long than I care to admit.

wow. are there any therapist readers here??? :)

cindy k said...

didn't i see you with that doll last week?

heidi said...

yeah, wassup with Chuck? I totally understand the taco thing. But Chuck???

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHAHAH stop it! No more chuck norris comments. I'm a sensitive soul! :)

design for mankind. said...

And see?! Lesley has a quirk, too! :) Go pick on her... ;)

alice said...

How awesome! Thank you :)

cindy k said...

this feels like we're back in school, there's a substitute teacher, it's a beautiful day and everyone wants to go outside and play. erin, don't turn your back. or, if you do, crouch down like a certain person who excels in KARATE and duck!

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHAH OMG CINDY. OMG. HAHAHAHA. I can't stop.

indykleins said...

IN THE EYES OF A RANGER,
THE UNSUSPECTED STRANGER,
HAD BETTER KNOW THE TRUTH OF WRONG FROM RIGHT...
Cuz the eyes of a ranger are upon yewwwww,
Any wrong you do he's gonna seeeee,
When yer in Texas look behind yewwwww,
Cuz that's where the ranger's gonna be.

Double roundhouse slow-mo kick. Yea!

Maybe it's genetic...

design for mankind. said...

AHHHHHHHHHH! That's my girl! :)

Incagirl said...

the chuck norris part made me laugh out loud. what a super cool thing you're doing here.

and i really dug monsieur george too.

That Girl Designs said...

I think this is so great what you are doing, and how you are sharing with others. I wish that when I was younger and struggling to find my place, that bloggers like you (and others) were around to give me a lift. Keep up the great work. You are one talented lady.

design for mankind. said...

Awww, thank you so much! :) I only wish I had the artistic talent to use the info myself... :) Have at it!

mizu designs said...

Thanks so much for the road map! It was so much fun reading yours. However, I must confess I don't even know who Chuck Norris is ......

design for mankind. said...

OH NO, MIZU! we must get you acqainted. :)

Kirsty said...

Brilliant Erin. I loved your life plan. I can't believe how young you are!

design for mankind. said...

I know--- I'm a total young'n!

Laura said...

I really have to agree with Kristy...it is SO inspiring to see how young you are!

I'll be graduating in December & have had a really hard (& discouraging) time trying to decide if I should do the "responsible thing" & go straight into grad school to eventually find a steady (& boring) career...or do what I really feel drawn to & attempt to support myself through creativity.
Your road maps posts (especially this one) have really given me hope. I've always known that the lifestyle I dream of is possible but it's so reassuring to see that someone not much older than myself is actually doing it!

Thank you so much for the encouragement (& sorry for the rant!).

design for mankind. said...

LAURA--- No problem! Keep your head up; there's a place in this world for everyone. OMG isn't that a Michael W. Smith song? Wow. I'm such a weirdo.

ANYWAY, let us know if we can help. I doubt myself or anyone else here would mind one bit! :)

Melissa Lewis-Off The Wall said...

Ok, first, you girls are all cracking me up over here. This group of comments is too funny:)

I had no idea you were that young either, I just assumed you were older than me for some reason!

Second... I am so loving this Road map. I'm a big believer in encouraging and inspiring others to find their calling in life. I love the free download!!!!

design for mankind. said...

Nope, I'm an 80s child! Must be why I love the aforementioned ranger. :)

leslie said...

thanks for the reminder. to make a life map. adding that to my list. right now. and there is nothing wrong with a little chuck!

Carson said...

At the moment I could do with a bit of Life Warrioring before I get to the Biz Warrioring! :)

design for mankind. said...

HA. No worries, Carson; you'll get there! :)

lizzyl said...

this is so cool; i can't wait to fill it out! i am sorry i didn't get to meet you at the LA Biz Meetup if you were there!

Cynthia said...

Thank you for the easy-to-follow road map. I have to admit that every time I think of things like road maps or business plans I get intimidated and end up not doing anything, but you've shown me how easy and fun it can be. Can't wait to see what you do with the business plan!

As for Chuck......well......I guess we'll have to forgive you for that one. Can we perhaps interest you in a Gerard Butler? He looks good on a Speedo.....or maybe a Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.....who looks good on anything.......a Kevin Sorbo perhaps?

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHA OMG CYNTHIA--- HAHAHA. Wow. I think I love you! :)

JLC Studio said...

This is sooo fabulous Erin!!! You are absolutely the best for offering this advice, and for free! Can't wait to fill mine out!

And Chuck Norris is hott...(that's right, hott with two "t's"!!

design for mankind. said...

HAAAAAAAA!

daisyjanie said...

