I want to take a few minutes to talk about a subject that arguably could be the single most important component to a successful career online.
It's so important that, without this piece of the puzzle, we stand almost no chance whatsoever of sustained success, and, in most instances, we'll never even get our careers off the ground, never mind have anything to sustain.
Now, you'd think that something this critically important would be talked about constantly or brought up almost every time a newbie reaches out for advice on getting started online, but, strangely enough, it's rarely even mentioned.
Sure, it's casually thrown into conversations from time to time. I mean, we've all at least heard it said once or twice before. But it certainly doesn't get the notoriety it truly deserves. And that fact is leaving countless would be marketers struggling to make their first dollar, let alone generate massive success.
The missing piece?
A Written Business Plan
A written business plan isn't just a nice suggestion that might help improve results and increase profit margins. It's a critical component to building a lasting, continuously growing business that will be here not just tomorrow, but five and ten years from now as well. Our long-term success depends on it.
Now, I'm just as guilty as anyone else for not grasping this concept immediately. I approached 'making money online' like I needed to just find something to sell and get people to buy it.
My only plan was - find ways to make money online and do it.
Care to guess how that worked out for me?
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you're in the exact same position I was in when I started out. You've heard that people are making millions online and you want your piece of the pie too. How hard can it be? Just set aside some time, learn what everyone else is doing and take action. That's all there is to it, right?
You see, the truth is, and I'm borrowing the phrase from Winston Churchill -
When you hear it said like that, it really hits home. Either we're planning out the direction of our business or, by not doing so, we're wasting time prolonging the inevitable result that is almost certain to come, barring some serendipitous stroke of luck, which is - failure.
None of us want that. We don't want the day to come where we finally say, you know what, this just isn't for me. I've tried everything and nothing seems to work. I gave it my best shot but, in the end, it just wasn't good enough.
And then to have to face all of the people who thought we were nuts in the first place for even trying something like this. We all know who I'm referring to. Some of us know more of these types than others do, those planting the seeds of doubt, raining on our parade because they have no parade of their own. Telling us we're crazy - what are we thinking - it'll never work - just get a 'real' job - and on and on it goes.
Ughh, to have to listen to that would make my stomach turn inside out.
We don't want that to be our fate and it definitely doesn't have to be.
The solution is - stop what we're doing. Stop trying to make a few bucks first. Stop putting it off until a more convenient time - stop deceiving ourselves.
We need a plan and we need one now.
A plan tells us where we're going and how we're getting there. It let's us know when we're off track and what we have to do to change direction and get back on track. It's our ever-present road map to our ultimate goal.
You wouldn't hop in a boat and say let's cross the ocean. Hey, I know how to steer a boat and I've got plenty of food for the trip. I'll figure it out along the way. Without charting your course beforehand, you'd end up dead in the water, literally.
If you were building a house and you'd never done it before, you wouldn't grab a bunch of wood, pick up all the tools you need and then just start hammering nails and hope for the best. Whatever 'structure' you ended up with would come crashing down on you the second the wind picked up. You'd be left with nothing.
Building a business is exactly the same thing.
So what do you do? How do you create a plan to get you where you want to go when you've never been there before?
You decide what you want your business to look like when it's running just the way you'd draw it up and then you create a plan for getting there.
Work backwards from the endpoint.
If the endpoint is building a massively successful life-coaching business, what does that look like when it's operating at its peak?
How many clients do you have?
How do you offer your services?
How often do you meet with each client?
What type of staffing do you have?
How do you bring in new business?
What do you know how to do now and what do you need to learn to be able to be the coach your clients need?
What will it take for all of these things to come to fruition?
In what order will you be putting these things into play?
These are just a few of the questions that need to be asked before you go about putting your plan together.
Now imagine you decide not to bother with the plan. How do you think you'll stack up against your competition? If you were a prospective client, who would you rather go with - the business that planned these things out ahead of time or the one that used the old 'wing-it' model?
I know who I'd choose.
So, if we haven't done so already, let's take a step back from whatever we're doing and really think about the direction we're headed in. Do we have a solid plan that we've committed to paper and are following every day or are we just hoping it all comes together on its own?
It may seem like a lot of work and we may be tempted to put it off until we've got some good money coming in, but I promise you this - it's a lot more work working without a plan than with one.
I hope this message serves you well and I wish you all the success in the world.
Have an amazing day and happy building!!!