For about ten years or even more, I have been involved in writing one proposal or the other. I wrote so many proposals that I got enough ideas to write a book called ‘Writing Business Proposal’ which was published in 2008. In those years, I have seen the good ones and the bad ones. I have also seen the nearly-got-it-right kind of proposals.
One of the major issues I have seen with the proposals of many people who have asked me to write for them, or even some of my own in the early days is what has made me think about writing what I call a reality check.
What is the real problem? Why do so many people have issues with their proposals and why do they feel let down at the end of the day when they submit their proposals to the would be sponsors or the prospective partners and companies.
Among many other issues, one critical one is the issue of passion superseding reality. You can hear so much passion in their voices as they share their ideas with you. they are so convinced that the ideas will work.
While that is not a bad thing to be armed with, some of them are also blinded by passion. This is because they will not even listen to positive criticism or feedback and they think all they need to get things done is just the passion.
I think you need to know that it is one thing for ideas to sound nice and it is another thing for the idea to be able to work out. When you talk passionately about something you will not get the attention of a real investor. As you talk, your prospective sponsor is listening for things like the research you have already done. What are the figures at your disposal to prove to him or her that what you are saying can work?
Do you have concrete plans or strategies? How will you, step by step, achieve what you are talking about?
Those are the major things your supporter or prospective sponsor wants to see and so long as this cannot be articulated, they will like your passion but in the place of business it is not passion that gets the money out.
You want the money, get your plans right! Once you get your plans right then you can add passion to what needs to be done so that you can scale through all the odds. With passion, you can resist all the urges to give up but not too many people will come on board just because they see your passion.
In simpler terms, some expressed ideas can’t connect between the present location of the idea carrier to the desired destination of the idea carrier. You are in point A and you have an idea. How will your idea take you from point A to point B? sometimes when you ask questions these people will just tell you I just know it will happen even though I don’t know how.
I dare say there is really no crime in not knowing how you want to achieve what you want to achieve. That’s why you need to make a wide consultation. Talk to people and ask questions. Tell them what’s on your mind that you intend to achieve. Ask them to help you draw a crystal clear plan on how you can make things happen. Don’t walk around with the illusion in your mind and hope people will buy into it.
To conceive and keep an idea, you need the passion that you carry. But to make the idea a reality, you will have to put your passion to check and be sure what you are talking about is ‘doable’ – something that can be done.
If you fail to do this reality check, you will go from one person to the other just hoping someone will help you but you may never find one. wake up before it’s too late and do your reality check.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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