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1st Rule of Personal Business

“First Rule of Business:

Having a detailed business plan doesn’t guarantee success, but not having one guarantees failure.”

                      Unknown Sage

Captain’s Log – Star Date 01.17.2011, “Setting out for our new destination.  Don’t have a clue how we’re going to get there, nor what milestones we will look for along the way.  Milestones?  What in the galaxy are milestones, anyway?”

What is your destination for 2011?  Or, should I say destinations, plural?  And are you planning to get there or hoping to get there.  (Hoping – reminds me of one of my favorite business book titles, Hope is Not a Strategy.)  I will sit down in January and write my annual achievement plan.  Yes, yes, I know, I’m a little behind – an annual achievement plan should be written before 1/1.  I’m guilty of a little procrastination.  Donald Robert and Perry Marquis defined procrastination as, “the art of keeping up with yesterday.”  Well, I will get mine written in January and it will be written in a way that provides me milestones in 2011 that are meaningful to my journey.

Oh yes, and my company is also expecting me to fill in their annual sales plan too.  I don’t know about you, but to be meaningful my annual plan is a very personal matter.  Don’t get me wrong.  I understand I need to meet or exceed expectations of my company to earn recognition; make President’s Club; be promoted; or simply keep my job.   But there is much, much more to a successful year than just what you or I accomplish at work, yes?  There is our health for instance; family and friends; recreation; church and community; self-development; home improvement; lifetime fantasies; net worth goals; etc.  Ah yes, net worth; back to the money. 

Many people believe that money and success are one in the same, and the only important items for their annual plan.  That life is tough when your W-2 is smaller.    Of course, John Wayne said in the movie Iwo Jima, “Life is tough.  It’s tougher when you’re stupid.”  Again, don’t get me wrong.  I like big commission checks as much as the next person.  But I digress.  To me, an annual achievement plan has a few, very important components which make it personal enough to be meaningful.  Permit me to share a few. 

My annual achievement plan is written; if it isn’t in writing, it’s just hope.  I may state certain goals, but goals without tasks and milestones are just (you guessed it) hope.  These are the types of tasks that I can “check off” as I complete them.  It encourages me to look at my plan every day to see what I can check off; gives me a sense of progress; a feeling of accomplishment; positive motivation. Oh, and that word – motivation – and it’s opposite, de-motivation; perhaps the most critical area of my annual achievement plan.  This is where I want to keep hope alive! 

To succeed, I must believe I can accomplish my plan.  And, I must avoid the temptation to overload my plan to the point that I cannot possible do everything written down no matter how good my intentions might be, nor how hard I try.  That would make my plan de-motivational and could kill my hope.  Being realistic; prioritizing; and staying positive are the keys to me.

So, I expect 2011 will be a great year.  In fact, I’m planning on it!  How about you?

                                                            GAP

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