Most excellent post and worksheet! I have been at many-a-crossroads in my creative career, and I'm about to hit another one. This will certainly help my get my head on straight as I plow through - lookout world!

p.s. Your wisdom at such a young age will serve you (and a lot of others) well!
p.p.s. I have a dog named George, too (and another named Scout).

Porcelain said...

This is so great!!! Thanks for sharing and putting this up. I feel at a crossroads myself and wanting to make changes, mostly in the career-realm, but am a little scared and can be a difficult change.

Natalie said...

I just think you're the bees knees. I love the way you laid this out - and that you SHARED with with all of us. awesome.

design for mankind. said...

It's truly my pleasure! :)

Carmen -The Decorating Diva said...

Hi,

Thanks for the lovely comment you left at thedecoratingdiva.com.

What a pleasure it has been to discover your blog. I appreciate that you find beauty and inspiration in everyday things, and share that inspiration on your blog.

I downloaded the roadmap and look forward to participating in the series as it unfolds.

BTW, I love just about anything Seth Godin writes, he's a marketing genius :)

Best,
Carmen

Justine said...

I'm loving it! dreaming+organizing=fun.
Thanks for the resource!

Justine said...

bahaha... and I like the Chuck Norris question. It's stuff like that that'll really determine your course in life... ;)

amy said...

erin - how great of you to do this! thanks!

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHAH thank you--- and yay for CN! :)

HB said...

thank you, thank you for the super wonderful and inspiring worksheets AND for taking the time to comment on my blog! made my night & day!

bettyninja said...

I am so with you on this! Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Now I just need to print it when the boss isn;t looking.

Justine said...

OK, wow... I was just reading through the comments and my admiration for you just grew immensely. Heck ya' "Place in this World' is a Michael W. Smith song! Hahaha! Oh man... I totally had a little kid crush on him when I was little. :)

Sarah said...

Hello, Are these pdf's still available? I know its been a couple months, but 'd really like to take a look at them.

design for mankind. said...

Sarah:

I'm working on getting these back up. For now, if you'd like, email me and I'll send them on over!

erin@designformankind.com

welcome.

because beauty lies in the details of design. in the pencil shavings, in the blueberry waffles. the vintage dress, framed portrait, old postcard.

design is inevitable. celebrated. design for mankind.

4.15.2008

roadmaps: creating a life plan.



Roadmaps time! Welcome to the first step in the Roadmaps series: Creating a Life Plan. This is so, so, so important, for a variety of reasons, but I want to keep this post short and sweet. So here's a bit of a breakdown surrounding the Life Plan--- what it is, why you need it, and what to do with it...



What's a Life Plan?
Chances are, unless you read business books for fun (read: ME), you're not totally familiar with what a life plan entails. So think of it, instead, as a glorified list of goals for your personal and professional life, but written down. It includes your wants/not-wants, skills, assets, preferred work environment and the lot. All in one handy paragraph (or two). Coolio, yes? :)

Why You Need It:
Ever heard of a building without the foundation? I hope not, b/c that would be total craziness. If you're serious about creating a business or breaking out of your 9-to-5, you MUST consider the lifestyle you're looking for. Entrepreneurship is hard work, and it requires a ton of planning. Writing down your desired goals in life will be super helpful in the long run, and in the next few posts, you'll see why.

What You Do With It:
Keep it. Hang it. File it. Whatever you do, make sure it's accessible, b/c you WILL want it later. Trust me. ;)

With that said, I have a present for you...
I've provided a user-friendly guide to creating your life plan. Instead of simply writing a paragraph of your loves & hates, fill out the enclosed PDF and you'll be on your way to a stellar life plan.

Click here to download the first worksheet in the Roadmaps series [for free!]. Print this one out and add it to your Roadmaps binder. Enjoy, and stay tuned for the next step in your creative pursuit: The Business Model.

Need some further direction? I took the liberty of filling out my own life plan, and have posted it here for you, just in case it helps. Click here to download. Good luck, Biz Warriors! :)

61 comments:

A Print A Day said...

you've got such a lovely blog! i find it admirable that you and other bloggers write such inspiring things. so thanks :)

Diana said...

Thank you for the roadmap! What kind of business books have you enjoyed? I've been reading What Color is Your Parachute, which has similar road-mapping activities (but not as fun of course!). Any other good reads?

design for mankind. said...

Ahhh, thank you A Print A Day!

And oh my goodness, Diana--- what haven't I read? I'm a former advertising guru, so I've been through the gamut.

Some REALLY good ones: Do What You Are, Permission Marketing [anything Seth Godin is a plus], Brand Hijacks, Rules for Revoluationaries, The Anatomy of Buzz, Selling the Invisible, Nobrow, etc.

