Craft Your Story: Technique # 1

By Christina Cornelius Monday, March 23, 2009

Sometimes it is hard to get started with a writing project. To generate the raw material to craft your story, a journalist would start by asking you a few engaging questions. I have found this technique works just as well, however, when you have to play the role of journalist AND story subject. For those of you who enjoy writing, the questions below can serve as a point of departure. If you are more at ease in conversation, these questions can be posed to you, by you, or by another.

1.    Where were you and when did you come up with the idea for your business?
2.    What inspired you to take the leap and start your business?
3.    Can you talk a little bit about what you needed to start-up, whether equipment, training, or seed money? How did you secure those things and get what the business needed to get started?
4.    What was your first concrete step in starting your business?
5.    Share with the Harvard Community a situation that turned out to be one of your greatest challenges as a business owner? How did you handle it?
6.    Can you talk a little bit about specific things that you have done in order to survive in business during economic downturns, recessions, and otherwise tough times?
7.    What would you say is one of your biggest pet peeves as a business owner? How do you cope with it? What do you find most challenging about running a business?
8.     What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
9.    If you could offer a piece of advise for those out there who are just starting out or thinking of starting a small business, what would it be?
10.    What are you up to now? What are you looking forward to?

I hope you find these questions helpful to get the juices flowing. If you want to share Your Story on The HBS Blog, we would love to hear it. Please submit it to our Managing Editor,

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