THE POWER OF A WRITTEN PLAN

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By Angela Mutiso, cananews@gmail.com

It May Turn Out To Be the Best Investment You Will Ever Make

Whenever Mary’s husband Mutinda calls her for a meeting away from home, she often gets a feeling that he is nagging her because he tends to start by trying to establish if she has a written plan for her business. This is something she hasn’t got round to doing despite his constant reminder. Given that her husband is a
workaholic, they have an arrangement that they should meet outside their house for any matters that sound even slightly official; and Mary, according to Mutinda, has erroneously classified the business plan
discussion as one of them.

The forty-seven year old mother of two is not convinced that having a written plan can make her work better. Mutinda however persists as he views, the obligation to educate her with special lessons he has learned during his long time in business as part of his mission. Come to think of it, do we really need to have a written plan? It seems okay doesn’t it; just to know what we want out of life and get on with it. Why should you have a written business/life plan? What is it exactly?

A life plan is a formal, written plan you can use to plan out areas of your life including career, where you live, who you associate with, and how you spend your time. Writing out a life plan can help you identify areas of your life that you would like to change or to meet certain goals. A life plan may help you see your life in a different way. Seeing aspects of it on paper may help you prioritize and readjust your ideas. Putting a life plan down on paper may also help you see similar goals and desires you have, or adjust your plan
based on things that don’t fit.

(Wiki) Writing about the power of a written plan, Dan Mcarthy – (Greatleadershipbydan); says he has always been a strong proponent of the importance of having a written individual development plan (IDP) for Leadership development. This is, identifying: What you want to get at; how you are going to do it; when you are going to do it. He says he has one, makes sure his employees have one, and tries to encourage all employees to have one, not just managers. The idea notes Mcarthy, is often met with resistance, and when he conducts workshops on how to develop as a leader, when he is coaching a leader, he usually gets pretty buy-in until they get to the point where it’s time to put it in writing; which is the moment of truth; time to make a commitment.

For some, picking up that pen is met with staunch resistance. Mcarthy gives the example of an article derived from the Harvard Business School goal story. It is a story he read that convinced him of the power of having written goals. He uses it sometimes to try to get people out of this obstacle- he reports; in the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, Mark McCormak tells a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA Program.

In that year, the students were asked, ‘have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to
accomplish them?” Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all. Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing.

The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent.
Who had no goals at all. What about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the 97 percent put together. He notes that while this story is about financial goals, the same concept applies to leadership development goals. You can sit back and float through life hoping you’ll get better as a leader. And if you are lucky, you will. Development will come to us. But why not increase your chances to success ten times simply by putting your development goals in writing?

It’s the best investment you will ever make concludes Mcarthy. . – Dan Mcarthy is the owner of Great Leadership, LLC and the Director of Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of the award winning leadership blog ‘Great Leadership and an influential voice in social media. Andrew Schrage, of more Money Crashers Personal Finance whose mission is to develop a community of people who try to make financially sound decisions.

(The website strives to educate individuals in making wise choices about credit and debt, investing, education, real estate, insurance, spending) says the biggest reason to write out a business plan regardless of any financing option concerns is that it can help you stay organized and remain on track. Businesses without a plan can easily get off-target, and revenues will suffer as a result. Creating a plan with expense projections, revenue forecasts, and more can help a small business remain committed to its long-term goals.”

Following are The 11 Indispensable Principles of Money Crashers
• Always spend less than you make.
• Do not believe in money myths.
• Get out of debt and stay out of debt.
• Save money for the unexpected.
• Student loans are not the only answer.
Be resourceful and open-minded.
• Find creative ways to boost your income.
• Invest for the long-term and keep it simple.
• Educate yourself about real estate, cars, and financial products.
• Avoid scams and financial predators.
• If you have a spouse or partner, treat this person as a teammate!
• If you achieve financial success, give back. It helps others and feels great.

Creating a purpose for your life and following it through is a big march into a great future. Discussing how to plan your life, Wiki says; you can decide what you want, find out what’s important to you, and create a plan to follow so you make the most of your life. The most important thing here, they suggest is that you clarify your vision. This can be an overwhelming task, but it simplifies matters for you when you write it down. You need to look at all areas of what is fulfilling and meaningful to you.

Some questions to start you thinking about which direction you want your life to go include: What does success look like to you? Is it a certain job title, or amount of money? Is it being creative? Is it having a family? What would your life look like if you had the power to change it right now? Where would you live? What would your career be? How would you spend your time? Who would you spend your time with? Whose life do you admire? What course of their lives makes it appealing to you?

You should construct a guiding vision. statement; and once you have explored what is meaningful to you through questioning and self-reflection, write down the answers you came up with in a sentence you can use as a guiding vision statement. Write it in the present tense, if you’ve already accomplished it. Your
plan may not go in a straight line, it is full of twists, move slowly and learn from those experiences as you move closer to your goal. You may run into dead ends in your life. You may end up with a job you think will put you in a better place, but it leads nowhere.

You may get sidetracked by relationships and family. Just remember there is no timetable. Keep making small progress towards your goals and learn from every dead end and new development in your life.You should be prepared to create your own opportunities: There may not be the perfect job, place, or opportunity already out there. If this is the case, you’ll need to create that opportunity for yourself, even if
doing so wasn’t a part of your original plan.

Understanding as you plan your life that you may have to make your goals happen can help mentally prepare you for any changes down the road. In order to thrive in any facet of your life, you have to plan and write out your objectives. By doing this, you will boost your personal growth which in turn will make you flexible and creative. It will reduce your stress level and enable you to have a road map which you can follow for your success. That is why to do lists are written even on a daily basis.

Writing a plan is a useful tool many successful people use to boost their chances of success. By doing this, you become focused, motivated, organized and victorious. Veteran businessmen like Mutinda, know why it is important for his wife, employees and anyone who seriously wants to succeed in life should apply this simple principle. It is the secret to success.

Businesses without a plan can easily get off target, and revenues will suffer as a result. Creating a plan with expense projections, revenue forecasts, and more can help a small business remain committed to its long term goals.”

 

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