Can A Business Plan Help You As A Small Biz Owner?

Can a business plan really contain your dreams? They can’t for me. Well, to be honest, a business plan can structure my dreams a bit, but it can’t contain them.

They’re too BIG.

To bring what’s lurking in my heart to life, I believe in action.

I study mentors, I spend $ on courses, test, learn & test again. I listen. I watch the people who are way ahead of me. I ask for help. I surround myself with people who give me constructive feedback and I bury myself in the work. Did I mention that I test and test with intention?

The Importance Of Taking Action

You see, it’s not enough to be just motivated and write the plans for your small business in a bulky document. Turns out INTENTIONAL ACTION is more important than motivation. You can be motivated to write something down and begin all hot and sweaty but the real question is are you taking action?

For instance, by writing down when and where you are going to exercise each week does not mean you will actually take out your workout clothes from the drawer, put them on, and head to the gym. Planning and acting are two different things, related, yes but different still.

 100s of  separate studies agree with this. In a wide range of experimental situations, the conclusions have been the same: people who explicitly document their plans are much more likely to stick to their goals once they act upon their motivation with intention.

Listen up. 📣

 I want to share what’s been working for me?

Building Accountability

I don’t set down huge goals into a document. I chop them up and look at things three months out. My timetable, to be honest, becomes more important than the plan. I know my end goal and I set in place a series of actionable steps that help me get to where I want to go.

One thing that has helped me a lot is sharing my goals with a select group of people who can keep me accountable. That’s a huge win for me because I feel that declaring my intention “publicly” keeps me motivated.

When close confidantes enquire:  How’s it going and where I have reached, just speaking these goals into existence and not letting them sit on a page in a notebook has helped them feel more real and more workable.

Small Steps And Big Results

I also like thinking about things in steps. In my mind, I see what steps I need to be taking to reach a set goal. I believe in the art and power of visualization.  Typically, I divide my work into small bites which lead to huge shifts. I might timetable my progress but I  don’t refer to a business plan.

I look constantly at my timetable, usually over 3 months, and I batch actions. By that I mean,  I  work hard on a series of small steps for a period, then build on those to get my momentum and head to the next set of steps.

Now, your process may be different from mine but I think as small business owners we all know a thing or two about the hard work that is involved in bringing a dream to life.

The Dream Is Important

Dreams that live in your soul, the ones that occupy space in your heart are meant to be put out into the world. You will never have enough money, the “perfect” people around you, or enough time and bandwidth.

All you will have, really, is a fierce desire and a deep belief that you can do it. 

So don’t ditch the plan if you don’t want to. However, you must bury yourself in the work with your timelines and objectives in front of you.

Goals shouldn’t back ypu into a corner, they should give you the intention to be thoughtfully moving towards something. Yes, you can be motivated, yes, you can be inspired but the beauty lies in the intention and the action plan.

2020 / 2021

Look, 2020 has been freaking hard. And yet here we are, as small biz owners determined to continue creating and sharing our products and services with the world.

As you start to set goals for 2021, remember to create the right steps to make each goal happen. Of course, build your timelines and budgets. Share what you are building with a select group of people. Let them challenge your action plan because sometimes we complicate things, or choose the wrong place to start.

Oh, and if you did a plan, stop reading the plan over & over again.

This is exactly what I did with Simplify, Forward Forty’s membership site. Simplify delivers readymade social media content to the Inboxes of Caribbean female entrepreneurs building businesses and brands online.

I birthed something which took 4 years of dreaming and 9 months of doing, not with a business plan mind you, but with all the success principles I applied above.  So tell me below do you build a robust business plan, or do you build a schematic and focus on taking action?

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