Four Questions You Must Answer

Most people wander aimlessly through their career. You have probably not given much thought to planning your future.  And hey, let’s face it, with the economic volatility these days, who could blame you for focusing on day-to-day survival…

I could and I do blame you. 

This is the perfect time to take control of your future.  Many of the people who used to compete with you for business have given up.  A little planning and a lot of effort and you could set yourself up for a bright future if you have the desire to take control of your destiny.

No matter what the calendar says, or what activity is happening in your business, this is your opportunity to begin the strategic planning process. Strategic planning is just a fancy phrase for setting goals that will help position your firm for success in the next year and beyond.

Below are the four key questions you must answer:

Question 1: What will your business look like in 3 years?

This is often the toughest question for a business leader to answer.  It shouldn’t be.  But it often is.  Three years is not that far away.  It’s the year after, the year after next.  

Think about how you will create positive changes in your business during the next 36 months.  Think about sitting at your kitchen table with a cup of coffee or an adult beverage on December 31, three years from now.  What will you have accomplished?  What will your annual revenue be?  How much money will you have made?  Who will your clients be?  What will you be working on? 

You are the architect of your future.  

Question 2: How will this impact your life?

As a business leader, this success will have an impact on you personally. The question is, how? 

It is important you spend time thinking about the direct, positive impact your success will have on your life.  Make it personal.  Become emotionally invested in your future success.

Question 3: Who do you need to know in order to make this happen?

You cannot and should not take on the world alone. You will need to enlist the help of many people on your journey. Make a list with the names of those people on it. If you don’t know specifically who they are, list the type of person or the position of the person you need to enlist.

Don’t be a hero and take on the world by yourself.  Think about the people you need to hire, the relationships and strategic alliances you need to develop and the vendors and service providers you will need to engage.

Question 4: What is the first step?

This is probably the most important question to answer.

You only want to plan the first step in your journey.  After you complete that step, you can plan the next step and so on. 

Your future may not seem real and if you have set proper goals it should appear unattainable – today.  But the first step should be relatively easy. 

That, by the way, is the true key to achieving your goals…take one small step each day to get closer to each of your goals. 

Every day.  Do something.  Anything.  Small.  Inch by inch and you will get there.