In the past few weeks things have been interesting. Since December 6th, 2010 until May 25th, 2014, I was in graduate school. My focus and planning have been towards that end. Now that it is here the next phase starts. And that means planning at a different level. Am I a planner? Yes. No matter what level you are at in life planning is a necessary part of moving forward, and it is continual.
Past opportunities to engage in strategic planning with businesses has given me a respect for the process and tool as well as new perspective on how it can be used. Learning strategic planning from a business perspective caused me to think about other applications for it. Often I take business principles and apply them to my life. Strategic planning for my life is something that can move me the next level and is imperative. And it is the same for you.
My personal strategic plan is the foundation of everything. It is the vision of the future on paper. Entering this new phase requires personal research and reflection, understanding the new phase, comprehending my motivation, and exploration of possible scenarios and challenges. My tendency is to just keep going, and it might be yours too. We have to be careful with that and take time to plan, then, act. This may sound tedious, but truly it is not. Last year, I did personal strategic planning sessions called Sygnature Solutions: Strategic Planning for Life & Business that were 90 minutes long. They focused on “You”. You have to understand that your ability to think, act, and produce results are the most crucial, beneficial, useful, and valuable assets you possess. You have all you need inside to create what you want strategically, but there are steps you have to take to get the greatest return on your energy (ROE). Yes, like a return on investment (ROI), there is a return on energy. I like to work smarter not harder and use my energy to yield the greatest return by planning strategically.
After speaking my closest friend, who I have known since we were 8 years old, about what I planned to develop she shared a similar interest. We found that the best place for me to be was probably near her. That was not in the plans from the beginning. I planned to move to San Antonio and make that home. In fact, she has been talking to me about Arlington, Texas for 9 years and I rejected it every time. Recently, I went to Arlington, with a different set of eyes. And came home having to revamp my plan. I had to rethink, regroove, and get moving on it. I realized that I needed to get back to the planning and do it strategically. My goal was to be in Arlington by the end of the year, but I took the leap, put in my notice with our property manager, gathered boxes, sold all the big things. And, I do mean it. In fact, I donated our couch to a local shelter that gives furniture to women who are leaving the shelter and need to furnish their new apartment. With that said, there was planning to be done and logistics to be ironed out. Part of planning was answering specific questions to help me focus on what is going to move me closer to my goal quickly like:
- What are my skills?
- What can I refine?
- What are the opportunities open to me?
- What things interfere or disrupt my progress?
These are just the beginning. I’ve been here all of a week and I’m impatient! However, there is a process to be followed and it will all fall into place at the right time. Yet, the idea of making business personal is simply making it all matter. Whatever I do it has to mean something to me. All of my focus in graduate school was on working with youth and teens who were in foster care, aging-out or who had aged out, as well as on depression and grief in communities of color. I know that could all play out in a multitude of business opportunities and even jobs. What is most important is that I take stock of what matters to me in life. What I value will guide my business and life choices – and he same could be said for you.
Years ago I wrote a manual meant to propel people into the life of their dreams and I am using that to move myself into this new phase expediently. That may not be easy, comes with its own challenges, and pushes me out of my comfort zone, but the opportunity to live what has only been a dream is what keep me determined to make business personal.
What are some of your plans for the rest of the year?