How to fall in love with business planning

by | May 8, 2012

If you’ve ever been in love, you know how delicious it can be. How it lights up your life. How it sweetens your vision for the future. And how good it makes you feel about yourself.

Believe it or not, you can have a similar experience with–get this–business planning. This post explains how on earth that might be true, even if you think you are too creative, spontaneous, or ADD to plan successfully.

Falling in love begins with a spark

It could be the way he crooks his head when he’s thinking. Or the way she moves across a room. Whatever it is, there was an initial spark that started it all.

When it comes to planning, many Accidental Entrepreneurs forget about the spark. They want their relationship with planning to begin with, at the very least, a cozy fire. But to have a happy relationship with planning, you need to find the spark first, then coax it into flame.

The spark is an inkling that planning could help

The initial spark doesn’t need to be dramatic. Leaving aside for the moment whether you want to plan or believe you could succeed at it, you’ve probably had an inkling that planning could help.

That inkling is your spark.

Coax the spark

When you’re falling in love, attention coaxes the spark into flame. The more awareness you bring to the potential of the relationship, the brighter the fire.

How would it be to recruit your multi-sensory attention to imagining warmth and aliveness around planning?

Get curious. What would be possible if you could plan happily? What new horizons would open up? What would happen to your confidence and motivation?

Hang out and keep looking

It goes without saying that you need to hang out together for a relationship to develop. That goes for your relationship with planning as well.

But, as in a love affair, you need to hang out in the expectation that doing so will be rewarding.

To fall in love with planning, you need to spend some time with it. Enough time to get familiar with a process. You may have to date a few different styles of planning before you find the best one.

So don’t throw up your hands when the first method you try doesn’t fit. Be as persistent and creative as you would be in looking for the love of your life.

Make a commitment

There comes a time when you need to commit. You usually have to make a leap of faith to do it. There will be things you just can’t know for sure. There will probably be some gritchiness along with the delight.

But you know that without a commitment, no real relationship can develop.

In business, this means sticking with a reasonably appealing planning method and being willing to work through problems.

Choose not only to trust the process, but also to devote yourself to making it succeed.

Feel the love

Know why the passion goes out of long term relationships?

I think it’s because the partners forget to feel the love. They take each other and the pleasure of each other’s company for granted. They stop delighting in the sweet little things, and they let sour details take over.

The way to feel the love in your relationship with planning is to notice and celebrate increments of success.

Did you do what you said you were going to do today? Feel the love.

Did you three actions this week toward launching your blog? Feel the love.

The nitty gritty of my love affair with planning

Here’s my personal recipe for falling in love with planning and keeping the love alive.

  1. Cultivate your creative spark. For the sake of what are you in business? What important goals does planning serve?
  2. Coax the spark into flame. How would your life and work unfold if you were able to focus and make steady progress toward your vision? What difference would that make?
  3. Hang out. Choose a planning method and spend enough time with it to understand
    how it works. Give it a real chance to work. I suggest spending 30 days with a system before you abandon it. (It helps to go into this with the intention to like it, instead of the conviction that you’re going to hate it.)
  4. Assess. At 30 days, assess what worked and what didn’t in your relationship with planning. If you gave it your best shot (be honest), go ahead and choose a different method for the next 30 days.
  5. Commit. Hey, it may not be perfect, but you can tell that, with a time and attention, this could work for you. So commit already. Decide how and when you are going to show up for planning.
  6. Feel the love. Each day, choose one action–it can be tiny–that moves your plan forward. Declare it on a sticky note or email it to a friend. Do it at the earliest opportunity, and celebrate success when you’ve done it.

You make the relationship magical

You make your relationship with planning magical when you infuse the everyday parts with creativity, heart, and commitment. The more attention you put into the process, and the more appreciation with which you observe it, the greater the magic.

And the way the magic shows up is that you get what you want from your business.

The origins of Shaboom and an invitation to apply for individual coaching

The name of my company, Shaboom, is taken from a tune written and recorded by The Chords in 1954. The refrain, “Life could be a dream” captures the promise and impermanence of dreams. It calls us to be bold, visionary, and creative. It honors intuition and alternate ways of knowing. And it reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.

It’s exactly what I want for myself and for my clients.

This fall I’m opening up my practice to five new individual clients. This is a rare opportunity to work with me at a deep level to unleash your creativity, hook up your genius, and take bold action to create your dreams. I’m interviewing prospective clients now. To learn more and apply, please click here:
Photo from Flickr by: pianoplayerontheroof