Monday, September 27, 2010

A Classroom for 5-Year Olds

This past weekend my place looked like either a classroom for 5-year olds, or a strategic planning session….and, in a sense, it was both.

I spent the weekend with flipchart pages thumbtacked to walls, taped to the backs of sliding glass patio doors, lying on the floors and tables, and even taped to the refrigerator door.

All the pages contained ideas, plans, areas on which to focus, areas to dump, goals and action steps. I've got drawings that look like a 5-year old drew them; arrows and circles and triangles, smiley and frowny faces, and one monster with a tongue sticking out and cuss words surrounding him.

I try to spend at least one weekend a year planning what the next 12-18 months will be like in my business. The exercise is fun, hard, exhilarating, sad (some of the areas I’m getting out of have been great to me and will mean seeing some good people I like less often), and sobering.

All the mess from the weekend is now boiled down to a few lines on a 3"x5" index card that I keep in my pocket at all times.

The average American spends more time planning their vacation than they do their work life. Lack of planning is why a lot of folks are in dire straits today.

Whether you have your own business or not it’s easy for the craziness and stress of life to pull you off track; this exercise gets you back on the track in the direction you need to go to have the life you want.

Pull out a piece of paper and try a short version of the exercise. Draw a circle in the middle of the paper and inside the circle write, “December 31, 2011.”

Who and where will you be?

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