Everyone knows they need a strategy for the business, but few put the time into the process to get clear on where they think they need to be in the future.
Even this blog, my strategy has been something that I continue to update as I go.
It doesn’t have to be something in stone, but it must be a place where you get the actions, the milestones, and destinations on paper where you want your business to go.
Before we dive into this conversation about strategy for the business, let me share a story. Except this isn’t about business, but life. Life provides one of the best examples of why we need a strategy for business just as much as we do in life.
When I left the Marine Corps I had a plan, it was simple, but the best ones are. I wanted to get a job that would sustain some basic income needs, go to college and finish the degree I had started in the Marine Corps and start a family.
Getting the job went smoothly and even discovered what I thought I wanted to do when I grew up. The area that I worked on in the Marine Corps was electrical related, and my job after was electrical related. And I love electricity, everything about it got me excited to learn more. So, I decided to get an Electrical Engineering degree to become what I had labeled on my plan as an “Expert” about all thing electricity.
Well, this plan started to get going, kept my job, did school at night, and even got a family started. But then I was hit with a reality check about halfway through my pursuit of a degree. A love of electricity doesn’t always make it practical to understand it enough and apply it. I wasn’t the best in math, and it proved this was my downfall. I could apply it in the labs we did, but when I had to start using it and doing problems on the test, I bombed.
When I was in school, I kept repeating that life would get greener on the other side when I graduated, but when I decided to drop out, my grass dried up, and I didn’t have a plan anymore. What this failure or let down taught me about strategy was that you couldn’t execute a strategy without recognizing the value of dividing your time. I was taking my time and splitting it between a full-time job, a family I was trying to grow, and an education I so desperately wanted.
Looking back had I invested a different amount of time into school I believe I could have done and mastered the math that I needed, but I was going through the motions, doing the homework, but not learning what I needed along the way to grow as a student pursuing an EE degree. Eventually, it all caught up with me.
What does this have to do with a business strategy? Everything.
Many of us know how to write one as it doesn’t take much to write down your plans, and your goals for the future but what it does take is a constant adjustment to the business as it happens. I was running on that strategy for almost four years before it collapsed right in front of me without making any real decisions about stopping or starting something new.
I would just keep borrowing time from my sleep, thinking the secret is to just stay up later and sleep less. Well almost everyone at some point in their life has tried this strategy. Usually, it hits in college that we can goof off all day and then work on a term paper till 2 AM and somehow convince ourselves that it will be quality work.
Circling back to business these lessons I just highlighted in my story, are precisely why we need to apply them in business with a strategy, but have a plan for living the strategy, but more important, consistently adjusting.
We might all think that this is just common-sense stuff, except a lot of things in life our common sense, but we all know those people making a stupid mistake that should be obvious to them.
In coaching, we call these blind spots. Commons sense in most cases is only common when you’re looking through at someone’s else’s life.
Therefore, I have built business strategy sessions into my coaching program as they are such an important aspect of running a successful business. More importantly, they help ensure you make it past the statistic of the number of new business startups that don’t make it.
The ones that fail don’t fail because of lack of effort, but in a lot of cases it because they couldn’t see something coming or see past the tunnel vision we can sometimes get.
When we fail in our life, usually it can be easy to adjust, pick up the pieces and move on, but when we fail at a business, the stakes are always much higher. We have invested our soul, our savings, and bet our future on an idea we believed was worth fighting for till the end of the earth. But as the ones that fail, they learn that passion and money are not the only things that keep a business open. They are important, but not essential.
If any of this hit you like a two-ton wrecking ball as it did with my life, I have an exclusive program where for 150 dollars I will provide 90-minute coaching sessions walking you through your business strategy and building some essential next steps to make sure it happens. This cost also includes a free 30 minutes follow up session after 12 weeks call. To add some needed accountability in our life as well as help make those important corrections that we need in any good business strategy to build that future we want to build for yourself. We all decide to become an entrepreneur for a different reason, let me help yours become a reality.
My email is email@example.com
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Also published on Medium.