I’m not big on sports, but I know that a coach develops a game plan before his team faces opponents. The game plan is executed to give the players the best chance of winning the game. He does this by studying the other team.
I used to be a decent chess player about 30 years ago. I’ve since lost the power or the ‘want-to’ to focus that much. In chess, you have to think ahead about your own moves and your opponents. And run scenarios through your head; if your opponent does this, you need to know what moves you’ll have available. If your opponent does another move, you need to anticipate that too. See? It can be a real challenge working through a strategy.
Back to the coach’s game plan. It maps out possible obstacles the team might face when coming up against the opponent. This prediction is based on countless reruns of the opponent’s previous games. That gives the coach knowledge about obstacles his or her team might face.
Rather than being blindsided by plays not anticipated, the coach is able to prevent, or at least be aware of. the blindside by making sure his team is ready to counteract them.
It pays to have the mindset of a coach and a chess player when you’re planning your own strategies for life.
Starting a business without a game plan is almost sure to fail. I mean, sometimes it works, a person hits their sweet spot and something they love just turns into a business. But for the rest of us, finances, competition, plans for future expansion, hiring and more must be considered. All too often, we start out by buying training for this, training for that, trying to follow along, but we have no real plan for ourselves. And then…
when obstacles come along that we weren’t prepared for, we get overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent most of my time being in overwhelm over the course of my online life trying to build a business.
So, what can we do?
Before we begin any plan for the future, it’s imperative that we research what that plan entails and take steps to prevent being blindsided. There are problem areas in anything that’s worth pursuing, but knowing what those problems are can save us time, money and help us succeed, rather than fail.
I say we and us, because I’m right there with you. In a way, I’m pretty much starting at the beginning again. It’s not completely from scratch, but it is back to the beginning…which is a good place to start, right?
One of the big problems I face is a negative mindset. I had it mostly whooped in the past, but when you don’t keep working on these things and keep a constant vigil, it can resurface. Experts say that before you even begin, you should expect to win rather than fail. Fear of failure causes setbacks that are hard to overcome. (So does fear of success, but that’s a story for another time.)
Another problem that has made many good ideas tumble is trying to do too much. Oh yes, I know that one all too well, which is why I worked out my CALM Plan. The tricky part is remembering to use it.
When you don’t give yourself enough time to complete one goal before it’s time to move on to another, it’s easy to become discouraged and frustrated with the process. Or if you have too many ideas and start on the exciting new one instead of finishing the current one.
What should you do?
Break down the large goals into mini-ones that you can achieve and manage well. Trying to do too much can also lead to another problem – making excuses about why you can’t go on with the project. Excuses are obstacles that you develop on your own.
Take responsibility for what you’ve created – either the confusion and chaos in your plan – or the success. Make a commitment to achieving your goals and then take action to do just that. TIP: ==> Find a way to remove the confusion and chaos.
Procrastination is another obstacle that you need to anticipate and guard against. When you put off what you need to do, the chance may never come again. Procrastination creates a complacency that keeps you from getting anything done that’s worthwhile. Learn more about strategic planning from Lynn Terry.
Finally, continuing to live in your comfort zone may hinder progress and become an obstacle that keeps you from ever realizing success. Even though you may be excited and happy to work on your goals now, there is a danger that you will abandon them because you fear the unknown. Yes, stepping out of your comfort zone is hard, but you don’t have to jump completely out of it. A better way to think about it is to expand it. You can take small steps to expand it. 😉
Don’t let fear or other obstacles keep you from your life’s dreams and goals. You can’t expect to overcome every fear you have at once. But you can prioritize them and start breaking them down into smaller tasks. Over time it will become easier. Keep pushing so you can live your life moving forward instead of in a state of stagnation. Develop a game plan that works. My really simple plan can help you get started.
All the best,