Developing A Strategy - How do you reach your goals?
Due to travel commitments, there will be no blog post on July 25th, 2022. Thank you.
I receive many emails requesting I talk about different types of strategies. Strategies in life, as well as in business. Believe it or not, there is not much difference between the two. Let's look at the definition of a strategy.
"A strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim."
With that said, does it make sense that we have an overall goal in life and business, we also have an overall goal? Of course, it does. Goals do not have to be the same regardless of what you are trying to achieve. Also, the strategies to get you there do not have to be the same. However, the basics of developing a strategy are the same, regardless of the goal.
This also means you do not have to stick to one goal. You can have many goals. You can add, change, or forget about them as you please. Keep in mind that a GOAL is NOT a STRATEGY. The goal is your desire. The strategy is what it will take to achieve it. Some people may call it a plan, others a strategy. In reality, they are the same when used as nouns. As verbs, their meaning varies slightly. I am referring to them when used as a noun. You can say I am formulating a plan to open a business or a start to open a business.
The basics of forming a plan or strategy begins with knowing what you are trying to achieve. What is your goal or end goal? Many people are not successful for some of, or all of, the following reasons.
- They did not define their goal
- They failed to follow their strategy
- They did not set smaller goals along the way
- Failure to re-evaluate
Notice in the picture the coach is planning a strategy for a play. However, the important thing to note is that various other steps are taking place, which helps the overall strategy to succeed.
A strategy is a multifaceted and delicate equation. Meaning it has many moving parts. Pats that must fall into place at the proper time. Does a boxer step into the ring without training first? Jumping right into anything is a receipt for failure. The present state of our economy is a perfect example of that.
I stated earlier that your strategy for different goals would probably differ depending on the goals. However, to simplify it, there are three things you MUST consider.
How, When, and Where.
How - what is the best way to achieve your goals within your means?
When - when do you implement certain parts of your plan?
Where- where does each step of your strategy fall into place?
A simple example. Your goal is to save 100 dollars in four weeks. First, you answer how. That one is simple. You break down how much you need to save each week. That equals 25 dollars each week. When is also simple. When you get paid every week. Where is also simple. In the bank. If you follow that strategy in four weeks, you will have saved $100.00.
We all know that life is not that simple. It is far more complex. However, the basics do not change, regardless of the complexity of your goal.
This gets a bit tricky because there are more parts to your strategy. A strategy that will require some research. For example. When I opened my business, the first question I asked myself was, IS THERE A NEED? IF you already have two pizza restaurants on the same block, is there a need for a third?
Once you determine the need, is the exposure there? I paid to have a traffic count done. Meaning how many cars passed the location, I was looking at each day. That number I found changed almost daily, but not significantly enough for me to discard the location as a possibility. Easy so far, right? Here comes all the other parts. Can you afford it, or do you need to have the bank as a partner? If so, then you need a business plan to show the bank. A business plan is a layout showing the bank you will make the money that will enable you to pay back the loan. However, forming a business plan is for another blog post.
Is there already business space available, or will you need to build? If other businesses are there, could they help to be a draw for your business? Are you willing to put up your home as collateral? Let's face it. It's a new business, and the bank isn't going to give you the money without something to fall back on. Let's say all of this goes well, and you decide to proceed. Now the next steps enter the equation. Do you need interior construction for your business space, displays, lighting, or electrical work? Whatever the space you select will need to attract customers and sell your products. These needs will change depending on your type of business.
What will it cost you to stock your store? First, keep in mind that you are still just working on paper. Why, because you must be sure you have a good chance of making money.
It's like walking a path. It will be an uphill climb, but if you do it right and do your homework, you can reach the top of the hill and watch your success fly to higher levels.
But your strategy has only just begun. First, you must consider advertising, marketing, and, most importantly, what is your niche? What will bring people to you rather than your competitor?
Each aspect we are talking about is a critical part of your strategy to be able to turn the key and open the door on your first day. How will each step fall into place? What timeframes or constraints do you have? Like that coach who was drawing out the play, each player needs to move and be where they are supposed to be at the right time for the play to work. That is called executing the play. The same applies to you. You must execute your strategy.
This is why I say a strategy in life and business is virtually the same. In life, you choose your goal. Then, break them down into smaller goals. Why do you think you do that? You do it for self-satisfaction. As people, the human condition tells us that when we do not see progress quickly, we tend to give up.
Let me give you another simple example. We can all relate to this example because we have all wanted to shed a few pounds at some point in our lives. So let's say you want to lose 70 pounds. First, you must realize it will not happen overnight. That is fine if you set your focus and the weight you want to be at. That is your goal. Now for the strategy. If all you watch is how quickly or slowly you reach your target weight, that will be your recipe for failure. It will take you too long, and you will not feel much gratification and sense of accomplishment and give up.
The correct strategy would be to determine and be realistic when you want to lose 70 pounds. So let's say you want to lose ten pounds a month. Your strategy would be to weigh yourself each week. From a physiological standpoint, you will feel self-gratification and increase your motivation to succeed as you reach the smaller goals, which eventually turn into your final goal. Does that make sense? As people, we need to see results. Positive results are what keep us motivated. Staying motivated makes you reach your final goal. You can succeed because you had a sound strategy and stuck to it.
However, in the case of any goal or goals, they must be realistic because you will never lose 70 pounds overnight.
This was a brief and simplified explanation of formulating a strategy, and it works. I have used this method my entire life in my business life as well as my personal life. Also, multiple studies prove that it works. But, even with that said, you must do the work. I can tell you how, show you how, and explain how, but n the end, you have to implement what you have learned.
A quick thought about not succeeding: do not think you will be successful every time. You will not. That DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE A FAILURE. I have said this many times. When we give anything 100%, it means we did not succeed. We only fail when we do not put 100% effort into it.
Never get confused about that. You may also find that what you are trying to do is not worth the effort, or you have a change of heart. That is fine and perfectly normal. However, once you formulate your strategy and start, know that you may have to modify it along the way, and you must constantly evaluate its effectiveness. Meaning, IS IT WORKING?
Everything we do in our lives, work, business, and play, is a series of constant evaluations. Without it, we cannot adjust, adapt, and overcome the problems along the way. A girl I dated used to make fun of me. She used to say, "You have a plan for everything." For the most part, she was correct. Mainly because every strategy or plan I had, I always had a backup way to go or knew I would need to modify it. Life happens. Things do not always go as planned. It is always better to be ready for it rather than let it catch you off guard and slow you down. Thank you.
Stay safe, be happy, and be well,
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