Many of you have heard me tell the story about my first side business. It was born out of my passion for horses, which I’ve loved since I started riding them at my dad’s house when I was little.
I also had an aunt who lived on a farm, drove a big white SUV, and had a companion dog named Tucker. And of course, she had horses. My desire to work with these beautiful animals grew as I spent more time around her, thinking she just had the coolest lifestyle.
Fast forward a couple decades, and I’m fresh out of college seeing an ad in the paper for a 40-acre farm for rent. This farm was a gateway to the life I had always wanted! It included an 11-stall barn, so naturally, I decided I could start a business boarding horses. Hey, I’m nothing if not resourceful, spontaneous, and a little unpredictable!
But I didn’t have anyone to instruct or guide me. There were no books to read on the subject at the time. I didn’t know what I was doing, and like many of the women I coach now, I made it up as I went. I wouldn’t trade those years of experience and memories of working my own farm for anything. But I did make mistakes and had messes to clean up (both literally and figuratively!), and at times, I felt totally unqualified. That’s how I realized that having a plan is so important.
The definition of “Plan” is: “A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.” By definition, a plan will help you get the results you want. That’s what it’s for! When there are steps laid out in front of us—boxes to check, goals to reach—we are more likely to succeed. Planning is an important process in every area of our life and it even motivates us to be more productive throughout the day!
There are countless studies on the effects of following a written plan, and the results are pretty clear. People who follow an exercise plan are twice as likely to reach their fitness goals. Similarly, entrepreneurs who complete a business plan double their chances of success.
And we all know the flipside, don’t we? When we just make it up as we go along, we feel uneducated and unaccomplished. If we aren’t intentional with our time, our money, our diets, etc., we’ll look up and wonder where our month, income, and waistline went!
I love this quote by Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
If you want to grow a business, you don’t need to have a 15-page business document, but you do need direction. What are your goals for the business? What do you hope it will do for you and your family? What hours will you work? So many people get started without knowing where they are going and quickly get off course. Instead, start out with a simple plan that answers those basic questions.
This is why I wrote my first book, Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves. You’re not expected to have it all figured out right away, but I want you to do more than just hope for the best. This book will give you the plan you need to grow your business to the level you want. Seriously. As you read through the book, there will be action items at the end of every chapter for you to fill out, so you are literally writing out your business plan as we go along! And right now, you can read the first two chapters for free here!
I’ll leave you with another quote. Warren Buffet said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
I don’t know what seeds have been planted in your heart this year. Maybe you want to get out of debt. Maybe you want to lose weight. Maybe you want to start a nonprofit. Maybe you want to finally pursue your passion, like I did years ago with horses. Whatever it is, I would encourage you to plant that seed and nurture it. And get on a plan that can get you wherever you want to go!
Stay Focused on Your Goals in 2019
Putting your plan on paper is the first step to making your dreams happen. The Business Boutique Goal Planner walks you through exactly what you need to focus on in your business—and includes tactical lessons, challenges, ways to stay motivated, and so much more! This is the exact process I use to set goals.
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