Preparation approaches

mountainroadThis is the end of week six of the new year, and I was wondering how you've been keeping up with the resolutions you've formulated, the goals and objectives you've set for yourself. Are you still on track?

I spent the better part of this week writing a handbook on how I started my coaching practice. It will be the basis for the speech I will give at next month's FIGT conference and provides information ranging from "what's a coach like" via "how to write a business plan" to "get started and meet clients". I'll be refining it some more, but am happy to make the handbook available as a PDF download after the conference, just send me an email to let me know you're interested.

Here's a taste on how to approach business plan writing. These strategies fit for general goal setting as well. Which way works best for you? I look forward to your comments and feedback!

Forward Planning You can go through the each segment of your business plan and answer the questions one by one to get an idea of what your future business is going to look like. This option will be more attractive to you when you prefer working with facts and realities, basing your plans on your past experience, and applying it to the here and now. If you tend to think in a linear way and feel comfortable with familiar ways of doing things, planning forward will allow you to pay attention to the details and get things done. Still, you may surprise yourself at what result actually manifests itself!

Example: you know Valentine's Day is on the 14th of February. If you call your honey now, you can arrange a date for that evening. You should probably call the restaurant tomorrow to reserve a table, because you know they fill up on "holidays" like this one. When you go out the day before, and buy flowers, chocolates, exquisite shaving cream, or a personalized iPod and present your honey with it, you can be pretty sure there'll be happy faces.

Reverse Engineering Another approach is to visualize the end result before you start going through the questions. Can you see yourself sitting behind your desk in your future office, taking care of business, giving presentations, holding successful client interviews? What does it feel like, what colors are your folders, how do you see yourself? If you are a creative, imaginative person, and tend to think future-oriented about what could be, this option may be more attractive to you. It allows you to focus on connections and potential, taking imaginary leaps without being bound by empirical proof. You still have to pay attention to detail in your vision of your goal, because those details will help you figure out the answers to the following questions.

Example: you imagine your honey's face break into a big smile, maybe some happy tears, and definitely hugs and kisses. Hugs and kisses and the feeling of romance and connection are your goal for that evening. In order to get to this point you'll have to have put some strategic wheels in motion. Before you get your honey to even smile, you'll have had to buy or prepare something. In order to have time to buy or prepare something, you'll have had to set some time aside to organize it. Got it? Unless you're in the kind of relationship where smiles, hugs and kisses ensue for no particular reason, you lucky, lucky person. If that's the case, do share and leave a comment!

Until next time, have a good one!

Thanks to Constantin for the free image.

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