There’s a literary legend in which Ernest Hemingway places a brash wager on the power of brevity.
Insisting that just a few well-chosen words are enough to tell a compelling story, Hemingway bets several other writers $10 each that he can compose a complete story – one with a beginning, middle and end – in just six words.
Once his buddies ante up, he pens this on a napkin: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Short. Engaging. Powerful.
Whether it's true or not is a matter for literary scholars to debate. But when it comes to writing the executive summary of your business plan, it’s a good idea to channel Hemingway just a little.
Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe that should become a tradition all over Minnesota:
Take one small business – preferably one that’s homegrown, not mass-produced – and stuff it with customers and a generous portion of greenbacks. Serves: the entire community.
Success in business is no accident.
Ok, so everyone knows someone who launched a business on a whim; has flown it by the seat of his pants; and – far from going down in flames – has been wildly successful. Yes, it happens. But it’s not the norm.
What do Westinghouse, Walgreens, Wendy’s, Forbes and FedEx have in common? Besides the letters W and F, that is.
Give up? Or maybe the better word here is “surrender.” (Pssst. That’s a clue.)