Create a Strategy

with 6 Comments

Two weeks ago I talked about how without a vision for your business, you might end up nowhere. You could be very busy, working really hard, but without Strategy, without a destination, which road to take or what wind blows, is completely irrelevant. This is why I hope I was able to inspire you to create a vision for you and your business.

 

Cameron Herald says in his book “Double Double” that

when you have grabbed hold of a clear vision for success, you’re more likely to achieve your desired goal

 

In order to achieve your goal, (your vision) you need a strategy. When I did my research for this blog post I googled the word “strategy” and most articles I found were very ‘corporate’ and technical. I learned that there are many definitions of strategy, as plan, as pattern, as position, as ploy, as perspective. There are different principles underlaying strategy, there are different strategies like corporate strategy, a business unit strategy, and a team strategy…. it goes on and on.

 

If you simply try to get from a vision to a plan I don’t blame you if you get stuck here. This is overwhelming and as a result you most likely drop the ball, shut down and do nothing.

 

So what now? I say, let’s keep things simple:

 

By creating your vision you had to think about the Where: where do you want to end up? Now it is time to start thinking of the How: how do you get there, and What needs to be done?

Maze with blue line through it. http://connygraf.com #grafetized

Stever Robbins wrote:

Strategy links the destination (vision) with current reality. It answers the question: How will we reach our vision?

(read here)

 

Have you not made a proper LINK between your vision and your reality? Or do you have a vision on where you want to go, and you kind of know what you have to do to get there, but you actually never mapped it out properly? I sure have not (yet), and I do feel the ‘pain’ that comes from it.

 

What do I mean with pain?

 

Well let me explain like this. Last year a friend approached me and asked if I would start running (jogging) with her, the goal was to run the 5 km Resolution Run on January 1st. We both were not in shape and if we would have just started to run without a plan, we probably would have broken down and crashed the first or second time we went out together (=pain).

 

That’s what most of us do in business. We just start working away, without a plan and without a system. As a result we can’t reflect and we can’t measure our progress, we can’t celebrate any achievements, instead we get frustrated and and then we burn up and out.

 

Now that’s not how my friend and I trained for this 5 km Resolution Run. Instead, we used the Jogging App C5K (from Couch to 5K) to get ourselves in shape. This App cues you to get moving, guides you through an exercise routine and rewards you with a progress chart. It’s a running program that helps you train for a 5 km run in just 8 weeks. The run-walk program slowly improved your strength and stamina to run an entire 5 km. The very first training was a brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, and then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. That sounds doable even for the biggest coach potato.

 

And that’s exactly what we need for our business to get from vision (dream) to reality, a slow steady approach. A system that does not overwhelm us or is counterproductive, but one that gets us to our destination in a structured manner, step by step.

 

On Wikipedia I read:

Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. Strategy provides direction. 

In order to create that link between our vision and our reality, direction is needed, a plan. So as your next action step, you list everything that comes to mind when contemplating the following questions:

 

  • what are the short-term and long-term goals you need to set to achieve your vision?
  • what actions do you need to take to achieve these different goals?
  • what resources do you need to execute these actions?

 

Do a brain dump, write everything down that comes to your mind without trying to group or arrange them in a specific order yet. Only when you feel like you’re done, nothing new comes to mind, you start to group the thoughts into tasks and put them in order.

 

The idea is to have a road map laid out with bite-size tasks that you can focus on.  Now when you set your goals for the day or the week, you can take the next task on your list, complete it and then celebrate your small win. This will make you feel good and gets you to your destination (vision) faster.

 

Let me know in the comments what you think and how this process works for you.

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6 Responses

  1. Wenda
    | Reply

    Going to work on this when I get back from my current gig in Chicago: short and long-term goals, actions to achieve, and resources to execute. Got it. You have a good way of break the process of establishing a business into achievable chunks.

  2. Maggie
    | Reply

    One of the things that I do is keep a list of things that I want to do next in my business. For example, I want to add a scheduling tool to my web site similar to the one you have on yours. It really keeps me focused because I force myself to rank order my priorities. Also, I’m in a mastermind group, and we set goals that we each want to achieve in our businesses for the 2-week duration between mastermind meetings. Thanks for these reminders and the context. It makes me want to get that running app. Someone should develop something like that for businesses to use as they’re starting up.

    • Conny
      | Reply

      I learned too that a to-do list only is not enough, mine is way too long, it overwhelms me if I look at it too much. So you are so right, it’s important to know what we want to focus on next from all the things that are on that list.

  3. Jennifer
    | Reply

    Yes, this is exactly what I teach! Get the vision, the set the plan. And make the plan a manageable one, too, one that is both doable and inspiring (so that you continue on). Be clear on what the most important steps are first, take them, and then keep going! This is where the “brain dump” that you mentioned, getting everything that needs to happen down on paper first, is really handy–it helps you see the big picture, then start organizing it into smaller steps in a more organized and productive sequence. Great post, very helpful and actionable guidelines!

    • Conny
      | Reply

      thank you Jennifer, I find, that this is a very important step but a lot of people skip it,they stay stuck in the overwhelm mode, because they don’t break things down into bite size & digestible chunks. And yes, I catch myself sometimes too that I was stuck somewhere and then have to remind myself of these steps.

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