Simple clear purpose in principle gives rise to complex intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior.” If this quote by Dee Hock contains truth, then your business plan, game plan or even life plan must be concise. You must plan for success.

When it comes to writing business plans, many people either numb out and don’t do it, hire someone else to do it that doesn’t know them or their business, or they attempt to create a plan for success that ends up being just a multi-page document that is an exercise in futility.

Here is a bold statement – the current economy is not causing you financial uncertainty. The current economy is only unveiling the fact that your current plan for success is not adequate. The only two problems anybody has are…

You know what you want but just don’t know how to get it.


You don’t know what you want.

If you have these questions answered, life is pretty good. Most people don’t.

Here are six steps to gain more clarity around your business and your life.

Formulate your vision. Think about where you are headed over the next 3-5 years and how you that vision to look like when you get there. Include the money you want to be generating, the ideal clients you want, the caliber of people working with you, your location and the type of unique service or product you and your company want to be known for.

Know your mission: Your Mission statement should answer three questions:

  • What is your or your company’s unique strength?

  • What sets you apart from everyone else?

  • What is the impact or derived benefit your ideal client gets in working with you?

To help formulate your mission statement, complete the following sentence; We serve our ideal client by ________ .

Be clear on your values: Roy Disney said, “When your values are clear your decisions are easy.” He was right on. When you know what you want to honor in your life and your work it is easy to say “yes” to the projects and activities that line up with your values and “no” to those that don’t.

State your Key Performance Indicators (KPI): These are the milestones that will help you fulfill your vision over the next year. In order for them to be , they need to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant & Time-bound). In this way, you avoid getting trapped in the land of vagueness that leads to non-achievement and frustration.

Think strategically: Strategy simply answers the , “How will you achieve your KPI’s?” If you want more clients, how will get them? If you want to be known as an expert in your industry, how will you go about doing that?

If you want to achieve a KPI, answer the question, “What is the best way to do that?” The answer to this question will become your strategy. This may take some consideration and thinking.

Tactical action plans: This is where you determine who is going to do what, and by when, to carry out the strategies to accomplish the KPI’s that will lead to the fulfillment of your vision, while serving the mission.

Make a list of your projects and the action items you must complete for each project, along with deadlines and stake holders. Here’s a hint; make sure this part of your plan for success makes it to your calendar and the calendars of the stake holders so you can see what you need to see when you need to see it.

This work can usually be captured on a page or two. It’s important that you develop the habit of carrying your plan for success with you to review and regularly re-calibrate as circumstances change.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!