Business Planning Might Not Be Sexy, But…
…you’ve got to treat your business like a business! Not everything that is required of us as entrepreneurs, is going to be exciting, alluring or dazzling, but they just gotta get done.
Two “firsts” are happening for me today. I’m contributing for the first time to Top Of Mind Networks AND I was just interviewed for the first time as an “expert” on Business Planning for Mortgage Professionals, by Karen Deis of Mortgage Girlfriends…a great way to enjoy a Thursday afternoon, indeed.
So while the topic is fresh in my mind, here’s one of many nuggets of truth that came out of that conference call that I hope will give those of you who haven’t completed your business plan for the year, something to chew on and more importantly, something to kick those sexy butts of yours into action…
How Do I Find the Time to Sit Down and Start my Plan?
This is a question I’ve heard muttered under the frustrated breath of many a Mortgage Professional. What I believe is important to understand is the psychology behind WHY we’re choosing not to come up with the time to plan. Iím going to tell you that thereís an immeasurable number of reasons WHY we donít carve out the time and they can all be neatly placed under one big, neon sign that spells out E.X.C.U.S.E.S. But, excuses are just external, verbal creations we dole out to others. What’s happening internally that we may not even be aware of???
Here’s the deeper question to ask to get to the bottom of this…’WHY is any one task given a higher priority over another?’ Why do we tackle certain things right away, while other to-dos, even those that can greatly benefit us, just don’t get done? Have you ever noticed that you prioritize, many times, based on how you feel about the task at hand?
Here’s an example to illustrate this…Take a look at the following list of to-dos and remember, writing your goals and developing a business plan is really nothing more than another to-do:
-Call Mr. Johnston back to advise him that his closing date has been pushed back.
-Call Mrs. Weber to tell her that you can refinance her and save her $150 every month.
-Call 5 Realtors you met to attempt to schedule a coffee meeting this week.
-Call your brother back to go over a few details regarding an upcoming golf tournament.
The majority of us are likely going to approach this list with a certain set of feelings and beliefs that are based on a future result that we couldnít possibly know, but we feel we do. We read the list and without even being aware of it, we assign feelings and a picture of what we think we know the outcome will be. If the future that you are imagining and feeling is that the results of those to-dos are not going to be fruitful for you or are going to be unpleasant, then they are going to fall to the bottom of the priority list. And when thereís no forced deadline, like the task above re: calling your Realtors, itís easy to let it sit and sit and sit at the bottom of that priority list until eventually, it too, gets assigned a musty, old, muttered excuse.
So, of course, the same holds true for writing your goals and putting a business plan together. If you subscribe negative feelings to this task and your future picture is that creating your plan didnít get you any further to where you wanted to be, or you didnít do them anyway, or you only did it for one month and then just let it go, then where is this task going to naturally fall on the priority scale?
Sometimes a Hard Pill to Swallow…
We only ever have two choices in order to experience growth and those are…Wait and hope that some external impact, whether that be something a peer says to you, something you read in a book, or a seminar or class you attend, causes a paradigm shift for you OR you can choose, right now, to feel the fear, feel the discomfort, feel the uncertainty and do it anyway.
In the end it comes down to choice. You can either find yourself 3 months from today with that CMPS certification, engaged in new Realtor relationships, following a detailed business plan or find yourself 3 months from today without them. The time is going to pass all the same.
Here’s some questions to ask yourself about those long overdue to-dos, whether they be that Business Plan you haven’t started or anything else you haven’t begun/completed. You can replace the words, “business plan” below with whatever is important to YOU.
What have I been imagining (really) about the future results of developing my business plan? What’s the story I’ve been telling myself?
What’s the first 3 words that jump to mind when I think about developing my business plan?
Have I been sharing fears about developing my business plan or sharing my enthusiasm. Am I sharing at all?
Who do I know that has successfully completed a business plan?
By examining how you feel about developing your business plan first, then reaching out to garner some fresh perspectives, renewed enthusiasm and ideas on how to easily get started, the story can change and so can your feelings and then WHAM…business planning becomes sexy and your plan is born!