Function Follows Form

life at airports
Changing the form can have a larg impact on desired behavior. From Jean Paul Peters' Flickr photostream.

There was an airport that had the challenge of preventing airline customers from sleeping on chairs in their terminals. They used warning signs and recruited their personnel to enforce their desired policy.

This was in vain. People that were tired disregarded the notices.

However, once the chairs were changed from a continuous and convenient row to individualized arm chairs, it became inconvenient and inconceivable to lay down for naps any longer. The problem was fixed by changing the form. The previous form lent itself to people hanging out and sleeping. The new form made it impossible for sleepers to make a bed of a row of seats.

I think a lot of our motivations work this way. We can try and psyche ourselves up and find that it doesn’t work that well. There are forces working inside us to be lazy, fearful or passive. It is the path of least resistance.

A good strategy to combat the very real motivation killers is to apply the wisdom of the airport management. Change the forms. Motivation follows.

I want to give you some things that will help you get started and fuel the motivation for entrepreneurship and opening your own shop.

Open Your Shop

You may not have the details ironed out about what you would sell. That is ok. You can still start the process of branding yourself. Go ahead and get things set up around a name and entity. This starts to put some structure to your thinking.

You could go to an attorney to help with creating an entity. It costs more and you get full service. However, with the convenience of the internet you can simply use a service like to get set up with a Limited Liability Company. Each state has its own filing fee and database of names.

To find a name, find a domain name that is available, preferably with a .com suffix. is taken, but your own name may not be. If you don’t have a clear idea of what a name would be, start with your own namesake.

In either case, secure the domain. Then confirm with the your Secretary of State on the availability of the LLC name. Once you have the domain name and are filed with your state, you have a brand and entity for doing business.

The cost is a few hundred dollars. What you have is protection and a way to collect revenue under a company rather than as a sole proprietor. These are minimum requirements to getting started.

Go to your bank and open up a new business checking account under the filed LLC. You are open for business.

Pay the cost early. When something costs us, I find it increases our commitment and focus. You don’t want to lose on your investment. You will want to manage it carefully. This is a good thing to harness and focus for the work ahead.

There are still a number of other details to attend to. With your initial cost paid out and the rudiments of a business entity, you will want to start to build the substance around this.

While others may advise you on investing a lot of money and time in the product, I would advise investing in the vision.

This is a just a starting point. It gets the ball moving and gets you vested mentally and emotionally to change the form. Like the airport seating arrangement, you are moving some structures in your own life to drive your ow behaviors.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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