Having to write a business plan puts most entrepreneurs on edge. The traditional way of creating these plans has a strong fiscal focus and in-depth planning that many of us have yet to decode. The feeling of fear or incompetence that comes with such planning takes away from the joyful experience that visualizing and creating a business could be.
Lately, many people have been shifting the focus of their business and planning to less brain heavy plans to more heart-centered and intuitively guided. Now, before you toss the whole post in the trash, hear me out. We have been taught that business is serious and should be approached with all logic and reason. And while this is true to an extent, consumers, including your audience members, are quite discerning and wish to connect with real people. If you doubt the power of connection and following your heart in business look at the businesses of influencers on the various platforms. Many of them make money by just being themselves and showing others who they are and how they live. We spend over a billion hours a day watching YouTube videos, 1 billion!
I’d like to suggest that instead of getting turned off by terms such as heart-centred or soul-led when it comes to business we study those who are doing what they love and getting paid handsomely to do so. We spend more than a third of our lives working as a society so why should we not let our intuition decide how we serve and what we do for the highest good of all involved including ourselves? If you are still with me, smirk in place and disdain in your heart, keep reading, I promise this will get a little more rational. In today’s post, I have listed 3 steps to “planning” your business based on what makes you happy. Jim Rohn says, ” You should start a business when you have finished it.” What that means is, know the outcome by planning and visualizing so you know what to expect, for the most part. So, with that wisdom in mind, let’s use our minds and hearts in combination to create the best business or convert our current businesses into something we actually feel fulfilled doing.
The Planning Process
1-Decide what kind of business would make you happy
I recently heard it stated very clearly in a documentary on minimalism that most of our goals are not truly our own and are instead driven by society’s consumerism mindset. I found that thought quite disturbing and was even more perturbed by the facts I uncovered in my own life about “dreams” and the goals I had in the past. I remember a particular instance in which I had booked training with a coach who embodied an intense masculine energy that she used to drive her business. At the time, I wanted to hit six figures, “the new sign of making it,” but I had no idea why. As I went through the training trying to define my message and differentiate my brand in a very left brain dominant way, I got lost in the waves of confusion and was eventually swept under. After that time, I started to doubt my ability to start the kind of business I wanted because I didn’t know what it was. Now I have released all the unnecessary expectations from my mind and chosen instead to explore who I am and how this business serves the world. As I typed this my hard drive crashed leaving me to complete this post on my phone. Now, if that’s not an indication of energy in motion I don’t know what is, but I digress.
If you, like many entrepreneurs, want more out of your business than just money, and you want to have a massive impact on the world, then it might be best to let your heart show you where you are most needed and what you’re amazing at. The truth is the description of what you want to do doesn’t have to be anything profound. Lisa Nichols, the well-known transformation teacher and author said when she started she defined what she wanted to spend her life doing as running her mouth (talking),traveling and autographing anything. Now, I’m paraphrasing here, but if you look at her life today, you will see that she does just that, as a motivational speaker, an author and worldwide transformation coach. You’ve often heard the expression “you can’t hit a moving target,” I’d like to take it one step further and say, many people have no target and get hit by life’s default in the process.
To figure out what you love doing, look at your books, emails, podcasts, groups on social media and text messages. What is the common theme? What do you talk about most? Start there then see how others use it to serve and who they are serving.
2–Intersect passion,purpose and profit.
After taking a look at where you spend your time, look at what you fantasize about. Now, we’re not going into the fetish and freakish here, just as it pertains to work! What do you often think or say to yourself? So, for me, I often think, if I could just get paid a lot to write people’s stories and share law of attraction and self development information from my laptop, on a balcony, while I sip a cool drink and overlook the mountains I’d be set.
What do you do well, love doing and probably do for free currently? These things indicate your purpose and the way you live gives you hints of what you’re passionate about. What do you go on about? I have a friend who is into Formula 51, he knows everything about it and could probably write blogs or do podcasts on it if he wanted. He readily shares in-depth information and updates with everyone, whether you want them or not. That’s his passion. So now it’s time to get clear about yours. What do people get sick of hearing you talk about, write about or try to get them involved in? Once you’ve figured it out, take your fantasy and marry it to your passion, then see how you can make profit from it. Can you do anything different? Is there a problem you can solve or gap you can fill? Who needs the solution? What is the chatter around it? In the places you hang out are people willing to pay for a difference or an answer? This is the essence of market research. You simply must find out what is needed in your field of interest, who needs it and how your solution can serve them in a unique and convenient way.
3.Tell a Powerful Story
Marketing has become so over hyped that many people either overdo or underengage in it. The truth is though, once you know how your solution helps people, you won’t be able to stop yourself from sharing it.
To effectively market from a place of authenticity, you must first know that what you offer works. More than testing for feasibility of your idea, this involves testing and refining your transformation strategy. You should know that if customer X purchases your product or service and does A&B as instructed, they will experience Y outcome. Map out your solution, make it clear as day and try it in various ways. Learn what happens when people deviate from the instructions, so you can anticipate complaints. Play with your project and learn it well.
One of the biggest mistakes I see being made, and even I did it in the beginning was using customers seeking a solution as beta testers. I remember my first personal brand client and how much I had to learn to deliver very little value. I was not surprised when our contract ended less than amicably. I had not delivered what they needed.
So, before you think about launching and faking it until you make it, test your theories, products and estimations. Do not use potential customers as dummies unless they sign up for that. And once you know your solution is solid and delivers as promised, think about what difference it makes on a global scale. Ask yourself pressing questions to figure out how this impacts the world. For example if you sell skin care products, ask yourself who they help, why they help and how that changes their lives. Keep going until you get to when parents feel confident they give their best and raise better humans who in turn make the world a better place. It may seem like a stretch at first, but you need to be convinced that what you do has a massive positive impact or you will not have enough energy behind your why.
Finally, as you are planning or upgrading your business and feeling grateful for such a powerful connection to the world and how you get to serve, doubts and limiting beliefs will creep in. You may start wondering who do you think you are to have such high esteem of yourself and your ideas? Or, you may think it might not work, might not make a difference and your mind might scoff at the idea that your impact and reach could be global. Before you allow those thoughts to snuff out your joy, look again at YouTubers and the global impact some of the simplest vlogs, eating shows and videos have. Then, look around at people who are doing something similar and see the impact they are having. Focus on the people who have made it or are making it and do not allow fear or false beliefs to derail your dreams. They can do this and believe me, so can you.
Of course this isn’t an in-depth and financially focused plan, but a quick search can get you one of those anytime. Starting off with your heart in the right place and knowing your solution will help the right people will help give you clarity and confidence after which point you can focus on the more left brained and logical planning.