One common theme I find as people begin to start growing their online presence is that they are increasingly concerned more with growing their list and getting an audience than building their foundation. I know this because it was once my mindset. I thought I could gather my audience, then build my business. The truth is the audience come because of your business. If you try to grow an online presence without determining who you are speaking to, and what you want to say to them you will continue to struggle. I get it, finding focus can feel overwhelming, but once you do it, you will find that moving forward becomes easier. Here are 4 reasons taking the time to define your business, and create a plan is critical to your online success.
#1 Your imagination will supply multitudes of business ideas.(maybe more than you can handle)
“First, comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” -Napoleon Hill
One of the most amazing traits of entrepreneurs is their ability to think of ideas to grow their business. However, this trait is also why many may struggle with choosing an area of focus. It can seem impossible to settle in on just one idea. So instead some try to implement multiple, instead of picking one. (I have been guilty of this myself). Here is the thing, you can try to do a lot, and end up not getting anything done. (sound familiar ?). Consider making a list of your ideas. Write all of them down. Then pick one, just one to implement. Here is the thing, as soon as you complete “the one” you can move on to the next!
#2 Plan gives you direction needed to achieve your goals
“Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” -Stephen Covey
One thing I have always been really good at is setting goals. The challenge is completing them. Creating a plan allows you to create a roadmap to help you complete the necessary tasks to achieve your business goals. Instead of having random ideas, you have specific tasks to complete in order to accomplish your goal. You have direction!
#3 While a plan may not be perfect, if it is executed it will yield results
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” -George S. Patton
It can be tempting to try and create the perfect plan before you start. Here is the thing, you do not have to have a perfect plan. You just need a realistic one that you can start with. It is better to take your good plan and make progress then to keep your almost perfect plan on the shelf.
#4 Plan provides a timeline to get things done
“Deadlines aren’t bad. They help you organize your time. They help you set priorities. They make you get going when you might not feel like it.” -Harvey Mackay
With a well-designed plan, you can start to take action. Your plan can create target dates that can push you forward and help you make progress. Deadlines should not feel like a burden. Instead, it is one of the most useful tools you can use to discipline yourself.
What if you are struggling to create your plan.
I get it how overwhelming developing your plan may feel. Creating a plan points out a lot of things. However, we tend to focus on two things. The process shows us how much we have to do, and how much hasn’t been done. When we look at this it can feel overwhelming. (And quite honestly it may not feel good) I know for myself it has made the task of just staring feel impossible, so I put it off. Here is the thing, it is unavoidable. Once you make the decision to grow your business, you will realize it is impossible without a plan.
Now let me be clear. I am suggesting you lay out a few specific things. You need to decide on your audience, what you want to share with them and how you want to share (what platform you will use). Of course you will need to decide how you will monetize. This isn’t about finding the perfect system. This is about assessing where you are, deciding where you want to go, and starting to carve out your path forward. My suggestion to you is to get concise about what you are doing. Write it down, and then take action.
Take your vision, and make a plan of action to make your vision a reality. (Remeber your plan doesn’t have to have all the answers, it just needs to clearly define your destination). Consider this, “Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.”( John C. Maxwell). If you find yourself adjusting your plan from time to time, that is ok. However, if you find yourself adjusting your vision, you just may need to refocus.
Keep it simple, here is a little help.
This doesn’t have to be hard, it can be super simple. Here I created a simple PDF with some questions you can ask yourself to help give you some guidance. Take some time to answer them honestly, and get your plan on track. (Here is your free PDF ).
I will leave you with this final thought:
“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan. “-Paul J. Meyer