When to plan, and when to get cracking!

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I’ll let you into a secret. I’m really good at helping clients to get on with the things they’ve been putting off and holding them accountable to taking action.

But I go through all the same mental faffing myself when I want to make a big change in my business.

This month I’ve started something new that I’ve been toying with for a while. I’ve been umming and ahhing; thinking it through; considering all the ways I could get it wrong; trying to come up with the perfect strategy and basically avoiding getting on with it!

So I thought it would be useful to capture and share my own reflections on this, now that I’ve got out of my own way and just got cracking.

Obviously the first thing I ought to explain is what it is that I’ve actually done, so you know what I’m rabbiting on about!

Well, I’ve launched a new Facebook group called The Business Growth Community. Now that might not sound like a big deal, but it’s actually a key step in my plans to build a much bigger brand online this year and be able to offer more online group coaching programmes. Getting this wrong or launching a complete flop could have been a real dent in my business plan.

So what are my biggest lessons from doing this?

Stop speculating about what might go wrong

All those ‘what if’ thoughts that you allow to run around your head when you’re planning something new will only ever achieve one thing – procrastination! Anything that’s inside your head will feel out of control and probably out of proportion.

The best way to combat this is to stop thinking about them and get them all down on paper. That will show you definitively how many things you genuinely do need to plan for and also gives you perspective on how many of your doubts are probably fairly trivial.

Once you have everything written down you can look at which potential issues need to be dealt with or mitigated against and which just need to be ploughed on through.

So questions that I absolutely had to address before I could start included things like what to call the group. You can’t have a group without a name!

Whereas many of the things that felt very important could actually be worked out as I went along. Those were questions like who to invite into the group and what to post  in there.  I already post a lot of business hints and tips onto social media so I knew I had plenty of content I could share while I pinned down the ongoing plan. No need to use that as an excuse to not get started!

I took the advice that I so often give to my own clients … that there will almost certainly never be a perfect time to get started, and if you wait for that time to arrive there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting forever. Build a basic plan and just get cracking!

Be clear about your purpose

Before I created the group I wrote out my aims for it and broadly mapped out the vision and values that I wanted the group to adhere to. This is one of those classic ‘I haven’t got enough time now, so I’ll  get round to it next week’ tasks. It’s something that feels like it’s going to take at least a couple of hours when in fact it took me about 20 to 30 minutes.

The lesson here was that I already knew all the answers, I just needed to get them out of my head and down on paper. Now!

I very quickly mapped out my intentions for the group to have a strong community feel; to be a safe place for people to ask questions about business growth; to provide a platform for great people to share their own knowledge and be able to demonstrate their credibility; and for it to be lighthearted but with none of the awful trashy posts that we so often see on social media.

Once I had this pinned down, getting on with things became so much easier. The group name almost chose itself during this process. Who to invite and what sort of posts to share in the first few days became clear.

Be prepared to adapt as you go

I knew that I wanted to avoid creating a plan that was too rigid and that could limit my options. With my purpose for the group very clear I decided to ‘go with the flow’ for the first few days and respond to how the group was shaping naturally. One of the first members inspired a great idea about knowledge sharing and showcasing the group’s own members that I’ve decided to make a regular feature.

The lesson there was to seek feedback and not feel that I had to have all of the answers or make all of the decisions myself. Customers can give us some great feedback about the best direction if we take the time to listen.

 

So those are my shared lessons and I hope that there might be a snippet in there that you can apply to your own business to help you get cracking with something you’re putting off.

Obviously you’re dying to know how the group is progressing so it would be rude of me to disappoint you! From wondering whether anybody at all would want to join, I’m really pleased that there are already 215 members in the first 10 days and it’s already starting to develop that genuine community feel that I was aiming for.

So I know that, by now, you’re chomping at the bit to go and join the new group so you can do that here: The Business Growth Community

And if you’ve read this and you’re still thinking that you want to get started with something in your own business but you can’t get past the doubts or the procrastination then get in touch and I’ll see if I can help you get cracking.

And if you’ve enjoyed this blog please leave me a comment below or feel free to share it through your own social media pages.

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