A very wise man once told me “the money is made in the planning”.
How true he was.
And this applies not only to business owners who want success, it applies to anyone who wants something bad enough.
I will talk about the business stuff shortly, but to reiterate this point, I’d like to share a story which some of you may relate to.
My sister had decided to give up on dating after many unsuccessful attempts to find Mr right, and meeting way too many Mr wrongs in her pursuit.
One day, an eligible young man found out she was on the market, (so to speak) and he had a vision of making her his wife – or at least getting to first base.
However, he also knew she had many suitors and he would need a seriously impressive plan of attack to help him stand out and get her to agree to a first date.
He spent days mulling over in his mind what he should do, how he should do it, and when he should do it. Without boring you with the sordid details, his attempts, as carefully planned out as they were, failed. And there were many attempts, trust me.
Most people in his shoes would have given up and admitted defeat.
Not this man.
He saw something he wanted and he was going to get it. So back to the drawing board, he sought council from other married buddies (not sure if that was a smart move), reassessed his options (some things he had not considered) and basically changed his tactics.
A very very very long story short, they are now blissfully married.
The moral of the story, as you have probably guessed, is if you want something bad enough, you need to persist… just kidding – you need a plan to get it. This way, if you stray off course, it is so much easier to change your approach when you know exactly where you want to go!
So, I can hear many of you saying – yeah yeah, I already know this. That’s cool.
However, how many of you who already know this and want a really successful business (now and in the future), DON’T have a plan in place (one that is documented)?
Mmmmm. Ok, so here is some food for thought:
The happy ending
Ever heard someone say, ‘it didn’t go to plan’?
It happens a lot more than you think. However, credit to these people as at least they had a plan to start with. And most importantly, they stayed focused on the end result and getting the happy ending.
One of the most common plans that never seems to work out as expected are birth plans. However, this is an example of why keeping focused on the end result, no matter what, is the ‘be all and end all’.
When events and circumstances out of your control take hold, then you need to work out what to do to get you back on course.
The benefit of knowing what the end result looks like is the power it gives you to make better and more informed decisions along the way. It’s mind blowing.
Seeing in the dark
When it comes to planning for your own business, you don’t have to do it alone.
And it’s probably best you don’t.
Get outside eyes and an objective perspective to help get you going and to keep you accountable. This ‘help’ can uncover any nasty’s that may be hidden in your blind spot and make sure you are heading down the right path.
This is exactly why the best of the best have a coach.
They know it delivers the greatest results. Just like a woman in labour has an obstetrician, people wanting to lose weight get a weight loss program with a consultant, to tone up wobbly body bits people use personal trainers, to make it to the Olympics athletes get sports coaches and to get their financial affairs in order, people engage financial advisers. You get the drift.
Who is helping you to ‘see in the dark’?
Practice what you preach
Do you take your own medicine and have a plan for your own success?
If you don’t have a documented vision of what your business looks like at some point in the future and a step by step guide to help you get there, then the answer is probably, no!
Practice what you preach!
You can’t tell others to do it with credibility if you don’t do it yourself.
This is your chance to put your hand on your heart and live and breathe the planning experience.
Do for yourself what you do for others. It’s refreshing.
Keep it simple, stupid (KISS)
You know the saying ‘Keep it simple stupid (KISS)’.
This principle applies with planning too.
The more simple and straight forward you make the plan, and the planning process, the more likely you will do something with it and make it a part of your everyday.
The plan is the first step
Developing the plan is only the beginning.
You need to make sure it is always front of mind, regularly check in on how you are going and continue to make changes along the way and when you steer off course.
This is also why a coach or external sounding board is priceless.
They make this part of the process heaps easier and allow you to get on and do what you do best!
Make your fairy tale happen
I used to be a bit of dreamer and believed in the whole fairy tale thing.
Life has certainly shown me that probability of a fairy tale coming true is highly unlikely, however, I have learnt that you improve your chances if there is a plan in place to help you get there. How else do you think the frog got his princess?
There is no time like now to make sure you are geared up for an incredibly successful year ahead!
Go on, get planning.
And if you are unsure of what to do, or how to make it simple, meaningful and heaps of fun, just ask someone who does it for a living… someone like me!