I’m a planner.
I love having a plan.
How about you?
But sometimes (maybe even a lot of the time), things don’t go as planned.
As I speak with women all over the country at our Roundtable events and via our Online Community, I know it can be tough when the plan goes “wrong.”
I think Natasha Vanzetti sums it up in this recent post in the HerBusiness Premium Member Facebook Group:
(The Facebook Group is exclusively for Premium Members and there are some
awesome conversations and resources being shared here.)
So, I wanted to share a personal story with you about my own recent “planning challenge” to let you know you’re not alone… we’ve all got issues and obstacles that throw a spanner in the works…
It’s not the fact the plan goes ‘wrong’ that counts (that’s bound to happen at some point); it’s what we do NEXT that matters.
At the start of each year I work on my annual plan, mapping out our big projects and priorities and really clarifying my vision for the year. Then, at the beginning of each quarter my team and I get together and review and tweak the plan.
The rest of the time, our trusty plan is with us almost 24/7… guiding our priorities, helping us meet deadlines, keeping us seeing the forest amongst all those trees.
But it’s not all peaches and cream.
Sometimes projects take longer than you think they will.
Or something comes in and blindsides you, diverting you temporarily off track.
Or you realise the thing you planned is not what you really need to be doing (it happens!).
And you find yourself in that uncomfortable place “outside” your plan.
And that can be a vulnerable place to be:
- Negative self-talk can creep in – “I always do this / I’m getting it all wrong/This has just been a big waste of time.”
- Our confidence can take a hit – “I really thought I’d have this done by now, maybe I’m just not cut out for this.”
- We can find ourselves STUCK – “I feel like I’m in a vacuum/Will I EVER get past this?/I can’t seem to find a clear direction.”
- And it can be easy to hit OVERWHELM – “It’s too much! I’m just running from one emergency to the next and not getting anywhere.”
The important thing when the chaos strikes is what you do next.
I recently had a situation where we had a big project take much longer than expected and that meant we didn’t have time to do our regular planning – so for a couple of months I was operating without my trusty forward-plan.
It was like flying without a net!
I didn’t have as much clarity on my priorities and it was much harder to keep my team on track… couple that with this very large project, that had run over time and over budget, that seemed to be like an octopus with tentacles that kept grabbing at me and taking me away from other important tasks.
It was a really tough place to be.
And we’re still not 100% done with the big project, but at the first possible moment, I took 2 days out of being totally IN the business to work ON my business.
And that was last week – I finally got to my planning/strategy days! YAY!
Quite a bit later than I had hoped, but I KNEW I would get there.
I knew I would prioritise the planning process because it’s just so important to me and it makes my life so much better, and my business so much more effective, when I have a plan (even if not everything goes to plan!).
Here’s a pic from the midst of the planning session (you can even see my dog Bella making a cameo appearance in the top left hand corner).
So, what do you do when nothing goes to plan?
Go back and start planning again…
Because the plan doesn’t have to be perfect.
Things can and will go wrong.
But the process of taking time out to really clearly see where you want to go and how you might get there is still an important one… and by staying faithful to a regular planning practice, you WILL be rewarded.
I’d love to hear about your planning – how you’ve handled setbacks or a big win you’ve experienced. I read every email. Just hit reply to this message.
Planning is such an important part of my life and I know what a huge difference it’s made to me and my businesses.
I wish you well with your plans.
Here’s to doing what you love,
P.S. I’ll be sharing my planning templates and process at the upcoming HerBusiness Roundtable events, which you can attend for FREE as a Premium Member.
If you’ve been thinking of coming along, here are the upcoming dates:
Sydney – Friday, 6 May
Melbourne – Thursday, 12 May
Brisbane – Friday, 13 May
Online – Thursday, 19 May