action plan

“We’re trying hard to balance our busiest work time with the never-ending to-do list. How to stay balanced and sane.” Amy Graver, question on LinkedIn.

My answer. Two levels, Amy.

1. Right now. Hire a personal assistant, someone like a concierge, who will handle all small issues for you with competence and aplomb–both business and personal. If you’re busy doing year-end billable work for your best clients, and you have someone else running around for you, picking up your cleaning, writing addresses for all your holiday cards, replacing the color toner cartridges, dealing with the caterer, getting your invoices out, you will be so-o-o happy. Plus rested and better off financially.

2. Planning ahead. All my clients do an action plan for the coming year. Goals, strategies, and action items. The action items are spread out over a year calendar. But first I have them write in their busy times, vacation times, etc. If holiday season is a crunch time, then they make sure they don’t pile extra things into that period.

The first things to enter are your personal “have a life” things. Why? Because the reason you are in business is to get to do the things you most want in life, including “have a life.” If you don’t do this, you might as well have a J-O-B!

Happy holidays! And may the new year bring you health, prosperity, and relaxation!


Inspired by Rochelle Moulton’s post on this topic

Resolution . . . Practically useless
Resolution plus Action Plan . . . Useful, maybe
Resolution plus Action Plan plus Support and Accountability . . . Now we’re talking real results!

I find that 80% of the business owners I work with make their goals. That’s because they take the time to set a practical plan, and they work together to keep each other on track.

Part of my 2011 resolution is to blog at least twice a week. Not just blogging for the heck of it, but as part of a strategy to build visibility and interaction.

I haven’t kept to this before, as you can tell. So I’m making a public declaration, and I have two levels of accountability:

— My wife BJ, who’s in the business with me, and who also lets writing deadlines slide. If this doesn’t break up our marriage, maybe we’ll instill some writing discipline in each other.

— I hold weekly problem-solving and goal-setting meetings with fellow consultant Janet Tokerud, who has several technology blogs and sets a good example for me.

I’ll be saying more about implementing the various parts of my “visibility and interaction” strategy in my twice-weekly blogs.


Lessons From a Gawdawful Year

January 21, 2010

“What if I was this cost-conscious in the good times?” “I saw how arrogant I had been.” “I let myself get discouraged.” “I only kept half an eye on the books.” “We lost sight of our goals.” “We should have laid people off sooner.”

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Sample short business plans

August 12, 2008

Q: I’d like to see some sample short business plans to use as models A: Shorter is better. My rule: “If you can’t write your plan on a page, you can’t get it done in a year anyway.” We conduct plan workshops every year, to help business owners complete their Action Plan for the coming […]

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