Anthony B. BarthelThere’s an old adage that says, “those who fail to plan plan to fail.” I’m going to be very honest with you and tell you that I’m terrible and planning ahead. But you shouldn’t be.
If you’re planning to step out on your own, you will need to write a business plan. I’m sure you know a lot of people who have forged ahead without one and have done very well. Since the deck is stacked against your business even lasting a year, you probably don’t know the greater number of people who tried to work for themselves and failed. You don’t hear about all the stories of people who bought lottery tickets and lost, just about the exceptions to the rule where someone took home a few million bucks. The reason people tell you about businesses who succeed without a plan is because people like to hear about exceptions to any rule, like that winning lottery winner.
A business plan is going to help you visualize all the things you’ll need to create a successful business. It’s very easy to sit in your office alone during the week days and hear a great sales pitch from someone selling ads and fall for the pitch, only to find that you’ve wasted a lot of money that could have been better spent. A business plan will help you avoid this.
But you should also be flexible. If a great opportunity comes along, grab it!
If you choose to work for yourself one of the greatest things you can do is become a goal setting master. This means that you should write out your goals, share them with others and focus heavily on achieving those goals. Again, it’s very easy to be distracted when you’re at home alone with an Internet connection. Trust me on this one.
One of the greatest resources you can have for goal setting is a series of tapes by sales trainer Eric Lofholm. His goal setting tapes are exceptional for helping you to set goals and at $39 they’re a terrific deal. For info on these tapes, click here. Lofholm suggests listening to the tapes seven times through with a notepad. Do this. Actually, what I did was convert the tapes to audio files on my computer and then transfer them to an iPod. Then I walk to the beach every day and listen to one segment of the program.
By setting a written goal, according to Lofholm, you not only have an action plan you can follow but also something tangible that you can share with your friends. By sharing this plan with friends, family and others you will also empower them to help you with your plan.
For example, by telling friends about your desire to do more corporate events they might think of you when their company is planning something. How many DJs have the lock-in when it comes to doing spouse’s holiday parties? What about those team building events? By sharing your written action plan suddenly you will create advocates in your friends, who will also help you by encouraging you to follow through with this plan.
There are plenty of resources on writing a business plan and I certainly encourage you to choose a few of them and evaluate them. But I also cannot be more enthusiastic about Eric Lofholm’s Goal Setting program. Or in the process of simply writing down your goals in whatever method works best for you, so you really can share them with your family and friends.
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