A friend emailed me last night. Here was our exchange: She wrote: Here’s a question that I think I know the answer to… Did you do a business plan? And how did you know the steps to start your business? I replied: I thought about it. Then I guessed as I moved forward. And she asked: Where did you start? It was a good question, and one I hadn't thought about until last night. Below is my 16-point reply to her very pertinent question.My patented multi-step process: 1. Got laid off. 2. Spent a week interviewing for jobs. Determined I would lose significant ground -- dollars and experience. 3. Decided to start my own company. 4. Convinced myself the market needed exactly what I offered. 5. Went to the Chamber Small Business workshop and realized I already knew what they were telling me. 6. Decided not to waste my time with a business plan, but to just start building. 7. Found a really good accountant. 8. Came up with a name. 9. Had a designer create a logo/identity. 10. Had a developer start work on a website. 11. Networked my ass off and talked to hundreds of really smart people -- to learn, to think out loud with, to frame and reframe my business concept, to feel better about my incomeless time. 12. Got a piece of paid work. Felt even better about myself. Until I realized I was essentially going to earn 4% in two months over the first two months of the previous year. 13. Took three pro bono jobs because I realized I needed to exercise my muscles, mess up in front of audiences that weren't Luck Stone, and learn by staying engaged not by thinking about staying engaged. 14. Decided to throw a huge party and spend 40% of my business bank roll to create a gigantic networking/thank you space. 15. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 16. Now moving into aggressive business development/sales mode. Reviewing my list this morning, it seems like a pretty solid approach. Of course, if you're my banker, you're probably a little worried now.