For the longest time I didn’t like writing business plans. Here’s why. Because every time it came time to write a business plan, it was almost as if my school teacher from Jr. high school would say, “Patrick, go do your homework. Write up a business plan.” I said, “Wait a minute.” First of all, I didn’t know how to write business plans and secondly, didn’t think they worked. That changed once I realized how to write up a business plan that worked for me.
From there on, I couldn’t wait to write up my business plan for the following year.
So today we’re going to talk about two different types of business plans. One type is dissecting and spending six or more hours getting every single detail of a business plan in place, and then reading it once a month. Then from there you gather all the information and create a one-page business plan. You look at the one-page business plan multiple times a day.
Before you write up a business plan, let me tell you what's even more important than writing a business plan for 2017. Many times we will go through a past relationship. And the relationship didn't work. And then you go to the next relationship, which also didn’t work. This happens again and again. Four years goes by, and you ask yourself, “Why don’t I have a steady relationship? Why aren’t any of these relationships working out?”
This keeps happening to you because every time one of them doesn’t work out, you fail to ask yourself what you could have done differently. What will you change about the next one? Is there a trend that isn’t working for you?
People do the exact same thing with business plans. All you think about is the next year, when the most important data is the year that just passed you by. In order to predict the future, you have to study history. What happened this year for you? What went right?
I gauge my year based on the percentage of goals that I wrote down a year ago became a reality. If less than 50% of my goals became a reality, that tells me something. It tells me that I either didn’t give my best effort or that I didn’t have the best strategy in place. And by the way, most of the time it’s the first thing, lack of effort.
Sometimes people blame their lack of success on the market or other factors beyond their control. Great. One percent of the time you’re forgiven for that. But 99% of the time you need to focus on what you can control and you can control most of it.
Imagine trying to grow a business when you’re arguing night and day with your girlfriend. It’s hard to get into a sales presentation when you and your girl just got into a text fight. They won’t want to do business with you because they’ll feel something is wrong with you.
So I started looking at my business with everything that’s connected to it. Personal relationships impact business. Financial issues impact business because I’m stressed out if my finances aren’t in order.
Poor health impacts business. If you’ve gained 40 pounds, you’ll have lower energy and get tired earlier. If you get a lot of headaches, you may need glasses. These physical things impact your business.
For those of you that are spiritual, that, too, is connected to your business.
So gauge how you did in all these different areas in the past year. Look at the good, bad and ugly. What would you have done differently? What didn’t work? Are there things that you can control and change?
With health you can look at what you could do differently. Did you eat too much bread? Too many sweets? Did you become lethargic? Maybe you used to walk, but you don’t any more. Why now?
Let’s say that you found all the mistakes you made. You said you were going to give up some things and make sacrifices, and you didn’t. You still watch a lot of T.V. Look at trends, and what you said you would do and didn’t.
This is facing the truth. It hurts. It sucks, and it isn’t fun. But facing it is what will help you have a better year next year. If you can get through this, heaven’s around the corner for you in business. But you have to go through hell first.
Now you need to start writing things down. For instance, in the area of finances, let’s hypothetically say that you’re going to start saving $3,000 a month. Or you want to save $50,000 or $100,000. Whatever the number is, write it down.
With family, if you’re single, consider if you want to get married. If you’re married, consider if you want to have kids. When I assessed my 2006, I asked if I even wanted to get married. A lot of my friends were getting married and having kids. Some were happy and others were miserable. I studied it and made a decision. I do want to have kids. I'm the only Bet-David left in our lineage that can continue the family, so I do want to have family. The book, 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged by Norman Wright helped me figure out what I wanted in a wife and helped me to determine the right person to marry. But I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my family.
What Needs to Change?
Next you need to look at what needs to change in the different areas. For example, in business you may need better systems. You may need to hire new people. Write those things down. How much do you need to expand your business? Write it down.
How Are You Going to Do It?
Next, you need to look at how you’re going to accomplish those things. This is the part where you write the long business plan. You need to create a mathematical formula. If I do x times y plus z, I will make a million dollars. So you give yourself a formula to hit that number.
Once you’ve written out your detailed business plan, the next step is to write a one page business plan that you can laminate and look at every day.
Give Your Business Plan a Title
Every year is a new campaign. What will the coming year be for you? Here’s one of my favorite ones: 2017: The Year of Recreating Myself!
That’s a phenomenal start for anyone. But yours may be the year of explosion, the year of growth, the year of expansion, etc. You figure out your word, and give it a title. What will the new year represent to you?
Next, you’ll write down three habits and three goals for each of the six areas. For example, in ‘02, I created a habit of running my credit score, once a month. I also tracked every single one of my financial accounts - mutual funds, stocks, investments, etc. on the 19th of every month.
Three goals could be things like weighing 190 pounds, 13% body fat, and bench pressing 300 pounds.
Listen in here for more examples and the detailed explanation of what to put on your one-page business plan.
Daily Review and Sacrifices
The thing that this one sheeter does for you is it allows you to review it daily. You can use it to drive your initiatives. It’s in your face and reminds you of your habits and goals.
With this one pager, you have to make some sacrifices. What will you give up this year? T.V.? Drinking or smoking? Sleeping in? Everyone’s got a vice. What are you going to give up this year? Because that’s the effort and the strategy. And the more time you spend on the strategy the better one-pager you can write.
You may be saying, “Man, I wish I had this format.” I got it for you. All you need to do to get it is fill out the form below and we’ll email it to you.
Then you can print it, fill it out, laminate it, and review it every day. You’ll be amazed what a difference this will make in just a few weeks. You won’t be able to keep yourself from thinking about it, and somehow, some way, you’ll start hitting it. We have the strategy, and if you put in the time, this time next year you’ll say, “Oh my gosh. This is so exciting. I hit 80% of my goals.”
People ask me for book recommendations for this. And while it may sound like I’m self-promoting, I can tell you that I highly recommend reading this book I wrote called 25 Laws for Doing the Impossible. In it, I wrote out the exact formula I used to recreate myself. I tell you from pure experience how this cat went from having a 1.8 GPA in high school, and being someone no one expected to do anything to being who I am today.
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