November 11, 2015

Planning is taking action (not consuming information)


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Last week I came to you with 5 tips on how to implement a budget into your business. Suggestions on how to avoid that the plan and budget will just collect dust in some drawer instead of serving you as a (financial) road map. That post was inspired by the buzz that is going on right now about planning for next year and all the online workshops and online courses that are being offered.


Now one week later I came to the realization, that I had skipped a step (or more) with my last week’s post.




See…. what I emanated from was, that you were actually really making a plan (and budget) either during or right after that planning workshop you attended. But then I realized, after asking and listening, that a lot of you did not, and most likely will not, do the work.


This is a shame really, because planning in general, and financial planning in particular, equips and empowers you to focus on what really matters, and what you outlined in your Vision. It allows you to move forward with more clarity and less anxiety and makes it easier to avoid distraction and procrastination.


Don’t we all want that?

Planning workshop 2016 #grafetized

But you have to do the work, you actually have to create your own Vision, Strategy and a Plan, you can’t just watch other people talk about and create theirs.


Webinars and Online Courses have become very popular, and the advantages are that they work with your schedule and connect you to a global village from the comfort of your home. But there are some disadvantages with them too.


When we watch a Video or attend a Webinar, we don’t have to be actively involved, we can just consume and/or multitask. This is especially true if the Webinar or Online Course is not delivered live but is a replay or a so-called evergreen.


I am the first one to admit, I love watching videos, and I love attending Webinars even more. Also, I recently discovered that I can listen to Podcasts while driving, cooking, gardening or even doing the chores out at the barn. It’s entertaining and educational at the same time and I get inspired and motivated.


But, it still takes a special effort, discipline and determination afterward to go and actually do what has been taught in the Podcast. The same goes for Videos, Online Courses and Webinars I find.


That’s where most people (including me sometimes) drop the ball and simply do nothing.


Reading a book – on the topic of planning and budgeting for example – on the other hand requires us to be active, focused and we can’t multitask. Still, it’s probably safe to assume, that we all are guilty of just reading and ‘consuming’ a book without actually acting and implementing what we have read and learned.


When we go to an in-person class, seminar or event, a big hurdle is already taken by the act of going there.

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As in life, 80% of education is showing up, in person.


Then, because you are physically there, you are more likely to do the work. Possibly because of the energized atmosphere, the sense of community in the room or maybe because of group pressure. Also, a face-to-face meeting in a classroom imposes accountability, inspires effort and promotes academic responsibility in subtle ways that we might not fully appreciate. While a sense of community can still be forged through online discussion, the dynamic will be different due to the lack of in-person contact and the common physical context of a classroom.


With Video and Webinar, we don’t have to take the hurdle of going somewhere. Webinars and online courses offer us the ability to take courses that accommodate our work/life/family schedules. We can watch the Video and Webinar anytime and if we want to even in our pajamas in bed.


What seems to be a big advantage in one sense, can also be a big disadvantage in another. Because we sit at home alone

  • and don’t have to make the effort to leave the house, we might not be in an alert and active state but more in a relaxed and passive state
  • nobody sees us, so we don’t have the same ‘pressure’ of having to pay attention and engage
  • we are not exposed to that energized atmosphere that can give us a boost
  • we don’t experience that sense of community and might feel unsupported or even alone
  • there is not much accountability and group pressure if any at all
  • we might struggle to stay motivated
  • it can feel impersonal and transactional



This does particularly apply to Videos and Webinars around topics that are outside of our zone of genius, or something that we think we ‘have’ to do or learn rather than we ‘want’ to do (i.e. Planning and Budgeting)  This is when chances are that nothing will happen, that we stay passive and we only consume.

Watching TV instead of Planning #grafetized


We confuse Online Courses and Webinars with watching TV.

What are we doing when we are watching TV? We let the information wash over us, we are passive, we relax, …. we consume.


So what can we do?


A lot of people that offer Online Courses and Webinars provide a Facebook Group for Interaction, to ask questions, to find and experience that missing piece of a community. While Facebook Groups are great and I wouldn’t want to miss them, they are still impersonal and most likely don’t provide the necessary accountability (kick-in-the-you-know-what) that we might need to succeed.


That’s why Masterminds and Accountability Groups are so popular and also needed and you if you are serious about your business, you should create or join such a group. This is, by the way, one of the tips I listed already in my last weeks blog post 5 tips on how to implement a budget into your business.


But of course, you need to join (or create) a group that consists of like-minded people with the same or similar drive and that are willing to hold you accountable. If it’s just a social get together without pressure and seriousness it’s a waste of time and money if you paid a subscription fee.


With the support of the right group you too can create a financial plan for the next year and focus on your Vision and Dreams.






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  • Spot on…I’m in the midst of this with the Art of Work Course that I didn’t fully finish and the Tribewriters Course I have yet to start… It’s not just accountability though, I think a lot of it has to do with priorities- for me its hard to prioritize writing (which I love and would like to turn into something more) and horses (which are my passion and I already have a business with but will need to change in the future). I’m doing NaNoWriMo AND teaching 16 hours a week. Add on family duties to that and I’ve got one crazy to do list, and the courses quickly go out the window. And its so true that the more you wander and avoid the doing, the more that plan (and strategy and budget) is really needed. I get very tired of pants-ing my way through life. For me though- I think right now our priority is getting our house in order and getting our personal budget on track.

    • yes very good point Misti it has to do with priorities, I have not empathised that enough. Setting priorities and actually also obeying our own priorities rather than doing everything else first, as I often catch myself doing.

  • SO totally true, Conny! Webinars, podcasts, and online events are great, but there’s nothing quite like personal interaction to really make things happen. And my Meetup Co-Administrator and I were talking about that thing just last night, how it’s so easy to drift off during a webinar, start checking email, Facebook, or going off on many other possible distractions. I have found that the best results I’ve gotten with coaches and mentors is the 1:1 time and that the most fun and beneficial connections I’ve made via social media or elsewhere have involved actual phone or skype meetups where real conversations can be had. Not that I don’t love the rest of it, but personal connections are the best ones. 🙂

    • I started to turn everything else off and force myself to take notes, at least this way I don’t drift off that easy 🙂 You said it perfect Jennifer, in the real world, not in the virtual world, are the real connections happening.

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