What’s the plan?

Ok, here’s the plan. It’s Monday morning and Ben was feeling just a little apprehensive with this first day of being officially ‘unemployed.’

Now I don’t know about but first thing in the morning tea needs to make an appearance before I’m ready to go. My colleague was no different, we chatted and I soon had his ear … after all he had asked for my help.

‘Here’s a routine for you Ben.’

The face dropped …

‘Routine? I’ve just left a routine after 15 years Charlie, and I’m not looking for anything similar just yet.’

‘Trust me now Ben, here, take a biscuit … before we start the day, take a look:’

Decide...

Know what you will be doing before your day begins. This will be your plan. Without it, you’re just making things up as you go along.

Prepare…

Know where you need to be and what you need to have with you to execute the plan. For instance, if your plan is to follow up the old contact list, you need to be organised, you shall probably need the names, the numbers, a reliable phone and a notebook.

Show Up…

Be ready, get yourself to wherever your plan says you need to be – on time and ready.

Do the Work…

Execute the plan. You’ve made a decision, so now is not the time to question motives or skip the steps. Show up. Do the work.

Repeat…

You will soon get the idea. We’re back to the top of the plan with ‘Decide’ again. Tomorrow’s day plan will probably be slightly different but, let’s look at it this way…

Look at how professional athletes work Ben, they work on all aspects of their game to achieve success. Like us their own goals may not change, the larger plan is constant with the daily plan looking a bit different. It’s the routine, the willingness to decide again and tackle what’s on tomorrow’s plan.

Nice and easy, keep it simple. Keep showing up and repeat the process, put the work in and understand that of course it’s not about the goal, it’s the journey isn’t it?

Know your vision of the future?

Bear with me now …

Do you know where your business is heading and what it shall look like when you eventually ‘get there?’

“What? Of course.” I hear you say. “That’s a natural!” Comes another …

I know the evangelists profess the ‘only’ way to achieve is to keep that picture of the ultimate ‘me and the business’ in focus, as part of the plan moving forward. Some find that pretty easy, (and I know it differs depending on your own circumstances,) some find it tough going, we all have our diversions to path, we are swayed with trends, different challenges or solutions that promise much and (sadly) deliver not a lot.

Some of us just find it easy to stay on track. Take Gus, he’s one of the guys who started my publishing platform here several years ago, he is one such person. Gus sees a vision, he has his twelve-month goal all mapped out – he’s even stuck it up and over our wall here!

Gus creates the vision, he has this monthly cycle of events that he sees need to happen to enable change, bring fulfilment … and he tackles those, one by one until he’s into the next month, the next and ultimately – which I find so annoying Gus reaches October and he’s there, right on top, he’s in charge and knows exactly how the next eight weeks are going to be impact his degree of fulfilment.

Gus calls it his ‘numbers game’ and he is always working on it, Gus believes day to day revolves around simple numbers …  he keeps a pencil and paper beside his keyboard and jots down influences here, the to-do’s there and he just gets it done! Gus knows exactly what needs to be doing for months in advance for goodness sake!

Lucky for me I hear you say? Drives me nuts I would suggest!

We all need a Gus in our lives don’t we? These are the people who have that ability to avoid the static, the pull of the me-me-me, the online like-fest and must do’s to keep up or else style of influence that annoys the heck out of me … and many others I’m sure.

Gus is beginning to rub-off though. I leave the lists and heavy duty wall-planners to him as I work on my “three word mind map,” reinstated for next year and and my short-cut to staying on track, I can solve the conundrum of the ‘bigger picture’ with just a little work.

All I have to do is stay between the lines. Whenever distracted simply recall my three words. Easy isn’t it? Keep focused and understand that while I continue on the day to day ‘stuff’ I already know who we’ll need and what we shall require to get to the ultimate destination and what I have to do to make that happen.

Engage * Develop * Grow does it for me.

What are your three words to guide you? I’d like to know how you intend to to fulfil your vision of the future, let me know if I can help.

Time for coffee?

Breakfast was over, I had grabbed a coffee and was about to head toward the office when the ‘phone rang. Now the other hand was busy.

On the other end of the line was Tricia. Tricia had recently started a physiotherapy business and returned from holiday with what is recognised as a seasonal ‘gripe’ – although perhaps a little more of a reality check for those such at Tricia – a newbie to running her own business.

“Charlie, I’ve been away for two weeks, batteries recharged and ready to get back into ‘it.’

‘Good for you.’ I heard myself reply as I juggled the coffee and found a seat.

‘The trouble is, there is nothing happening – all my regular clients are away on holiday and I’m sure I’m not going to hit my targets for next month. I’m worried about my year-end totals.’

