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How To Plan – Life First, Business Second

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If you’re going on a long journey in your car, what do you do?

You think about where you are now, what your starting point is. You think about where you want to get to – your destination. You think about when you want to get there, maybe when you need to get there. And then you plan your route.

You work out which way you’ll go. You plan where you want to break the journey, for a coffee or to fill up. For longer trips, you may build in a stopover. You’ll know how long the journey will take, with and without traffic, and you’ll be prepared for things not to go to plan. Things often don’t, after all.

You do all this planning for a pretty straightforward car journey. Why would you not put the same effort into planning your business journey?

If you want to scale, grow or sell your business, you need to plan.

And it all has to start with you, and what you want for your life!

Personal Planning

To be honest, we didn’t used to do much personal planning when I was at McDonalds. Yes, we talked about personal development, and how we could become better at our role within the business, or progress to the next level.

What we wanted out of life; what we saw as our ideal future? – not so much!

Maybe we were all too young, too focused on progression, to recognise that you only get one crack at this business called life, or that, if you plan for it, you can have both – a happy, successful life and a successful business.

I do get why people say they don’t want to plan their life though. I worked with someone once who had her whole life mapped out – she was going to be a Restaurant Manager by 22, married by 25, have her first child by 27, that sort of thing – and she stuck to it, right up to the point that life got in the way, and the wheels came off her perfect plan.

With any plan, you have to recognise that things happen, things change, and that every successful plan needs to be adjusted and tweaked when the opportunities, or the challenges come.

But there are 3 essentials to the sort of planning that will make a real difference to your life.

Knowing what’s REALLY important to you – what your true priorities are (those things that would still be important if you heard the world was going to end in 5 years!) – the Values you want to live by, and that will govern your behaviour
Being clear about what success with these true priorities looks like to you – what your ideal future looks like; and
Having a Personal Management System that keeps your life and your business goals in harmony.
We’ll come back to your Personal Management System in a future blog, but for now…

Do one thing: Take some time to answer these crucial questions:

– What are my True Priorities?
– What are the Values I want to live by?
– When I am successful who will I be, what will I be doing, and what will I have?