What’s the Plan, Stan?

I don’t need a plan.

Oh, the joy of spontaneity!

Going with the flow is the way to be (I even said so myself in a previous article).

And let’s not forget the old adage that variety is the spice of life!

With these sentiments guiding us, who needs a plan?!

Some of you love to be footloose and fancy free and actively rebel against structure. And that’s great; that’s part of what makes you, you.

But the reality is, when it comes to creating your successful business, one that will support you financially in the manner you dream of, you really do need a plan (whether your name is Stan or not).

To build a successful business, a plan is necessary

Why is having a solid plan in place so important for creating your dream business?

Well, for one thing, if you spend too much time “winging it” with regard to your business, you’ll end up getting nowhere fast. And draining your business-building budget while you’re at it.

Unfortunately, this is all too common among entrepreneurs who feel they have serious budget constraints and too many options for spending their money.

The hard cold facts

But the hard cold facts are this: If you don’t make a plan, which will most likely involve spending some money and getting some guidance, you are severely limiting your chances of success.

And honestly, did you get into business for yourself thinking that you would just give it a try, see what happens, and go back to the “day job” if it doesn’t work out?

I doubt it.

You got into business for yourself because you’re passionate about what you do and you want be of service.

You have a burning desire to use your natural gifts and your vast expertise to help other people live the lives they yearn for, right?

Without a plan, your passion will burn out

Don’t waste your precious resources – your time, your energy, your gifts, and your expertise. Don’t let your passion burn out because you’re trying to do it all alone and on a wing and a prayer.

If you haven’t already, create a solid plan for building your business so that the world can benefit from your unique brilliance.

I know, I know, it’s just not easy to know what to invest your time and money in. It gets confusing. But read on, I’ve got a four-step solution that will have you creating (and implementing) your business-building plan.

First, get inspired

First of all, and most importantly, please carve out some time just for you and your business plan.

Create an inspiring environment in which you can work to draft your plan. For example, create a clutter-free space (even if only temporarily), play some relaxing music, grab your favorite beverage, and prepare whatever else helps you focus.

Then get started using the four steps I’ve outlined below.

Then follow these four steps

So, here you are, ready to create a solid plan for building your business. Where do you start?

I’ve got you covered. I’ve created a quick and easy four-step solution to get you into action today!

Step 1: Clear Vision

Creating a solid plan to build a successful business for yourself begins with a clear vision.

Take some time to visualize what you want for yourself in your business success and in your personal life. Identify the specific components that will make up the vision you have for your ideal life and your flourishing business. Check in with your values and your priorities so that your vision is in alignment with them. Then you can build a business that will create the vision you have for yourself and that will be in alignment with your values and priorities.

Step 2: Reality Check

Once you have a clear vision of what your successful business will look like, it’s time to do a reality check. This benefits you in many ways. Not the least of which is that it will save you time, energy, money, and heartache over the long run.

For example, is the ultimate amount of income you dream of making possible in the number of hours you want to work each week in order to be living your ideal lifestyle? Another question to ask yourself (and answer honestly) is how many hours do you have available in a given week to devote to your business? And how does that line up with the amount of income you want to generate?

You must ask yourself the hard questions now, as you are creating your plan, so that you can move forward productively and confidently.

Step 3: Break It Down

Now you’re ready to identify the steps you need to take in order to create the path that will lead you to success. This is where you utilize the worksheets, spreadsheets, pie charts, templates, and other resources that you’ve collected.

Begin charting out what you need to do, step by step, to reach each of your goals. For instance, you may create a weekly plan, a monthly plan, and a list of priorities.

Start with your highest priority, breaking that down into the steps that will allow you to reach that goal. Identify the very first step to take and move into action on that step.

Step 4: Establish Accountability

If you’ve come this far before on your own, you’ll recognize that completing step three is where it all ends, more often than not. You create the lists, the Excel spreadsheets, the weekly action plan, and much more. You have a good week or two of taking action steps. You start to gain momentum. But it doesn’t last. It’s hard to keep going on your own, especially when your energy, time, and budget are pulled in so many different directions!

That’s why Step 4 isn’t optional. It’s imperative to create accountability for yourself and your business building plans. If you don’t, you will most likely find yourself reading this article again in another three to six months because you’re still in the same place – without a solid business plan that you are consistently taking action on.

Build the successful business you dream of

So do yourself a favor and dramatically increase the likelihood that you will build a successful, flourishing business for yourself. Find an accountability partner. Create an accountability schedule.

Do what you need to do to act in your own best interest.

You deserve it.

And the world is waiting for you to share your brilliance.

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