Creating your Master Plan could be life changing
In building virtually anything, you have to have a plan and a plan of action. Many times people just jump in and see how it goes and then develop a plan as situations come at them. I will tell you first-hand, this is a futile mistake!
In fact, this is exactly what I did in creating my first business and the lessons that I learned from my continual failures is invaluable. This is why I’m writing this article. I want to show you how the idea of even a small plan can make the difference in success or failure.
It is one thing to make a plan and work the plan on a small scale but it’s completely another to have an overall Master Plan. A plain old plan is for the short term. A simple plan will prepare you to successfully navigate small intervals of project or objectives to complete. But what we are talking about is the “Master Plan.”
The Main Idea
The Master Plan is the big picture. The grand scheme. The Coup d’ etat. The Master Plan is your success plan for the long term. Unfortunately, most people do not have a Master Plan for success much less a plan at all. The world was already set up for them when they were born and they feel they just have to follow the world’s plan that was laid out for them, like education, internships, good careers, and a secure retirement and that will lead to success. But the most successful people in the world of business, career, family, warfare, and faith create the Master Plan of their lives. Many will even call this the foundation of their life and their work.
I think it’s no secret by now that the most successful people in the world are not always the smartest, the most talented, or best looking. Even Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan’s personal trainer said that Kobe and Michael were not the most athletically gifted people he ever worked with.
(Note) With that said, just know there are much more athletically gifted people than Kobe and Michael out there that you have never heard their names! Think about that…
The difference in Kobe, Michael, and many more successful people are they had a master plan for success.
Your master plan is a set of principles and values that have actionable steps to their nature. They can seem very generalized and mundane but this is so that they are not an evergreen or constantly changing principles as conditions change. The master plan’s principles and values must stay the same no matter the situations, or climate of your success plan. In fact, the Master Plan’s principles and values must be so strong that situations, conditions, and outside forces must adapt to the master plan rather than the master plan adapting to the situations, conditions, and outside forces. This is the fundamental difference between a plain and simple plan vs a Master Plan.
Steps to approach and develop your master plan.
I call this “Reaching into my Zig Ziglar bag of tricks”. The reason I call it this is because once you have developed your Master Plan, it becomes something so reliable and foundational that there is no situation or condition that can beat it. You can always fall back on your Master Plan. As they say, “There is still nothing in this world that has ever been able to beat the consistent human presence.”
1. Set your goal and identify the benefits
I don’t care what you do in this world, everyone has a goal or a grand objective they want to achieve in this life. We are just too intelligent to just sit and exist wondering why we were born. Identify your overall goal, objective or end-game of what you want out of life. Do you want to be rich, professionally successful, an outstanding parent, or just the best in the world at what you do? Once you have figured this out, ask yourself, why? Why do you want to do this? Is it for yourself, your family, for other people, for influence, or maybe even your legacy! The “why” is why you are doing this. Start out with your goal and why you are doing it. Finding your why is generally a missed step in planning anything so start your very first move in your “why.”
Finding your why is not always easy and probably why it gets missed in the beginning. Be patient and take some time to reach into yourself for some self-discovery on this. Really put some effort into answering the question why. Some of these answers will blow your mind! Once you really put in the work to answer why you want to do this, you may see a whole new side of yourself that you never knew was there. For me, my why is my wife and kids thus making my legacy the most important part of my why and my work. I also build subcategories of my why by wanting to help others through my business and create value for my customers. I aslo want to make other people lives better through taking risk and creating action in my business.
2. Proceed with intention
There is a vast difference in just doing your work and proceeding with intention. The best way to explain this is in how other people are successful in different industries. Example; Marketing is a very successful business to be in but for me, I would not be successful at it. I just don’t have the interest in marketing that would make me outwork my competitors or put in the necessary hours for my customers to be successful at it. This is the same for most anyone else as well. You know of businesses that people are very successful at that you would not do well in. This is because interests drive your motivation no matter the results. People are good at, become the best at, and are successful at what drives and motivates them the most. They have extreme intention for their craft.
Find what industry or craft that is going to motivate you the most. This doesn’t have to be something you love or a hobby you want to make a business out of. It has to be something that you will get better results than anyone else will because you want it so badly. Proceeding with intention takes the money part out of it as well. If it motivates you, drives you to achieve results that have a benefit to yourself and to others, you won’t even think about the money. Intention is not something you do for the money. The money, notoriety, and fame is the byproduct of your intention. If you’re willing to quit your job and do it for free, you’ll probably get rich doing it!
