Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Planning for Serenity

Serenity, in my experience, doesn't appear out of thin air. It's not the result of hours of meditation on a mountaintop (although meditation, on a mountaintop or otherwise, can't hurt) or prayers. Serenity is not namby-pamby or hippy-dippy, or any other rhyming put-down. You don't have to be pure of heart or devout to achieve it.

Instead, try this: Work on your business plan.

It's that time of year again: The end of the fourth quarter, when business owners everywhere are figuring out what deductible items to spend their money on lest they give it to Uncle Sam instead. And it's the time to plan your goals for next year. There are plenty of articles out there now browbeating you into creating a business plan.

If you're dragging in this department (and really, who isn't?), here's more incentive: As this article makes abundantly clear, lack of planning means you spend too much time making decisions instead of focusing on ways to fulfill your vision for your business. And that time-suck robs you of serenity.

Here's another reason: Making a business plan can amplify your serenity not just by clearing your mind of decisions laid out in your business plan, but by directing you towards a more fulfilling life. It does that by guiding you towards making business decisions that are in keeping with your most cherished values. I took an amazing business planning class taught by Erik Sherman a few years ago that essentially started with asking me to list my most important values and then goals that would allow me to support those values. By the time I got to work on creating an imcome plan for myself, I found that I was ready to direct my earning into avenues that support my values. Therefore, a lot of the area where I focused my energy in the past year has been:

a) Writing about simple ways people improve their lives and those around them;
b) yoga; and
c) Increasing my income.

They aren't mutually exclusive, and making a business plan helped me become more conscious of that and start acting on that.

For 2008, I'm planning on creating a short cheat sheet of my business plan and posting it on the bulletin board behind my computer monitor. That list, as of now, will include:

* Monthly income goals;
* Monthly time goals;
* Target markets; and
* Marketing goals.

Next year, I'll report back on whether doing that helped me achieve what I think it will: to guide me toward decisions that support my personal and professional fulfillment and abundance.

Then, with

No comments: