Said no successful entrepreneur ever. Establishing and running your own business is exciting and rewarding. It’s also challenging and most of us need some discipline to keep the multiple plates spinning. You need to plan your success.
There are lots of new ideas out there; and there always have been. That doesn’t make the tried-and-true clichés wrong though. Yes folks, feel free to disagree at your peril but failing to plan is planning to fail. Really.
Look at your diary for next week; next month; the next six months.
- You should know right now where most of your time will be spent next week.
- You should know right now what your main objectives are, what needs to be done and achieved, for next month.
- You should know right now what the higher-level outcomes are must haves for your business six months out.
If you don’t honestly know what your future plans and objectives are in those terms then that future could well prove to be bleak. How can you hit your target if you don’t know where to aim?
Of course you can’t plan and predict for every minute of next week. And yes there does need to be flexibility for unexpected and ad hoc events and happenings. But most of what you can and should achieve will happen because you planned and prepared for it in advance. Argue the semantics if you like, but it’s a fair general rule that if you’re not getting the results you’re needing it’s because you’re not planning to achieve them.
Finally, what tools should you use? Who cares! Go with what works for you. There are numerous planning and task apps, such as Trello, out there. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a paper diary or a wall covered in post-it notes. If it works for you it will work for you.
As an entrepreneur time is your most valuable resource. You’ve got to be smart in how you use it. And sometimes you’re going to need to devote energy to stuff you don’t like doing; but that’s another topic!
Do yourself a favour. Check if you’re really planning effectively. If not…well just do it!
Richard works with entrepreneurs, startups, and other high-potential businesses helping them to fly. You can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.