In 2008 I was working fast and furious. I would go to sleep at night thinking about a business problem and would wake up in the morning or even in the middle of the night thinking about a business problem.
In business a very critical exercise is creating the business plan, in many ways the journey of creating the business plan is as important as the plan that results. The task of creating a business plan is a forcing mechanism. It forces you to think through and analyze you mission, you goals, the obstacles, the financial considerations. It causes you took look at where you want to be, where you are today, and what you have to do to get there. It also serves to focus everyone involved and get everyone on the same page.
Towards the end of 2008 I came across an article titled The Power of a Written Individual Development Plan.
The Harvard Business School Goal Story
In the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack tells a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program.
In that year, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
I started researching and came across the concept of a life plan. I read an article by Michael Hyatt titled 7 Reasons Why You Need a Written Life Plan . Michael has since expanded that into a ebook. Basically it had a lot of similarities to a business plan but applied to you life in general (not just your career).
My initial priorities or “life accounts” were:
- Self – Health, Growth, Rest
I took some immediate actions and implemented them. In business, your business plan is your guiding document, it should not be static, it needs to be reviewed and adjusted at least annually if not quarterly. The same diligence must be performed for a life plan to realize the same benefits.