I can never preplan holidays because I freak out about committing in advance and worry that when I get there I won’t feel like doing what I’ve planned.
And…. one thing that might really shock you… I don’t believe in business plans.
I used to feel like I was a failure or that I was doing things wrong in business because the whole internet loves to tell you if you don’t plan, you plan to fail. That you have to know exactly what you’re doing and you have to plan months in advance.
I carried this with me for ages all the while struggling to plan or work things out in advance and worse still feeling like I was doing business wrong and that I must be ‘less than’ all the others because they had the planning thing nailed.
However over time, I realised that working on the fly is a strength of mine and that while I still know my direction it seems working intuitively comes to me a lot more naturally and instead I work around my energy levels as opposed to an itemised plan, for example:
- When I am feeling inspired and creative I do high energy tasks that require brain power like writing blogs.
- When I am feeling burned out I do lower energy tasks like cleaning up my desktop.
- When my mental health is suffering I retreat a little and work behind the scenes.
- When I am feeling great and on top of things I am more active and ‘out in front’ of my business.
- When I only have 30 minutes to work before the babies wake up I do short tasks.
- When I have a whole day to work I do my longer tasks.
And so on.
Why does all of this matter? Because it allows me to flow in the current of the river-down stream to success instead of trying to swim upstream against the resistance.
Unfortunately, our education system has done a terrible job of helping people find and value our inner strengths and unique traits and forced us to work to a template that doesn’t serve everyone. This one-size-fits -all solution has stayed with us and subconsciously programmed a set of limiting beliefs that I see unfold all the time within business and unfortunately hinder a lot of business owners out there.
This is specifically why at Business Jump I created my signature CTP Method which all about aligning a business within our clients strengths, personality traits and energy levels which flows on a path of the least resistance.
Having coached and worked with hundreds of mums to start an online business and also connecting with thousands of them in my Facebook group Remarkable Business Mums what I’ve learned is we have different styles of working and we need to honour and own these instead of feeling like we are doing it wrong.
Some need a plan, they want it all mapped out and all the i’s dotted and T’s crossed, this can be great in order to reduce confusion and overwhelm – whilst giving you a clear path. However it can also mean we miss opportunities or end up too far down the wrong path because we missed the signs. Spend too much time on the details instead of doing the doing.
On the flip side, some of us like me, work much better by feeling things out. We tend to be more intuitive and can read the energy of what our clients and audience needs, it means we can adapt and create fast however we can also sometimes get a little lost and off centre and weighed down energetically. We can miss finer details because we are too far into just the bigger picture.
So finding a nice balance is key, a little planning and a little going with the flow.
To help you do this I’ve put together an easy one page business plan that asks you the right questions to set yourself up for success by learning how to work within your unique traits download it here by clicking here.
KNOWING YOUR WHY AND YOUR END GOALS:
For most of the women I work with it is similar for everyone, we want to build a business around our life so we have more freedom, more choices and more time to do the things we want. We want to be able to attend the school events, we want to work from wherever we want, we want to be able to go on holidays when we decide.
Your “Why” is your source of intrinsic motivation and as mums life can get so busy that our dreams and needs get drowned out. Your Why will bring them back up to the surface for you. Your Why will kick start just enough motivation to get you started and from there motivation turns into momentum.
Sometimes, you know you need to do something, and you just need a bit of a shove to get moving. Other times, you get caught up in the drudgery of life and start to wonder why any of this matters. It’s easy to lose sight of your goals. It’s easy to not have any goals in the first place. I remind myself of my Whys several times a day because it keeps me focused on and excited about my goals.
Your Why is your best inspiration. Few things are more inspiring than a list of all the reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you need to get off the couch and get moving, reminding yourself what’s in store for you down the road is going to put a fire under your butt more than any inspirational Pinterest quote ever will.
Whys are personal. They remind you of what matters to you. Your reasons for doing something won’t ever be exactly the same as anyone else’s. They just need to inspire you.
I’ve also always had a massive vision that I’ve worked towards, it is my end goal. My big hairy, scary dream.
My vision drives me every morning to get up and give it my best for another day. When I am on my morning run I visualise it, it is in my mantras, it is on my computer screensaver and it is on my Pinterest vision board that I look at on the daily.
