Earlier on in my career, when I worked in the IT industry, I was working for a technology company that served schools. I was a salesman and in the few busy months of my first year we made 2 million dollars in sales. That happened without any planning, so imagine what we could have done if we did have a plan. We spent half a day coming up with a plan and the goal ended up being to make 30 million dollars in sales. It was a huge jump, but guess what? We did it. We went from 2 to 30 million and all it took was a little planning.
The only way we were able to achieve that goal was because we made a plan and arranged all the details beforehand.
The following three examples will show you different ways that planning is important:
1. Let's say you want to travel from New York to Miami. You don’t know how to get there, but you know it takes 24 hours. If you just start driving and continue for 24 hours, you may end up on the opposite side of the country, near the west coast. That is why we use a GPS or map. We have to plan our trips so we don’t have to hit any unnecessary roadblocks.
2. Teachers always have lesson plans, but why? Don’t they know the material?
If they don’t follow a lesson plan then it’s very easy to get distracted or stay on a topic too long and end up falling very behind in the curriculum.
3. Every architect has a blueprint. It’s non negotiable. If they don’t have one they would never be able to get the workers on the same page. With no plan/direction nothing would get accomplished.
These examples highlight what a plan does for us:
Saves time, increases efficiency, and achieves the desired result
Avoids unnecessary roadblocks and prevents detours
Allows you to input resources where you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. With a plan you can insert different people with different skills into the project and they will know what to do because of the plan.
If you don’t quit, you’ll be successful at some point, but will that be in 10 years or 1? If you have a written plan you will become successful much faster.
It’s important to remember a plan is evolving. There will be detours, but that’s okay. Just shift your plan with it. The plan is the starting point and you can always go back and adjust it.
Anatomy of a Plan:
“Begin with the end in mind”
It’s all great on paper, but without action it won’t get anywhere. Take the time to establish your goal and create a plan.