3. Identify the obstacles and how to overcome them
Life is not easy, it’s not supposed to be! In fact, the greatest things in life and this world generally did not come easy and were littered with road block and obstacles. That’s what makes them so significant. You already know several things that are currently standing in your way to achieve your greatness. Start with the obstacle you already know exist and create a plan of how you are going to best them. This will give you a fundamental foundation in dealing with the unforeseen obstacles and setbacks that will inevitably come your anyway in the future. Rarely do things actually get easier as you grow. In fact, most of the time, things get harder and much more complex the bigger you get. Ultimately, you just get better at handling the hard things that come your way as you get better at your work.
Take what you know is already standing in your way and strategically build a plan to remove them. Example; don’t have the money to start? Build a plan that will create more money for your plan. Save up, sell toys, stop eating out, and live lean. A competitor is already in play? Find the void they are not filling and fulfill the valence. Likely you are going to find most every obstacle that is standing in your way is resting right between your ears. You and your lack of discipline are your own greatest obstacle.
4. Spell out the skills and knowledge needed
People do business with you because you can do something they need that they can’t themselves do. What skills or knowledge do you currently have or will need to get to become specialized in your craft? We all can do something and if you really think about your knowledge base and your skill set, you likely have or can get easily skills and knowledge that other people need and will pay you for. This is just business 101! Don’t over think this. Many competitors will likely have the same skills and knowledge but again, find a way to do them better.
These skills and knowledge will be the foundation to your Master Plan. While the Master Plan does not change, your skills and knowledge will evolve and develop over time and with lots of practice. Sheer repetition will make this inevitable. Figure out what you do and do it better than anyone else. Focus rigorously on your one skill and knowledge and say, “This is what I do!” People pay a fortune to the person that is the best at the one thing they do.
5. Identify who you are going to work with
Sit down and develop your general customer base. Who do you want to work for or work with? What organizations, groups, companies, or hierarchy of people are you looking to work with? If you are just starting out, you may not care who you are working with. You just need to create action and get to work. But over time you will develop your ideal customer or company you want to work for. Your services will likely cover a large variety of different people and that is good if you want the volume and can withstand the multiplicity.
There will come a point that you discover that there are certain people or groups that just do not fit your Master Plan. They may require more work than they are worth. Example; When I first started I worked to get government contracts. These sound good but the work to get them was daunting and there was no guarantee we would get them. They had impossible time constraints and we were forced to work on their schedule leaving our private contracts to suffer. We eventually went strictly private property contracts.
6. Work out a plan of action to begin
Here’s the fun part! Finally we are about to put the wheels in motion. You are about to create some real measurable action. Create a great pitch for what you do. This can take some time to get right but do not get bogged down in making it perfect. You can always hone it later and develop it with more practice. Just put something together and start calling on your customer base and schedule meetings. Do not be discouraged if your customer or company does not want to meet with you at first especially if you are unheard of. In fact, you will find that a CEO’s executive assistant is generally the gatekeeper to getting a meeting.
Stay consistent, persistent, and really do your homework. In a research study several CEO’s were asked why they took a meeting with a no-name vendor. All of them answered, “During the contact marketing, the vendor knew so much about me, they really did their homework.” Inversely they were asked why they wouldn’t take the meeting. Every one of them answered; the vendor knew nothing about me or my company. Develop your pitch plan and do your research on your prospects. Make this a cornerstone of your Master Plan.
7. Set a hard date to begin
I do not care if you’re ready or not, pick a date to start and do not falter from it. Make this the date that you are going to be in business or getting that great job. As the date approaches, think of it like finals week back in college. If you have to,- cram for it but do not skip it. Your first attempts might be botched or less than attractive but at least you met your self-imposed deadlines and now you are developing a rhythm to your operations.
All too often, people put off starting because they feel they are not ready. They just keep preparing and overthinking to the point they never make the move. Just jump in with what you know and work your plan. You might come up short in the end but with a little more practice and development, consistency will win this game. Before long someone will take a chance on you. Nothing in this world still has been able to resist the consistent human presence. You will get this done if you just do not give up as a result of rejection or failure.