Did you make a business plan for this brand new year?
Did you write down your top priorities, big goals and those dream projects you want to accomplish? And did you create a timeline and action plan to make it happen?
I didn’t plan a thing. Which is unusual for me because… I actually love to plan. Especially when I’m starting a brand new year. I love thinking about what I want to create, what I want to launch and when, and then create monthly and quarterly action plans to get it all done.
I love planning because… it makes me feel good. It inspires me and gets me excited about what’s to come. And putting it all on paper makes me feel that it’s all going to happen. Just like I planned it.
But it never happens that way. My year never goes according to plan. Never.
No matter what plans I may map out, life has other plans. Ones I never could have predicted when I sat down to plot out my new year. As the year evolves, new projects, priorities and possibilities appear… and my plans get rearranged, revised and sometimes thrown out the window.
So, this year, I didn’t make a long, detailed, time-lined plan for the New Year. I didn’t even write my very favorite visioning exercise, the one I’ve done every year for so many years now. You can read about it here.
The truth is… by the time December rolled around, I was so exhausted, spent and uninspired that I just didn’t have it in me to get pumped up and excited about 2017. But I still wanted to start the New Year with an intention, a guideline. Something to keep me on track and focused and able to create a soulful, satisfying and successful year. And that’s when I came up with my One Sentence Business Plan.
Here it is:
My plan for 2017 is to be open, available and in service to the inspiration and guidance of Divine Love in everything I think, say, do or dream.
That’s it. That’s my plan for 2017.
As you can see, it’s not a detailed, time-lined, action-oriented plan; it’s more of a compass than a road map. One that will keep me pointed in the right direction no matter what terrain or circumstances I may find myself in this year. One that will guide me in all of my decisions, goals, projects, and actions.
Now, you may be thinking, “Oh, give me a break! That’s not a plan! That’s just some spiritual mumbo-jumbo that’s guaranteed to keep you unfocused, uncommitted and spinning your wheels all year long without accomplishing much of anything!”
Mmmm… could be. But I don’t think so.
Because the truth is, my previous goal-oriented, detailed plans for new years past never served to keep me focused or committed. Nor did they help me accomplish what I set out to accomplish. They simply helped me feel good about the year ahead.
And because they were created in one moment in time, without any way to predict or know what might occur in the next moment, they became almost completely irrelevant by the time March rolled around. Life is an ever-evolving, unpredictable thing. And so are we. So, how can we expect to create and follow a plan we made for the whole year when we don’t even know who we’ll be or what will happen next month?
Planning your year out from beginning to end is like trying to lay down a long set train tracks before you know the terrain. You can do your best to guess what’s ahead and try to lay down the tracks that will take your business train from where you are to where you want to go. But your train will have to jump those tracks the instant you hit a rocky or unexpected landscape that simply won’t accommodate them.
This is why I love my One Sentence Business Plan; it provides direction and guidance no matter what terrain, distraction or creative desire I may encounter. It allows me to be awake, aware and responsive to what wants to happen in the moment, within myself, within my business and within my unpredictable world.
No matter what happens, no matter what life throws at me, my plan is this: to do whatever I can to stay open, available and in service to the inspiration and guidance of Divine Love in all I think, say, do or dream.
Simple? Uh, no… not so simple.
See, the downside of such a plan is that it requires vigilance and an ever-present commitment to follow through, to use this plan as a compass for everything. For instance, right now, as I’m writing this, I have to ask myself, am I open and available to Divine Love right now? Is what I’m doing and what I’m writing in service to that Love? Or not? I have to be willing to refer to my plan, my compass, constantly. And to let it guide me.
Listen, I know the One Sentence Business Plan isn’t for everyone. If writing long, involved goal-oriented action plans helps you, or simply makes you feel good, do it! But if you’ve found those type of plans to be overwhelming or a big waste of time (because they become obsolete as soon as March rolls around), try creating a One Sentence Business Plan.
Here’s what you need to remember as you do.
More than a plan, you’re creating a compass. Your north-star statement. One that can guide you all year long, no matter what comes your way. Because of this, your one sentence needs to be deeply meaningful to you. It needs to resonate with what you really want, who you are and who you want to be. It doesn’t matter if anyone else understands it; it’s not for them. It’s for you alone.
But this doesn’t mean your One Sentence Business Plan has to be heavy, profound or serious. Not at all! It can be anything that grounds you in the truth of what you really want, where you want to go or how you want to get there.
For instance, your One Sentence Business Plan can be: “I plan to follow my joy, intuition and innate sense of silliness in all things.” Or… “I plan to make $185,000 this year by investing my time and energy in projects and activities that are 100% fun for me.”
As long as your One Sentence Business Plan has meaning and power for you, and you can commit yourself to using it as your compass all year long, you’re good to go.
So… if you were to create a One Sentence Business Plan for 2017, what would it be? Share yours in the comments below. I’d love to see it!