“Steph, I have a client that is really resisting doing their annual plan.They hired me to help them with strategic planning for this next year, but every time we sit down, they find a reason to stall the conversations. Any ideas? I've tried all of the different types of planning techniques and tools that I know. The client says they want to get the plan done, but I'm wondering if they really mean it. Thoughts?”
Today, I'll share my response to the question above and I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments too.
Resistance to planning can stem from a number of directions. From reading your posts and tapping into a bit of my inner knowing, I don't perceive this having to do as much with the tool as with her mindset.
Successful Planning = taking full responsibility for the outcome.
Any deep rooted fears will crop to the surface when you take full responsibility for your life.
Fear of failure is one that many coaches think of, but I've actually found that fear of success is the most common among those that I coach. (and the fear I had to work through.)
Before you get tactical looking at the tool, make sure you have worked through your client's blocks. It sounds as if there may be some unconscious beliefs that are blocking the client from being able to plan.
Ask yourself (or your client)
What will happen when a full plan that drives a successful business is complete?
What are the drawbacks of having a well planned out business?
Here is an example for you.
My #1 responsibility in life is to be a good wife and mother. I am a recovering work-a-holic. A while ago, I was having a stall in my business. I came to realize that I was scared for my business to be successful. I had a lack of trust in myself. The fear was that I would let work-a-holic Stephanie come back and “take over.” The fear was that I'd be working so much that I would lose my health and family. Realistic? Not really, but that is what self-limiting thoughts do to a person!
Successful Planning = being fully aligned with your mission
Another reason that I see clients struggle with planning is because they are not totally in alignment with their mission. There is something that is not clear (client profile, business model, etc.)
Ask yourself (or your client)
When talking about your business are you excited?
Are you ready to rock the world and change lives?
If no, then maybe you are not totally clear yet on what you are creating.
I work with established successful business owners who often have issues here.
When blocks are out of the way, planning becomes fun!
Successful Planning = having the right tool for the job
Understand how you learn and think. Successful business plans can be 100% strategic or pull in detailed tactical stuff. Understand who you are and fit your tool to that. Many people believe that there is only one kind of planning. That is just not so!
Right Brained vs Left Brained Planning
Right-brained and left-brained people plan very differently. Doing the planning in a way that honors your thinking style will ensure success.
Intuitive vs Analytical Planning
Yes, you can create spreadsheets with lots of data, but there are many successful entrepreneurs that use inspired action to drive their business too. It's planning, but in a much less analytical form.
Note, inspired action or intuitive planning is not the same as “winging it.” There is still a plan and a strategy.
Why “Winging It” Doesn't Work in the Long Term
Most of the business people that I talk to that fly by the seat of their pants and “wing it” are always feeling rushed and pressured. They are the same people I talk to that say that they don't plan because they want to be free.
Is it really freedom if you are stressed all the time!? Is it really fun to be constantly putting out fires?
Freedom for me means that I'm not working all of the time. I'm doing things that I love with people that I love in addition to work that I love. Things in business and life are in flow.
What Do You Do?
Please share the tips, tricks and strategies that work for you. How do you stay focused on your purpose and drive that vision forward?
until we talk again,
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday