Success doesn’t happen by accident. You know that.
Success in business is the result of a solid idea, a detailed plan and consistent hard work. Sure, you might get a few ‘lucky’ breaks but let’s be honest here, if you weren’t consistently showing up and working hard, those ‘lucky’ breaks would be a lot less likely to materialise!!
So, you have a solid idea – a viable business. You already have some proof that people are willing to pay you money for your service or product.
In the online business space, at the beginning of every year and any given month (not to mention new quarters), you can’t get away from all of those #goals and #planning posts. And while I love this positivity and the sense of support and community that arises from these kinds of social media posts, I advise you to proceed with caution.
In business, planning is essential. To grow and scale your business, it’s vital. But planning just because everyone else is? That’s a distraction, and it’s not helpful to you or your business.
Planning for the sake of it is stressful and can be overwhelming. Planning without purpose and/or passion looks like this:
Buying a £40 planner that remains unopened and stares mockingly at you from across your office.
Sticking pictures of private jets and designer handbags on your vision board, when really you’d like a VW campervan, and you’re quite happy with the handbag you already have.
Listing generic ‘ambitious’ stuff like “generate 6-figures” and ‘have 10K followers on Instagram”, without figuring out what that even means for your business.
Spending more of your time planning than actually taking positive forward steps to achieving your goals.
Planning without purpose and/or passion leads to disappointment and can leave you feeling really low about your business. This kind of planning doesn’t tap into the essence of who you really are and what it is that you want. It doesn’t take into account your unique skills and abilities and service that only you can bring to your clients. It doesn’t help you to build a strong, outstanding and non-generic business.
But the good news is that planning with passion and purpose does do all of these things!
How to plan with Passion and Purpose
No. 1 Try to get everyone else’s voices out of your head. Whether it’s staying off Instagram and Facebook for a few days or spending some time alone in a coffee shop or taking a walk in the woods to gather your thoughts, give yourself the space to figure out what it is that you want for yourself and for your business.
No. 2 There is no ‘right’ way to plan – vision boards, Pinterest, gorgeous planners, a blank piece of paper and a pencil – again, use the tools that work best for you. The trick is to just get started.
No. 3 Start with the Big Vision. Once you know what you’re working towards, it’ll be easier to put in place the steps you need to get there. But a Big Vision alone isn’t enough…
No. 4 What do you need to do to achieve your Big Vision? Taking a realistic view of where you are now is important, but don’t let it put you off (at this stage, the gap between where you are and where you want to be can be disheartening, and it’s tempting to give up before you’ve even started). This stage is all about milestones and tasks.
Say you’ve realised that having more Instagram followers would be beneficial for your business. The Big Vision is 10,000 followers so that you can get the ‘swipe-up’ feature and collaborate with other brands. However, right now you only have 146 followers. You could set yourself the following tasks to be completed within the next 4 weeks: research how to grow an Instagram account, find some on-brand stock photos to use, design some nice graphics etc. You would then update these tasks every month or so to cover the next part of your journey.
The milestones you set would be along the lines of 500 followers by X date, 1,000 followers by X date, and so on. Remember that your tasks and milestones ‘feed’ each other and you can adjust either as you go along!
No. 5 Start small and don’t overthink or second-guess yourself or your plan too much. Positive forward action is still progress.
No. 6. It’s not necessary to dedicate whole days or big chunks of your time to achieving your plan. In fact, working on your plan in small chunks of time on a regular basis is much more realistic and can give you a better sense of actually working towards your dream. What can you do in 5 minutes/45 minutes/1 hour that will make progress and make your path clearer?
No. 7. If you have a clear plan with all of your tasks and milestones mapped out and you are working towards your Big Vision on a consistent and regular basis, but you’re not seeing the results you want, then don’t be afraid to pivot. Take some time out again to firstly figure out if your Big vision really is what you still want, and if it is, is there a different way that you could go about getting there?
Let’s make things happen!
I’ve put together a go-to guide to give you some structure to figuring – and achieving – your Big Vision. This workbook will take you through all the stages of creating a plan with passion and purpose and helps you plot out what you need to do to bring your next big thing to life.