The Shortest Distance Between Two Points is a Zigzag
Hi everyone, this is business coach, Anthem Salgado from ArtofHustle.com. I want to introduce to you to a concept familiar to sailors, which is that of tacking. You all remember from geometry that the shortest route between two points is a straight line. But in sailing, when you’re dealing with environmental factors, winds, and water, and all kind of other things that you need to take into consideration, the shortest route between two points, between point A and point B might actually be a zigzag or it may be a curved line. And that is something that sailor has to keep in mind, and make adjustments for as he or she moves forward onto their destination.
Burn Your Business Plan
How is this related to business? Well, first, I want to describe to you two things that commonly happen. Now in a lot of businesses, folks tend to start out with a grand business plan. And if you’ve listened to any number of lectures or read any number of books on the topic, you’ll hear as a recurring statement that the grand business plan that you create before you start your business soon after you actually launch your business will have its best use as kindling for a fire. Maybe a doorstop for some entry way into the building. You might use it as a step-stool to get to tall objects in your facility. Basically, it becomes useless because you have no idea how the market is going to respond to your grand vision. And immediately, you’ll have to make adjustments that you’ll have had no way of imaging when you created your grand business plan.
Surviving Isn’t Thriving
After a lot of people start their businesses, they end up reverting to an extreme opposite of this grand business plan, which is constant pivoting. Pivoting is very important because it shows that you have some level of flexibility, of dexterity. But as the word describes, pivoting happens typically within a very small space and time frame. So people, who become very talented in pivoting, end up using it way too much. In other words, living in a state of emergency. Tackling things as they become urgent, but not necessarily because they are important. And that’s because there’s not enough distance in the day-to-day or the week-to-week or the month-to-month to actually recognize what those priority projects should be.
Setting A New Course
Tacking is what I believe to be the perfect in between day-to-day pivoting, and long-term potentially pie in the sky not realistic business planning. The best way is to create a quarterly plan, a.k.a., your 90-day plan. It’s just enough distance to reach for, take you away from the weeds, so to speak. But it’s not so far out that you lose track of why you’re going or where you’re going to. It’s something that is highly measurable, highly actionable, and it’s got a deadline that’s coming up soon, but not so soon that it freaks you out, and not so far away that it relieves too much pressure. It’s like setting a point out on the horizon, and saying, “We’re going to go this way, but we also don’t know what winds or waters will be doing so we will prepare ourselves to make adjustments as needed.” But we’re not going to be all fidgety, and jerky, and spastic with our decisions. We’re going to be very conscious and deliberate and present with our decisions to go left or right, slow down or speed up.
Surround Yourself With Those On The Same Mission As You
Here’s my other tip. 90-day plans unless you’re a master of them out of the gate, I would recommend you do it in a group setting. The group setting has a couple of benefits. It has accountability, it has support. You can ask people questions. You can ask people to challenge you. You can see if your goals are realistic, given where you are. Maybe they need to be more of stretch goals on the flipside of that. So a group setting where you’re surrounding yourself by like-minded, like-hearted individuals who are also aspiring to grow themselves and to grow their practices would be hugely beneficial in you actually completing and holding yourself accountable to your 90-day plan.
I create 90-day plans, and I know for myself, even though I recommend them, that it would be very difficult for me to create in isolation, in some kind of bubble, in a vacuum. And so I too, every three months meet up with a big group of awesome individuals who are also working towards, in a sense, a common goal though very specific and individualized for their own businesses. But we’re all going the same direction. We all have the same mindset, and we all have the same work ethic, and it’s very energizing to be able to do. So if you could find a group of people to share that experience with, I would highly recommend it.
Tacking Toward Success
And at the end of your 90-day plan, you create another 90-day plan so that would be in a sense the actual big turns that you’re making for your figurative boat. So you’re not just acting very erratically, you’re moving with purpose for long distances, staying on the course until such time that you get a chance to visit your plan, and make those adjustments, and again, go off for another long stretch, and see what works and what doesn’t work in that next long stretch, that next 90 days. That’s probably the best planning tool you can implement for yourself, and for your business. Day to day survival is all well and good. It is not sustainable however. It does lead to burnout. And business planning where you basically plan out the next ten years, you’re totally profitable in the first year, you know that pie-in-the-sky business plan that you create before you start totally worthless the second you launch. So this is that perfect in between that everybody should be creating for themselves. I know you will find it useful so I’m going to highly encourage you to get started on that today.
One more time, this is business coach, Anthem Salgado. Thank you for tuning in.