Most of these are marketing books, but Do What You Are is a REALLY REALY good "start-up" book if you're not sure where to start.

Hope this helps, dear Diana! :)

Krissy said...

Thanks so much!! I can't wait to sit down and do this tonight. I really enjoyed reading yours as well. (It's like I was allowed to spy) Oh and Diana, I can say Do What You Are is good so far. I JUST started reading it. (Thanks to Erin ;)

cindy k said...

I LOVE IT! it's very do-able and the doodles are a great addition. i just saw something about how companies are embracing the paper napkin doodle as substantive brainstorming.

i don't think i'm going to wring my hands trying to fill it out; the first things that enter my mind will fill in the blanks. but,the first thing i must do is cross out "chuck norris" and replace it with "kelly jones".

i love seeing your version, too.

Diana said...

Thanks Erin and Krissy - I will check it out...logging onto Amazon RIGHT now!

alyson. said...

what a fantastic post. I too will check out that book, myself having a start-up business!

Camilla said...

You totally rule! This is so un-intimidating I might even be able to deal with it. Now to find a binder...and not spend too long on decorating it with stickers.

Lesley Denford said...

Can't wait to fill out my roadmap worksheet tonight! Thanks for posting yours as inspiration. I don't love Chuck Norris, but I do love your beautiful handwritten life plan. :)

design for mankind. said...

HA--- I know, I'm totally obnoxious. Why do I find the Chuck Norris quotes so funny?

The world may never know.

design for mankind. said...

Oooh, I love Kelly Jones, too! :)

cindy k said...

that voice, those eyes - swoon! but, steve mcqueen is the ultimate. anyway, back to my life plan ...

Lesley Denford said...

Everyone's got their embarrassing little quirks. You love Chuck Norris quotes, I love those hilarious re-dubbed GI Joe PSA's and their many one-liners...

heidi said...

Erin, your post inspired my post today...
xo
h

Jen said...

I LOVE this!

Billy said...

Hi!

Your life plan is great and I really like the Chuck Norris tidbits. :)

Have to go NOW - to work on it, of course!

dianamuse said...

Adore the charming life plan (yours, that is). But I must say that the (multiple) Chuck Norris mentions make me a tad nervous. Wassup with that?

Melissa de la Fuente said...

I love this! You are a doll and what a lovely life plan and a lovely thing to share with us. You are a very good sharer! :)
xo
thank you,
Melissa

design for mankind. said...

HA. OK, I promise I'll leave Chuck Norris out of it next time, guys! Can't a gal dream? :)

If you'd like to know my TRUE obsession, it's Boy George. I know. I know. I carried a barbie doll of that man for FAR too long than I care to admit.

wow. are there any therapist readers here??? :)

cindy k said...

didn't i see you with that doll last week?

heidi said...

yeah, wassup with Chuck? I totally understand the taco thing. But Chuck???

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHAHAH stop it! No more chuck norris comments. I'm a sensitive soul! :)

design for mankind. said...

And see?! Lesley has a quirk, too! :) Go pick on her... ;)

alice said...

How awesome! Thank you :)

cindy k said...

this feels like we're back in school, there's a substitute teacher, it's a beautiful day and everyone wants to go outside and play. erin, don't turn your back. or, if you do, crouch down like a certain person who excels in KARATE and duck!

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHAH OMG CINDY. OMG. HAHAHAHA. I can't stop.

indykleins said...

IN THE EYES OF A RANGER,
THE UNSUSPECTED STRANGER,
HAD BETTER KNOW THE TRUTH OF WRONG FROM RIGHT...
Cuz the eyes of a ranger are upon yewwwww,
Any wrong you do he's gonna seeeee,
When yer in Texas look behind yewwwww,
Cuz that's where the ranger's gonna be.

Double roundhouse slow-mo kick. Yea!

Maybe it's genetic...

design for mankind. said...

AHHHHHHHHHH! That's my girl! :)

Incagirl said...

the chuck norris part made me laugh out loud. what a super cool thing you're doing here.

and i really dug monsieur george too.

That Girl Designs said...

I think this is so great what you are doing, and how you are sharing with others. I wish that when I was younger and struggling to find my place, that bloggers like you (and others) were around to give me a lift. Keep up the great work. You are one talented lady.

design for mankind. said...

Awww, thank you so much! :) I only wish I had the artistic talent to use the info myself... :) Have at it!

mizu designs said...

Thanks so much for the road map! It was so much fun reading yours. However, I must confess I don't even know who Chuck Norris is ......

design for mankind. said...

OH NO, MIZU! we must get you acqainted. :)

Kirsty said...

Brilliant Erin. I loved your life plan. I can't believe how young you are!

design for mankind. said...

