I’ve never been one to look back and reflect on my wins or losses or even the lessons I have learned in the past. However, this year is different for me. 2017 was the first year I actually sat down and wrote out my goals line by line so I knew exactly what I needed to accomplish for the year. As you can imagine, 2017 was my biggest year yet and I believe it was because I had a clear path drawn out to follow.

One of the best lessons I learned in 2017 is actually one of the most simplistic lessons you could ever imagine.

To give you a little more context I began this year with absolutely no clarity or guidance and was literally just winging it. It didn’t take long before I was introduced to this new concept that a few of my friends were practicing religiously. 

I’m not going to do the traditional way of writing where I hide this idea all the way until the end because it’s so powerful I want you to know right up front so you can truly grasp this.

Strategic Planning.

Crazy right? 

For people like us, the ones who absolutely cannot stop doing and forget to plan, it is challenging to sit down and map out an idea. We are fueled by the momentum we receive by placing ideas in motion even if we have absolutely no idea what the next steps are.

The downside to being one of us is that we are more likely to fail with our ideas than those who strategically plan them out. It makes business so much easier when you know what you’re aiming for and how you plan to get there. When you just wing it, your likelihood to succeed is cut in half.

I don’t want you to confuse this with spending years and years planning without actually implementing anything. I simply wanted to share this idea with you so that way you can mix strategic planning with executing so you can conquer 2018.

Strategic planning mixed with execution is the key. 

It forces clarity and increases your chances of success.

When you’re able to piece these two together like a beautifully written melody, success is almost guaranteed. Think about this for a second. If you’re able to create an idea, completely map out an entire game plan on how to make it successful, then put all of the wheels in motion to make it happen, you win. 

I can remember an idea I had a while back. It was to start this vinyl sticker business. It just popped in my head one night so I literally in that moment went online and ordered my vinyl plotter machine. 

I came home after work and immediately started cutting the box open and setting everything up. It was incredible. I was going to start another business.

I sort of knew what I was doing from the multiple YouTube videos I had watched while I was waiting for the machine to show up.

What I didn’t know was how I was going to sell stickers. Who I was going to sell them to. What my margins would be. How much vinyl cost. Anything.

I knew literally nothing. I did no research. 

I shut the business down. We did turn a small profit, but it wasn’t anything crazy.

I can only imagine what would have happened if I just stepped back and began researching the industry. Learned what good margins would be and where the best place to purchase vinyl in bulk would be.

I missed out on a good opportunity because I simply didn’t slow down and think about it.

Can you remember a time where you didn’t plan anything?