Last week we talked about the first letter of the four letters of success which are represented on my ring. The first letter is D for Dream. Once you have a dream, the next step is to figure out a way to make that dream a reality. That leads to the second letter on my ring, which is P for Plan.
Once my dream is fully formed, I start developing a ‘PLAN.’ My first step is to visualize what the ultimate desired result will look like and then begin ‘POSSIBILITY’ thinking. I let my mind run wild and consider anything and everything that comes to my mind that might help me reach my goal of accomplishing my dream. No matter how ‘far-out’ various ideas or possibilities seem, I write them down.
To whittle down these possibilities, I start referring to two other concepts that also occupy space on my ring (we will discuss these in depth in future blogs). Answer Other People’s Needs (AOPN) and Pay Attention To Detail (PATD). If a possibility isn’t helping to answer the needs of others - it gets scrubbed. If the details of a possibility are too onerous and jeopardize the ultimate desired result, it also gets the boot. As I do this, I zero-in on the particular route I will take.
Of course, I also do the deep dive into the market (because success comes when you Answer Other People’s Needs) and conceptualize the kind of team I’ll need to make it all happen. And of course, I will put together the numerous things you’ll find in any good business plan, such as financials, risk management, timelines and milestones, etc.
After taking in all this data, I will alter the original plans even more. I find that the more I am open to ideas, the clearer the new plans are. Plans are important; however, I have found that it is vitally important to be open to altering plans when we feel they need altering. The truth is, we will have more information each day that we didn’t have the day before; not to mention much more information than we had when we first embarked on the project!
With this said, there is a balance to planning. Constantly remind yourself of the ultimate goal and hold it in your mind. As you do, various ideas of how to accomplish your dream will begin to materialize. Once new ideas formulate, your challenge is to evaluate it quickly but thoroughly enough so you can make a decision to either postpone your initial plans or to continue with your existing plans. It may be advisable to move forward with the plans you have and implement new plans later on.
There is a temptation to just start a project because planning is hard and can take time. But without the planning process, you are setting off on a journey without a map. You might get there eventually, but you likely either get lost or have some rough roads to maneuver along the way. And always remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.
Dream and Plan. Next week I will write about the third ingredient of the ‘four word formula’ for success.