Build Your Plan Sequentially Instead of at the Last Minute
I've heard variations of this old saying that really hits home as it relates to the passage of time:
The days can seem long, but the years often seem short.
In my view this seems especially true when it comes to running a business and parenting. There are daily stresses that, at times, can make the days drag on a bit but then the next thing you know, another year has gone by. It's hard to believe that 2021 is just around the corner. And if the last year (or even the last five years) seems to be a bit of blur, it's likely that 2021 will whiz by even faster.
I'm bringing this up because right now is the ideal time to start bringing your vision for the future out of your head and galvanizing it on paper. If you patiently but deliberately create a plan for 2021 over the month, rather than the last Sunday evening in December, you'll create a plan that better serves as a guidance system, is more actionable and predictable, and consists of goals that are balanced, clear and attainable.
Now before I continue, I want to qualify something about the importance of advice. My weekly articles can sometimes come off as a little preachy and oversimplified. But if anyone knows the power of advice and the importance of planning, it's a financial advisor. Think about it, what would you tell someone who told you they don't see the value of financial advice? They say to you, "I'm doing it myself because a financial advisor is too expensive and the results can be underwhelming or uncertain." You'd probably tell them - or at least think to yourself - "That is crazy."
With that in mind, what is your feeling about business advice? Do you continually seek it out to help you break old patterns and self-imposed limits? Are you a serious student when it comes to personal and professional development? Do you focus on what it costs, or on what it's worth?
"Even turkeys can fly in a strong wind."
As you know, there are some advisors whose business growth is tied primarily to the natural lift of the markets. They're not doing anything special or even deliberate when it comes to business development. These are the same advisors who operate in isolation and end up in a vacuum and eventually plateau. There are other advisors in this business who channel their existing momentum, make continual refinements to proven strategies, address the issues that are undermining their achievement, and document a plan to ensure they continually focus on the things they can control.
I don't want to oversimplify things too much but that is one of the most important aspects of a plan. The process allows you to tune out the noise and distractions and focus on proven strategies that generate results. A good plan serves as a reminder of what matters as the year unfolds to also ensure that you don't drift off track.
Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson