Why Lydia Was Scared

January 17, 2018

Lydia’s answers were so general they weren’t going to help her business grow at all.

When I encouraged her to get more specific, to dig a little deeper, to develop strategies critical to her business (rather than whoopingly broad generalities like saying stuff like “marketing”), she went into brain freeze.

Lydia’s ice-cream headache happens to so many small business owners when they try to put their Business Plan together.

You, too?

Why and. better yet, how do you prevent it?

Brain freeze around your business plan happens because…it’s scary…because you must confront your seemingly uncertain future.

Who knows what’s going to happen in your business?  It’s kind of chilling not being able to see or control what’s coming next, not to mention in 11 months.

And choosing…deciding your plan…means making a choice.  As soon as you choose one path, by its nature you’re cut off from other paths and possibilities.

Instead you either don’t plan at all because, as one of my clients said “it’s fantasy island,” or you plan in such general terms you have total flexibility to accommodate any future changes.

And give yourself no direction at all.

What a terrible way to grow a business.  What an awful way to feel.

It might be a great way to cope with fear of the unknown, but a terrible way to run a business and fulfill your dream.

Your plan should make you uncomfortable and a little apprehensive.

When you build your 2018 Business Plan (any plan, really) you’re placing bets, making hard choices.  Choices.

We’re not trying to eliminate risk.  We’re working to increase the odds of your success.

Want a few ways to escape the traps surrounding planning your 2018 success?

  1. Keep your goal simple, singular and measurable; achieve one big thing this year
  2. Keep your Critical Success Factors—strategies—simple and something strategically in play all year (not for a week or a few months; those are actions)
  3. Don’t strive for perfection. You’ll adjust as you go.  There will be surprises.
  4. Be explicit in your statements. Vague statements show your fear and worry.

Apply these simple directions and your fear about planning, about making choices, will diminish.

And the odds of you reaching your goal will skyrocket.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams