Success in business and life is based on 4 key factors. The first — “WHY”– I discussed in the 1st article. The second – “VISION”, I discussed in the second article. Today I will discuss the third key factor, PLAN…..
Once you have established WHY you are doing what you are doing, you need to develop the VISION of the future you desire. Then you progress to starting to develop the PLAN to get to your WHY and VISION. Planning requires you to develop a plan of action, with some goals and milestones that are measureable and achievable.
So now that we have the Vision which is like the floorplan of a house we need to determine how to get from today to your future VISION. The PLAN is like a project plan guiding you through the well thought out steps to get from now to your VISION.
We start the PLAN 10 years down the road and then work backward to today. Why do we do that? Well we need to understand the MILESTONES and GOALS that are achieved at that point in time that we need to have been completed. Then we start working back to 5 years down the road, 2 years down the road and finally 1 year down the road. Within the short term we break it down into 90 day plans to breakdown tasks and steps into manageable chunks that lead to stepped success and achievements, cumulating into the success for the 1st year.
I always suggest that people lay this out on a timeline to help organize it and make it easier to add steps, who each is assigned to, tasks, milestones and details that are going to help you move from one milestone to another. Much the same as planning out the building of the house from its blueprints (AKA your VISION), the steps need to include all the milestones and tasks to complete the construction of the house, such as digging for the foundation, pouring the foundation, building the floors and walls, adding the roof, finishing the inside and outside walls and floors, adding plumbing, etc. You get the idea.
Now, let’s break down the steps for building the plan.
Step one: Outline the high level milestones and tasks to achieve 10, 5, 2 and 1 year out. List them on a timeline. For example, you may want a vacation home in 10 years, and your current home paid off in 5 years. For your business you may want 10 employees in 10 years, and 5 employees in 5 years.
Step two: List as many detailed steps as possible for each milestone and task, so you can determine all the steps and activities that will be required to get there. For example, to pay off your home in 5 years you need to pay off 1/5 of the remaining amount owing each year, plus starting to put away $500 per month for your future vacation home.
Step three: Determine task and milestone dependencies. For example, in our house example the foundation must be completed before the main floor is added. So for you it might be that in order for you to get a vacation home, you need to finish paying off your main house. For your business you might need to find a bigger location for your office before you add your next staff member.
Step four: Assign resources and deadline dates to each task, milestone and goal. This makes each item the responsibility of a specific person, who is then accountable and responsible to get it completed. This also makes it measureable, so you know when it is completed.
Step five: Share it with your family and friends so they can support your goals. As a business owner share your plan with your team, so they can support it and help achieve the tasks, goals and milestones. By being part of the process, they buy into the process.
So there you have it the basics of developing a plan. The details of a plan can take time to layout but the results of doing this kind of controlled planning is amazing. As each task, goal and milestone is met, it causes the family or team to buy in more and more to the final goals. Achieving your dreams and goals, one step at a time can be a very powerful driver. In most cases as people start to make progress their momentum increases and their commitment strengthens. It is an amazing and rewarding process. The PLAN also helps people to stay focused and deal with decisions along the way. When decisions must be made, the decision and its choices can be assessed against the plan so the choice that is made supports the PLAN. In some cases the decision will alter the PLAN slightly, but the adjustment to the PLAN can be easily documented because you have all the details.
With the PLAN you are setting up to be successful at reaching your VISION. If you need help getting the PLAN completed, then please let me know. Next is Step 4, see you next time ……

Cheryl Dyck, MBA, ISP, ITCP, IP3P
Certified Business Coach
Business Edge Coaching Inc / ActionCOACH
Coaching Consulting Training
Canada’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Cell: 403-615-6440
Fax: 403-208-3242
Twitter: @cheryldyck Skype: Cheryl.dyck