When I say that this reality check is something that many newbies find difficult to deal with, it happens to us all and it’s essential that we understand that business – like the people that run the business – its a seasonal thing and we need to make allowances for the roller-coaster of enquiry, order, invoice, payment and the impacted cash-flow.

‘Think about this Tricia. I began. Worry shows that you are aware of where your business should be although the emotion of ‘worry’ does not help you get ‘there.’

‘But it’s mid September – and just fourteen weeks until the end of the year …’ came the reply.

‘More likely just the 12 weeks Tricia.’ I suggested. Think about Christmas.

Stony silence from Tricia. She was listening and I wanted to help her.

Fifty two weeks of the year, take away your three weeks of holiday/vacation, another 10 days of public holiday, all topped by your best customer taking a much needed break … it means we need to really sit down and take a look at our business ‘seasons’ and budget accordingly.

‘Don’t worry about not making the end of year targets, there is nothing you can do to impact this just now. Stick to your original plan, keeping close to your clients and keep pitching the business.’

Take it month by month, week by week and prioritise your daily tasks. ‘Make it easy for you to finish the week on top every week – and start thinking about how you would like to finish the year.’

It’s great that Tricia is thinking for the future as next month we’d be talking about how she wishes to start the year in understanding that business is indeed seasonal, as we take time for a coffee and plan the reality check that is the ‘first year in business.’

image courtesy http://www.whyimcray.com

the plan for profit

With the turn of the year our business expectations come into focus and most reflect on what has gone before … usually for me it’s when I’m putting together a fresh pot of tea, sitting down with friends … what about you?

We have a plan (of course we do) and that plan may not be a lot different to last year although, at this time and with the benefits of hindsight, like you I tend to become a little more critical. I’m adding to this, taking away from that, building more actions and reference points to the existing plan to help guide me forward.

All these actions set out to make me busier, to be more profitable!

How did your three words guide work for you last year? Do you need to revise the short cut to your ‘key action’ reminders? Again, this proves more work for us …keeping us busy.

It’s easy to feel overrun sometimes with the must do’s, the add-ons, his/her opinion etc., all of those critical elements we feel we need to encompass in the plan, the bigger picture.

It is of course important to simply begin the journey in the first place.

Take the business plan you are working with, assess and consider really what needs doing and understand that some, though not everything may be accomplished today. Some of these small actions we implement will hugely impact the forward planning and ultimately the results so take just a little time … small steps.

More importantly is, as a business owner, we have the willingness to take those small steps of change, to improve, one step at a time.

Take time for coffee

Breakfast was over, I had grabbed a coffee and was about to head toward the office when the ‘phone rang. Now the other hand was busy.

On the other end of the line was Tricia. Tricia had recently started a physiotherapy business and returned from holiday with what is recognised as a seasonal ‘gripe’ – although perhaps a little more of a reality check for those such at Tricia – a newbie to running her own business.

“Charlie, I’ve been away for two weeks, batteries recharged and ready to get back into ‘it.’

‘Good for you.’ I heard myself reply as I juggled the coffee and found a seat.

‘The trouble is, there is nothing happening – all my regular clients are away on holiday and I’m sure I’m not going to hit my targets for next month. I’m worried about my year-end totals.’

When I say that this reality check is something that many newbies find difficult to deal with, it happens to us all and it’s essential that we understand that business – like the people that run the business – its a seasonal thing and we need to make allowances for the roller-coaster of enquiry, order, invoice, payment and the impacted cash-flow.

‘Think about this Tricia. I began. Worry shows that you are aware of where your business should be although the emotion of ‘worry’ does not help you get ‘there.’

‘But it’s mid September – and just fourteen weeks until the end of the year …’ came the reply.

‘More likely just the 12 weeks Tricia.’ I suggested. Think about Christmas.

Stony silence from Tricia. She was listening and I wanted to help her.

Fifty two weeks of the year, take away your three weeks of holiday/vacation, another 10 days of public holiday, all topped by your best customer taking a much needed break … it means we need to really sit down and take a look at our business ‘seasons’ and budget accordingly.

‘Don’t worry about not making the end of year targets, there is nothing you can do to impact this just now. Stick to your original plan, keeping close to your clients and keep pitching the business.’

Take it month by month, week by week and prioritise your daily tasks. ‘Make it easy for you to finish the week on top every week – and start thinking about how you would like to finish the year.’

It’s great that Tricia is thinking for the future as next month we’d be talking about how she wishes to start the year in understanding that business is indeed seasonal, as we take time for a coffee and plan the reality check that is the ‘first year in business.’