Warning, this is a bit of a rant 😉 You can stop reading now and go back to posting on Facebook if you don’t like being interrupted. If you do manage to get to the end (you can skip the rant if you want) you’ll find a lovely PDF to help you with your planning & a fun tool to visualise your future.
Stop feeding egos and algorithms
[START OF RANT]
You might be doing a bit of planning right now – lots of people are. Maybe you’re writing a plan. You might even be mapping out your social media content for the year, visualising your million dollar month goals, setting KPIs and OKRs and TLAs, and all the other stuff everyone else is doing. My advice – just stop it!
Before you do any of that, think about these three VIPs (very important points):
- Don’t write a plan, plans are pants
The best use I’ve ever found for ‘a plan’ is to light the fire here at the Disaster Potential Farm. The moment a plan is written it’s out of date. One week later you’ve forgotten about it. One year later you’re lamenting your inaction as you stumble over your fabricated plan while looking for fire lighters.
‘A plan’ is at best a badly drawn map of the terrain. Don’t conflate the map and the territory. The territory may change: new roads get built and old ones destroyed, bombs are dropped, trees are planted, businesses close down and new ones flourish. Be prepared to throw away irrelevant maps (plans) as you take steps into the actual territory.
We live in a wonderfully chaotic world, embrace the chaos and serendipity, don’t make plans.
Planning, on the other hand, is incredibly useful because it helps you set a direction and articulate a landmark to be heading towards. A landmark, that you can clearly articulate to others, is much better than a fictional plan.
Directionality is brilliantly covered in the book, From The Heart to the Head and Back Again, by my mentor, Piers Fallowfield-Cooper (published in the spring).
“Build the fairy-tale castle first:
The fairy-tale castle acts as a flag in the ground for people to head towards.
It provides the directionality everyone seeks.”
Don’t write a plan, set a direction towards a landmark.
- Do it for you, not for others
What do you really want?
You don’t have to have a 7 figure, zillion dollar business to make a difference. You don’t need a bestselling book to help people. You don’t need a six pack to be fit.
In Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, Luke Burgis builds on the work of French polymath René Girard, and explains how most of the things you think you want you only want because other people want them (obviously, he explains that much better in the book!)
Pause for a second, think about it slowly: most of the things you think you want you only want because other people want them.
Do you really want a ‘big’ business? Do you really want to write a big book*? Do you really want to sell your hours? Do you really want to see your abs (or toes)?
Create your own business that works for you and for your clients. Don’t copy someone else’s.
- Grow your own business not theirs
Stop spinning too many plates while trying to photograph them for Instagram, video them for Youtube and turn the grey looking contents into lead generating, funnel building, marketing copy for Facebook to fill your challenge group (while other consultants copy your best ideas to fill their Facebook group… and other consultants copy their best ideas… you get the point)…
Why? Because you’ve just given yourself an unpaid, never-ending job working for Larry, Sergey & Sundar, Jeff & Andy, Mark, Jack, Tim, Reid & Ryan… and all the other founders and shareholders of the social media marketing machine you are funding with your time, energy and ideas. And they are very demanding bosses… you’ll never be able to satisfy their desire for more of your time…
Social media is ONE marketing method. One channel to reach the people who need what you deliver. Don’t build our business on somebody else’s territory.
Use social media – don’t be used up by it! Connect on social media, and then get people off there and into your ecosystem as soon as possible.
Remember, you are bloody special. You don’t have to do the same things other people are doing. You don’t even know if what they’re doing is working.
END OF RANT (maybe)
So if you shouldn’t make a plan (because plans are pants),
you shouldn’t be doing what everyone else is doing
(because that’s not what you really want),
and you shouldn’t be omnipresent on social media
(because that’s building someone else’s business)
what the flip should you do?
Do a bit of ‘what-if-ery’.
What-if-ery helps you think bigger, further and funner (made up word).
It helps you set a direction towards a bright landmark, not write a plan.
It gets you in touch with what you really want, not what other people want for you and of you.
It keeps you flexible (you might even be able to touch your toes).
It keeps you honest about what you have control over (only you!) and what you can influence.
You can download the what-if-ery handbook if you want to know more.
And, of course there’s always the Future You Email Thingy that you can use to send yourself an email reminder every month.
Ciao for now,
- Here I go again, the only book coach who frequently advises people not to write big books.
PS: I KNOW that ‘plans’ are required in some circumstances – like if you’re looking for funding or want someone to invest in your business – but you and they know that your plan is just a big, hairy guess. They won’t be investing in ‘the plan’ they’ll be investing in YOU, and you’re special!
PPS: We covered what-if-ery, the path of possibilities (mapping the terrain), risk strategy, setting a one year outcome to head towards (our landmark), and creating quarterly directions in The Better Than Great Club. The recordings and downloads are available for all members.