Posts in Subscriber of the Month

A Damn Fine Design Studio

November 15th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business is ART, Business Plan, Inspiration, Subscriber of the Month 0 thoughts on “A Damn Fine Design Studio”

Our featured subscriber of the month is FRW Studios and its founders/owners Julie and Lance White.

As their tagline states, FRW is “a damn fine design studio” based out of Dana Point, CA. FRW offers efficient, creative, lasting solutions for all of one’s marketing and advertising needs. Their primary customer is marketing departments that want to save costs on extra employees.

Julie and Lance have years of experience in the services that FRW provides, but FRW is itself a start-up, less than a year old. And although Plan Canvas is less than 3 months old, Lance is not new to the processes and templates of the Plan Canvas software.

Before launching FRW Studios with his wife, Julie, Lance managed an automobile dealership. When the automaker demanded a business plan or risk losing the dealership, Lance employed the practices defined in Business is ART, the book by Plan Canvas founder Jon Umstead upon which the software is built.

The automaker accepted the resulting plan, and within the first month of executing to it, Lance’s team met its monthly targets for the first time in over a year.

“When he told me that,” reflected Jon, “I said it was merely a coincidence. You don’t typically see results that fast.”

But Lance disagreed, saying it was absolutely no coincidence at all. He said the difference was that, with the plan, he and his team were better focused on what they had to achieve.

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And that’s the real value of a plan

Lance could have simply developed a plan to satisfy the automaker, then throw the plan away, as is often the case – use the plan to satisfy the wants/needs of some third-party, for whatever purpose, then discard it. But he gained even more value out of it by managing the plan well after the automaker was satisfied with the sheer existence of one.

Having had that positive experience, when the time came to define their new business, FRW Studios, Lance and Julie became early adopters of Plan Canvas, first as beta test users, and now as users of the production software.

“Right away we were able to see what was going to be the most important aspects of our design firm”

According to Lance, “Right away we were able to see what was going to be the most important aspects of our design firm in order to succeed. As a living document, our business plan has changed, but we’re focusing on the right aspects of our business.“

Julie and Lance feel that a major difference between how things are now, using the tool, versus how they would have been had they not used it, is in measuring and seeing success.

“It feels so good to be farther along than the original goals in our mind, plus we were able to see certain positions we planned to hire weren’t needed quite yet.”

These are real, measurable outcomes.

The future is bright

In three years, Julie and Lance see FRW Studios as one of Orange County California’s highest-rated design firms, with their current clients not just still with them, but true advocates for FRW.

Julie and Lance are passionate about FRW Studios. It is their startup baby – they birthed together- and it is named after their children, Frances and Reagan White (FRW).

Lance says, “My wife and I started our firm for their future. And when you love your work like we do, it passes off to your personal life.”

We hope Plan Canvas is along for every step of the ride and are proud to be associated with Julie, Lance and FRW Studios – a damn fine design studio and a damn fine couple of entrepreneurs.

Please click here for a list of some of the features and a demo of Plan Canvas.

A Decision Not to Launch is Not Failure to Launch

October 4th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Subscriber of the Month 2 thoughts on “A Decision Not to Launch is Not Failure to Launch”

The Plan Canvas official launch was September 5, 2017. Like all new business ventures, we started with an idea.

In our case, that idea was to create tools and a community that make business success much more likely. The odds are already stacked heavily against most business ventures, and the unfortunate truth is we make the risk even greater by either not thinking things through, or over-complicating it.

Our vision is to eliminate that unnecessary, self-inflicted risk, while dramatically reducing the naturally occurring risk of doing business.

Going forward, our intention is to highlight one featured Plan Canvas Subscriber of the Month. This month, our featured subscriber is our first, ever, paid subscriber – our first genuine customer – Anastasia Button.

Sometimes the best decision is NOT to launch

Before telling her story, let’s make something clear upfront. After doing the analysis and beginning to strategize and plan the business, this Plan Canvas user made the decision NOT to further pursue the new business venture.

You may be thinking, “That is an odd case study to highlight.”

It’s a fair critique – on the surface. Most solution providers only tell stories of customers and clients that have had wild success using their products and services. We’re no different in that regard.

The difference may be that we genuinely see a decision not to launch as a wild success.

Too many people have wasted precious time, money, energy, and have even sacrificed relationships, for a business that was either not right or not right at the time. We would much rather our subscribers realize that very early in the game -before those expenditures are made – rather than after it is too late.

The best way to do that is by formally visualizing and planning the business ahead of time.

At the core – finding purpose

All that said, our very first Subscriber of the Month is no stranger to critically thinking through business development and business solutions.

Anastasia is a Millennial Business Coach and also helps companies attract, engage and retain young talent. You can find her at

As she puts it, her passion is derived from pain.

“I was a lost Millennial trying to navigate what an entrepreneur was and I was failing as a roofing contractor – a door knocker. One day I realized I was not living a life I wanted. I worked 70-hours a week and was barely making ends meet. It wasn’t until I was on a 2-story roof and realized that I just felt like jumping (figuratively)!

I felt no purpose in what I was doing and realized in that moment that is what I was missing! So, after taking the journey to purpose everything fell into place and things began to streamline – book published, internationally speaking, professorship at the University of Denver, speaking to large corporate and helping Millennial business owners go from small to big!”

That is a GREAT example and great advice for everyone

Your sense of purpose does not have to be as grandiose as saving the world, but it is really important to take time to understand what it is. Once you’ve determined it, you have an opportunity to lay out a path forward to achieving it.

Anastasia’s drive comes from her sense of purpose – to help others identify their own purpose in life, so that they can leverage it to generate a business that is meaningful and brings impact to their lives.

She also helps corporations do this by leveraging their mission to fuel and engage their workforce and leadership to better serve the customer.

Anastasia had this to say about her experience with Plan Canvas

I enjoyed Plan Canvas for a few reasons:

  • Action Items – this is great for teams. My team members used to get overwhelmed seeing a huge to-do list. Now, from the dashboard, they just see what the next 7-days include.
  • Big picture – The team appreciated having immediate goals and I, on the back end, could see the whole picture.
  • Business planning – the tool was helpful in bringing focus to certain sections of the business plan. Instead of seeing a 10+ page business plan template and feeling like you have to fill it to the brim, Plan Canvas has you focus on small sections at a time. Before you know it, your business plan is written – and with brevity.
  • Simplistic, effective and easily navigated. I enjoyed Plan Canvas from the get-go and encourage startups, pre-startups and even my own clients to use Plan Canvas as a tool for their business and team, to get their plan in action!

Thank you so much, Anastasia!

We are so glad that there are people like Anastasia who are out there really making a positive impact on people’s lives and sense of purpose. We are even more appreciative to have subscribers like her in the Plan Canvas community.

There is always a level of disappointment in having a business idea that is eventually abandoned. But the good news is that Anastasia has a healthy coaching practice that continues to grow and thrive. She is the type of person that is likely to generate new, additional ideas throughout her life and career, and is probably already cooking up the next big one.

The great news is that she didn’t waste a lot of time and resource determining one particular idea is not right or not right now.

Thank you, Anastasia, for being a part of our big idea and for being our very first featured Subscriber of the Month.

For a quick demo of Plan Canvas, please click here.

Plan Canvas is a community and a powerful software for improving your odds of business success and personal fulfillment.

© SeaSeven LLC 2017.
Developed with FRW Studios.