Then with every decision I have to make, I ask is this in alignment with my vision? Is this taking me further away or is it getting me closer?
I’ve also come across some people that don’t know what their long term vision is and that is also totally ok. There is no wrong or right here. If this is you, you might have a vision of what you don’t want in the future, as opposed to what you do want and you can use this to keep you in alignment.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR STRATEGY AND KPIS:
So even though I’ve just poo-pooed business plans that doesn’t mean not having any type of guide in place. I don’t believe in business plans because really, at the end of the day it is just calculated guessing and unless you’re spending hundreds and thousands in your business, you can get faster intel on the ground. Trying and testing, refining and mastering.
My advice is to always start with the minimum and then build and listen to your audience and create around what they are specifically asking for and have some firs-level KPI’s.
For example, if your goal is growing a Facebook group, set yourself a target. How many new members do you want in what timeframe? Then list 5 steps to make it happen. Try it, see what works, what does not work and then drop what doesn’t work and scale what does.
Also, get your information straight from the horse’s mouth. I ask my Facebook group all.the.time what they want and then if I can create and add value to it I do. However, in saying that I do work within my marketing strategy which is mindset > audience > traffic > leads > sales. I know that everything I do intuitively between that is adding to my overall plan.
WORKING WITHIN YOUR STRENGTHS:
When working in your business, the fastest way to growth and success is to work within your natural strengths and zone of genius. There is no point sticking to a detailed business plan that neglects this part of you. For example, are you an introvert who loves writing and sourcing just the right image to go with it for SEO? Or are you an extrovert that gets energy from doing Facebook lives with an audience? It is important to have the flexibility in business to find yourself and your strengths so you can then calibrate around them to create a business that is on the path of the least resistance.
In addition, you then want to flow into working within your zone of genius, this is what comes the most effortless for you.
Because of everything you’ve been taught or told over the course of your life (beliefs, opinions, judgements, criticism, etc) social programming and the matrix, it’s possible you don’t believe that you have a zone of genius and within my Facebook group of 14,000 business mums I am always saying that business is just as much a personal development journey as it is a business journey.
So if you don’t know what that is right now don’t box yourself into a 12 month business plan, try all the things and treat the first 6-12 months of business as a learning journey.
The beauty is, you’ll not only find your strengths within business but you’ll probably also find your future self as well.
WORKING WITHIN YOUR ENERGY LEVELS:
As Mums, we all know life is busy and it is fair to say that our kids having been sucking all the energy out of us since the day we found out we were pregnant, so we are already on the back foot here in terms of mustering enough energy to dedicate to a business baby. This means we need to get familiar and smart about doing things to help increase our energy whilst also then optimising it smartly.
For example, things that impact my energy are low iron, poor diet choices, my mental health, infrequent exercise so as I share in my Facebook group Remarkable Business Mums I am always working on getting my energy up to a baseline and then working within my natural energy levels. It could be as simple as just drinking more water.
For another example I work best in the mornings, after I’ve been for a run and then I log on ASAP. By the afternoon my brain is fried and that is when I log off and recharge for the next day however, I know some people work better at night.
WORKING WITHIN YOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS:
Another one I think we tend not to pay much attention to understanding our personality traits. For example, if you are hyper-organised and need to plan everything you might freak out when I tell you that a 90 page business plan is a waste of time, it may make you feel a little out of control and aimless and therefore so if we are working with you, we can keep that in mind and find a nice balance to set you up with.
Or if you’re like me you may be super impatient, I am the type of person that wants everything done right now and this is a great trait to have in business, as it means I move fast and get stuff done but it can also work against me sometimes as well in that I get too ‘in my head’ and forget to slow down or it means I get lazy when it comes to proofing stuff because I can’t do details. This means I can then find solutions for my weaknesses.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert matters too. For example if we are assisting an extrovert with a business strategy we’d look at tasks like FB lives, networking, events and videos as part of their strategy as we know they get energy being around people. Or if you’re an introvert like me, we’d look at things like writing blogs, scheduling, Pinterest, SEO as part of your strategy as we know you’re amazing at working behind-the-scenes by yourself.
This post was written by Natasha Stewart of Business Jump! and is republished here with permission.