My name is Alaia Williams. Though ideas are always brewing, I have a couple of key irons in the fire. I’ve had my business, One Organized Business since 2006. I work with entrepreneurs and business owners to organize and streamline their operations and processes. Basically, I get things done and make things work better. I have also run a networking group, The Entrepreneur Connection, for the past five years, bringing together entrepreneurs from all around town to learn, grow, and connect.
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How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m not afraid to explore (most of the time). I don’t get stuck in thinking that there is only one way to do something. When I have an idea, I brain dump – get every idea out on paper or on my computer. I sit with the idea for a while before talking to anyone else about it. I survey people (how formally or informally depends on the idea). I ask for feedback. I take the idea to my mastermind group and we hash it out. I share in depth with people I trust, people I want involved, or people who have great instincts. I write about it. I execute the idea in a small scale way to see if it fits. Is it useful? Will it have a positive impact on people’s lives? Is it what I thought it would be? Those are some of the questions I ask myself along the way.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals (the creators of Basecamp). I love this book because they get right to the point on the first page. Whether you agree with each idea or not, you don’t have to spend tons of time getting through pages of filler. Their ideas about work, business, and life are practical and straight forward. An excellent read for anyone who is ready to change the way they work. I’ve started giving it to new clients if they don’t already have a copy.
What is one piece of advice that you’d like to give?
Know your strengths and figure out how to use them. If you need a more formal way of doing that, read “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath or “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham. I took the Strengths Finder test as a college freshman and again last year. It helps me put things in perspective. You don’t need a formal test to know your strengths, of course – just figure it out somehow. And use those strengths every day to improve yourself and your community.
What is one idea that you’re going to bring to life in 2012?
Who To Know ) It will be a site about the people of Los Angeles whose stories you haven’t heard – who they are, what they do, how they make L.A. work, and what you can learn from them.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.