Strategy! The Beginning.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the USA
Does this quote take the wind out of your sails, or does it pump you up?
Feel it. Think about it.
You’ve got what you think is a winner of an idea for a successful business. You’re excited, your adrenalin is running high, and you. are. feeling. powerful!
This is good!
In Part I, we talked about vision and the rocky road. Business is pretty much all about navigating the rocky road to get to a distant goal - step by rocky step. It takes a true passion for your vision, courage, strength of character and, persistence to execute it.
Bumps in the Road
Once you have laid out your path, you’ll often find the marketplace has moved on. Worse luck! You’ll need to return to pick the right rocky road just to keep up. (You may also consult the stars to anticipate the next direction.)
Business is therefore less sprint and more endurance. There is much to know and much to do. Always. Are you up for it? Do you have the energy for the long haul?
This is where your passion for your vision (and mission) becomes vital to your ability to continue.
Managing the Bumps and You
If you want to do better than just ‘keeping up’, plan to spend your life on the move: constantly switching gears, stumbling, sometimes falling, picking yourself up, searching for inspiration and creative ways to move forward on a constantly changing path.
If you get more revved than rooted in fear, you are more likely to find yourself on the right path. Fear can however, be a great motivator.
“If you can push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking a risk, really amazing things can happen.” Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo!
Gaining Clarity, Focus, Foresight and Insight
Lay everything out on paper - yes, I said paper. (There is a connection between your hand movements and your brain which facilitates big picture integration and knowledge retention; it is best stimulated by hand-writing your business idea.)
Whether starting out, building, redesigning or growing your business, the strategy for the long-term, successful business needs clarity, focus, a step-by-step action plan, foresight, and insight.
Why insight? You need to be exceptionally clear about why you are here, where you are going, who is coming with you, how you are going to get there, and when each step needs to happen. When you’ve arrived at your goal, you also need to to know whether to start the next path or hold tight.
You need to know yourself exceptionally well: What motivates you? What puts you off your game? Is there a pattern to when you get motivated or pumped and when you get turned off, burnt out, feeling defeated, lost or undone? Can you take criticism from others? How does it feel? And what do you usually do with it? Determine your answers and think about how they serve you - or don’t serve you.
You also need to know the answer to these questions: Do you honestly like people? Are you curious about others or judgmental? These are important questions. You need to know and think about these answers too.
What Next? Go for it!
In the next blog, we’ll get down to specifics of strategy and the next big, important first questions you need to ask yourself. The key words for the next stage of strategy? Vision, clarity, data and dollars.
Butterflies in the stomach are a common complaint for people standing on the cliff of business ownership. They are usually a sign you have done your homework and know what you are up against.
Female or male, young or old - or somewhere in between, business requires unrelenting persistence, endurance, and a flexible, strategic plan to navigate your own rocky road. You choose. And go for it!