Planning is a Not-So-Secret Weapon for Success

Did you ever notice that almost every training session you attend about being successful begins with a phrase that says something about making a plan or planning?

Plans are necessary tools for creating the kind of success that grows, evolves and creates new opportunities for growth, no doubt about it. Yet, many entrepreneurs fall into an abyss that I like to call Analysis Paralysis.

What I mean by this is that planning requires significant data to be sure you are creating the correct plan at the correct time, and the logical entrepreneur can end up spending loads of time in the data. I teach exactly how to create a plan, and I am a firm and relentless fan of the numbers. Without numbers, assumptions are made and too often the common adage about those who assume make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. ASSUME. In short, assumptions without data are nothing more than someone’s opinions influenced by their experiences. Data dominates.

However, there must be a balance. As I suggested, plans are necessary but taking action is tantamount. Once something is in motion, steering becomes easier. The analysis of data helps you draw conclusions that help clarify truth about your business practices and what’s working, what’s not or what still must be tested further. But I am suggesting that if you haven’t gotten workflow, marketing or other functions of your firm figured all out yet, and are reluctant to take any actions because you believe a plan must happen first, get that out of your head.

Steve Jobs accomplished unprecedented innovation and success. He did not wait until he had everything analyzed and figured out before he determined his company’s why and began to create it. Just as he moved forward, sometimes failing, sometimes redirecting, sometimes walking away and sometimes being tossed out, he never wavered from his determination nor did he stop. He had momentum, and he continued to move. As he grew more successful, he planned and planned again. Jobs knew that whenever he made a mistake, cutting losses and redirecting was still less expensive in the long run than having never tried.

Is your firm suffering? Do you know there are areas you have to improve or practices you know you MUST begin but have not taken any action because you are still “collecting information?” My advice is to take action, any action and measure everything you do. As you collect more information while taking that action, you can redirect, plan and achieve more.

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