Formulating a strategy that drives your action is without doubt the most important component of any success journey – Romeo Effs
In my previous article, I endeavored to set some parameters that would help you to literally accelerate your journey in life and business; by discovering what it is you were put here on earth for. Understanding ones purpose is so essential because when you know why you are doing what you’re doing, you get to become deliberate and that in turn sharpens your execution and productivity.
In this article, we shall talk about plan.
One of the biggest motivations I derive from engaging with hundreds of young people at various levels in their career through our work at SFAN is helping them develop or sharpen their strategies for success. As it is true that no one has ever chanced upon success, you bear a responsibility to develop a solid plan that can earn you a seat at the table, help you stay competitive and maintain great reputation for your brand.
But, how do you start?
Firstly, you need to evaluate where you currently are in your journey and where you’d like to be?
In retail business, one thing you must do if you want to keep your business alive is to occasionally “take stock”. This is important whether you are running the business alone or you have chains of stores with thousands of staffs. Some people do this weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on the size of the business. Among other things, taking stock helps you know the objective reality of the business. It helps you keep track of things like what is about to expire, what has been sold out or what goods should be lose leaders.
This is equally important for your career whether you’re an undergraduate college student or a fortune 500 corporate executive. Where are you right now? How do you benchmark yourself? What is obsolete that need to be done away with and what’re the best practices in your industry? Who connects to where you’re going and who needs a good riddance?
Answers to these questions would give you a good head start in developing a winning strategy. I think that there’s no shame in admitting it if things are not working out the way it’s supposed to, especially when that realization helps you take responsibility.
Sun Tzu is considered by many as the greatest war leader and strategist. One his principles from the book The Art of War was “ponder and deliberate before you make a move”.
Secondly, decide consciously what you need to do to get to where you want to be and when you expect to get there.
In September 2009, I realized that if I would be able to make a global impact and influence millions of lives around the world as has been my dream, I had to take two vital steps which involved improving my financial literacy and seeing the world from a different perspective. Eventually I had to shut down my business in 2011 to go back to school to pursue a degree in accounting in another country. I was not fully ready and I had no idea of what the country was but I was willing to take a leap of faith. Thankfully, it all worked out fine.
Good strategies always include timelines so you need to take note of that. More so, if 20% of everything we do results to 80% of our accomplishments, you need to also work out where you’d need to invest the greater measure of your energy.
Finally, act, evaluate what works and what didn’t and improve or improvise when necessary.
In digital media marketing, they say that everything valuable is worth measuring. I am always intrigued by how the numbers can tell you a lot of story about various actions. For example, I changed our approach to giving out information about our events after we evaluated our last business breakfast meeting, (#FEBBM4; which was a huge success). I think that if we can evaluate our actions, we stand a better chance in getting better results in the future.
Why don’t people measure their inputs?
A lot of times, the major reason why people don’t evaluate their work is because of the feedback they might get. Some people are afraid of feedback especially when it doesn’t sound how they wish. But then again, the best feedback have always been the ones that help you improve. It’s not easy to always measure your work, but if you want to build for the future, it’s very imperative.
When you are working out the vision you have of yourself, you have to make peace with the fact that things will not always go the way you want it. Sometimes everything that could go wrong will go wrong, but that’s okay. If you find yourself in that situation, maybe you have to improvise; change your approach or double up. Your life is an Olympian sunrise; you are here to manifest greatness! So press on and persevere, embrace your future and chase your dream with gusto because your life is valuable.
…One more article in this series. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below. Talk to me at [email protected] Thanks!