I know--- I'm a total young'n!

Laura said...

I really have to agree with Kristy...it is SO inspiring to see how young you are!

I'll be graduating in December & have had a really hard (& discouraging) time trying to decide if I should do the "responsible thing" & go straight into grad school to eventually find a steady (& boring) career...or do what I really feel drawn to & attempt to support myself through creativity.
Your road maps posts (especially this one) have really given me hope. I've always known that the lifestyle I dream of is possible but it's so reassuring to see that someone not much older than myself is actually doing it!

Thank you so much for the encouragement (& sorry for the rant!).

design for mankind. said...

LAURA--- No problem! Keep your head up; there's a place in this world for everyone. OMG isn't that a Michael W. Smith song? Wow. I'm such a weirdo.

ANYWAY, let us know if we can help. I doubt myself or anyone else here would mind one bit! :)

Melissa Lewis-Off The Wall said...

Ok, first, you girls are all cracking me up over here. This group of comments is too funny:)

I had no idea you were that young either, I just assumed you were older than me for some reason!

Second... I am so loving this Road map. I'm a big believer in encouraging and inspiring others to find their calling in life. I love the free download!!!!

design for mankind. said...

Nope, I'm an 80s child! Must be why I love the aforementioned ranger. :)

leslie said...

thanks for the reminder. to make a life map. adding that to my list. right now. and there is nothing wrong with a little chuck!

Carson said...

At the moment I could do with a bit of Life Warrioring before I get to the Biz Warrioring! :)

design for mankind. said...

HA. No worries, Carson; you'll get there! :)

lizzyl said...

this is so cool; i can't wait to fill it out! i am sorry i didn't get to meet you at the LA Biz Meetup if you were there!

Cynthia said...

Thank you for the easy-to-follow road map. I have to admit that every time I think of things like road maps or business plans I get intimidated and end up not doing anything, but you've shown me how easy and fun it can be. Can't wait to see what you do with the business plan!

As for Chuck......well......I guess we'll have to forgive you for that one. Can we perhaps interest you in a Gerard Butler? He looks good on a Speedo.....or maybe a Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.....who looks good on anything.......a Kevin Sorbo perhaps?

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHA OMG CYNTHIA--- HAHAHA. Wow. I think I love you! :)

JLC Studio said...

This is sooo fabulous Erin!!! You are absolutely the best for offering this advice, and for free! Can't wait to fill mine out!

And Chuck Norris is hott...(that's right, hott with two "t's"!!

design for mankind. said...

HAAAAAAAA!

daisyjanie said...

Most excellent post and worksheet! I have been at many-a-crossroads in my creative career, and I'm about to hit another one. This will certainly help my get my head on straight as I plow through - lookout world!

p.s. Your wisdom at such a young age will serve you (and a lot of others) well!
p.p.s. I have a dog named George, too (and another named Scout).

Porcelain said...

This is so great!!! Thanks for sharing and putting this up. I feel at a crossroads myself and wanting to make changes, mostly in the career-realm, but am a little scared and can be a difficult change.

Natalie said...

I just think you're the bees knees. I love the way you laid this out - and that you SHARED with with all of us. awesome.

design for mankind. said...

It's truly my pleasure! :)

Carmen -The Decorating Diva said...

Hi,

Thanks for the lovely comment you left at thedecoratingdiva.com.

What a pleasure it has been to discover your blog. I appreciate that you find beauty and inspiration in everyday things, and share that inspiration on your blog.

I downloaded the roadmap and look forward to participating in the series as it unfolds.

BTW, I love just about anything Seth Godin writes, he's a marketing genius :)

Best,
Carmen

Justine said...

I'm loving it! dreaming+organizing=fun.
Thanks for the resource!

Justine said...

bahaha... and I like the Chuck Norris question. It's stuff like that that'll really determine your course in life... ;)

amy said...

erin - how great of you to do this! thanks!

design for mankind. said...

HAHAHAHAH thank you--- and yay for CN! :)

HB said...

thank you, thank you for the super wonderful and inspiring worksheets AND for taking the time to comment on my blog! made my night & day!

bettyninja said...

I am so with you on this! Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Now I just need to print it when the boss isn;t looking.

Justine said...

OK, wow... I was just reading through the comments and my admiration for you just grew immensely. Heck ya' "Place in this World' is a Michael W. Smith song! Hahaha! Oh man... I totally had a little kid crush on him when I was little. :)

Sarah said...

Hello, Are these pdf's still available? I know its been a couple months, but 'd really like to take a look at them.

design for mankind. said...

Sarah:

I'm working on getting these back up. For now, if you'd like, email me and I'll send them on over!

erin@designformankind.com