09/13/18

First Draft

Big Red Car here on an early Thursday. Hope you are well. God help the Carolinas.

Much of life is about getting beyond its first draft. A writer develops a first draft subject to a lot of self-editing and then sends it to a professional editor.

That editor will undertake the following Stations of the Cross:

 1. Three developmental edits focused on ensuring the story is really a story and that it contains a theme, a plot, a story arc, interesting characters good and bad, tons of conflict, a conflict resolution and a denouement.

Each time the editor finishes their edit, the writer will revise the piece. It looks like this: “BRC REV after DE 1” meaning this is the BRC’s revision of the editor’s first developmental edit.

 2. When the developmental edits are finished, then the editor will go through a copy edit looking for grammar changes. This is going from a rake to a comb.

 3. When the CE is finished, the editor will make a final proofread.

 4. Happy with the final story, the writer will mark it “FINAL” and send it out to be considered by publishers.

 5. The publisher will likely repeat the entire process — publishers’ editors can be extraordinarily good.

In this manner, the story goes from a lump of wet, unformed clay to a bit of fine, elegant china by iterative edits.

Business planning and running a business can benefit from this mindset.

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08/27/18

Exemplars – Corporate Governance

Big Red Car here safely returned from travels back to the ATX, ahhh, on Earth as it is in Texas! Warm old Texas!

So, the Big Red Car gets a call from a young fledgling company CEO (a compilation of three such calls with the names changed to protect the innocent) who says, “Big Red Car, do you have a good exemplar for a corporate Code of Conduct, a Board Charter, an Audit Committee Charter, a Nominating Committee Charter, and a Compensation Committee Charter?”

“Yes, I do, young fledgling company CEO, but do you know how to Google?” asked your Big Red Car.

“Of course, Big Red Car, my first child is named Google. Why?”

“So, Google and find some good exemplars. I suspect you don’t want to pay your lawyer to draft them for you. Correct?”

“Yes, Big Red Car. I need some corporate governance docs and I don’t want to pay a lawyer to draft them for me. I admit it.”

“Are you intending to just copy from an exemplar?”

“Why, no, Big Red Car, but I would like to see what other companies are using. Is that a crime?”

No, it is not. So, the Big Red Car sends the CEO to the corporate governance page of Dollar General: Corporate Governance.

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09/25/17

Horribles — the List of Horribles

Horribles, Big Red Car? What are you talking about? Horribles?

Big Red Car here on a nice Monday, bit of sun and all is well in Austin By God Texas. On Earth as it is in Texas.

When you get finished with Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture and when your pitches are pitch perfect (elevator, taxicab, board, onboarding), you have a business engine canvas, a business process graphic, dollar weighted org charts — you are a top 1% CEO.

Now, what do you do?

You create your List of Horribles.

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02/16/15

Strategy v Tactics v Objectives for Startups

Big Red Car here. Bit of rain this morning in the ATX but it’ll be 70F before too long.

So The Boss is meeting with a particular CEO, brilliant chap.

They get talking about planning in general but the discussion leads to the differentiation amongst strategy v tactics v objectives. Continue reading

06/26/14

The Tactical Business Plan

Big Red Car here. Ahh, the ATX, it’s lovely to live in paradise. The Boss is back, so finally it’s back to writing regularly. Hey, Boss, nice to have you back.

So The Boss is involved with Techstars Austin as a Mentor and meets all the teams on Mentor Day or some such thing. Very impressive folks and startups. Continue reading

03/3/14

Planning Your Path To The Pay Window, Are You?

Big Red Car here.  The Boss is still in the Boat skiing.  Nothing like Spring skiing — 40F at the base and colder up top but warm and pleasant for the schussing.  And, we all love a bit of schussing.

So The Boss runs into one of his pals — uber successful guy — who has retired to Steamboat Springs and they get to talking about the lovely cocktail called “success”.  The recipe for success.

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01/2/14

Discipline — Blind Spots

Big Red Car here.  Going to be a great day in the ATX.  Nice cold, crisp, sunny day.

So you probably watched a bit of college football yesterday, no?  The Boss loves college football and is often mumbling that college football is very much like the startup business.  [I think he’s just trying to justify how damn much college football he’s been watching lately.  Bowl games, yeah!]

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11/2/13

Fleeting Entrepreneurial Contentment

Big Red Car here.  Ahhh, The Boss had a terrific day of pressure washing <<<link here yesterday and is about half through with the backyard.  Nice to see the Old Boy get his relaxation on from time to time.  He seems so damn content.

So The Boss was visiting with one of his brilliant CEOs and with no prodding the CEO offered up that times were good and he hoped he did nothing to screw it up.

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10/4/13

Planning, It’s a Tough Discipline

Big Red Car here.  Bit cloudy early this morning in the ATX but it’s going to burn off and be a lovely, warm day.  On Earth as it is in Texas!

Horns won last night v Iowa State and had a tough time of it.  Whew.  Mack Brown might want to start updating his resume.  The Big Red Car supports Mack Brown and wants to remind everyone that the guy saved the Longhorns’ bacon and returned them to prominence.  But then again, what have you done for me recently, right?

Today, The Boss is going to take me to the body shop and get a price to get me repainted.  Ahhh, I think The Boss is up to something.  Hmmm.

I wonder what he’s planning.

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09/14/13

Entrepreneurial Panic

Big Red Car here.  Another day in paradise where the summer extends until, say, well — it never really ends except for our 5-day winters.  On Earth as it is in Texas!

So The Boss is reading about a discussion of “entrepreneurial panic” and had a few thoughts he shared with one of his brilliant CEO clients.  I listened in and here is what they talked about.

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07/25/13

The Character Traits and Skills of the Successful CEO — Discipline

Big Red Car here.  I guess you’re getting tired of hearing about the warm, sunny weather here in the ATX.  It is July, ya’ll, and it is typical for these times.  Today will be another beautiful day in paradise.  On Earth as it is in Texas!

So The Boss is talking to one of his CEOs and the CEO says:  “Hey, I’ve got a situation which calls for a bit of discipline.  Any advice?”

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07/2/13

The Character Traits and Skills of the Successful CEO — PLANNING

Big Red Car here.  Things are going swimmingly in the ATX.  On Earth as it is in Texas, ya’ll!

So The Boss has been pontificating a bit on the character traits and skills of the successful CEO and today wanted me to ponder the issue of planning.  Because planning, Old Sport, is an essential skill of successful CEOs. Thus sayeth the Big Red Car on this bright and sunny morning.

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06/28/13

The character traits and skills of the successful CEO — LEARNING FROM FAILURE

Big Red Car here.  Been a nice run of warm, sunny and delightful convertible weather.  OK, when the mercury flirts with 100F only mad dogs and Englishmen are out and about in that deadly sun but those cool mornings and those sultry evenings.  Ahh, on Earth as it is in Texas.

So The Boss is thinking about what makes a CEO successful and I, the Big Red Car, have been eavesdropping on him just a bit.  [Shhh, don’t tell The Boss what I have been doing.  Haha, the devilish and scheming Big Red Car.]  So let’s talk about learning from failure.

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06/26/13

Employment and hiring process

Big Red Car here.  Nice sunny warm day here in the ATX.  It is summer, Old Sport, and it is going to be a warm one.

So The Boss was visiting with one of his CEOs and they got to chatting about the hiring process from a mechanical perspective.  The Boss loves nothing as well as a well defined and streamlined process and a process graphic.

At the end of the day, the hiring process is really a search or discovery function — finding the right person for the right job.  It is most surely a process.

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