Yesterday I shared about defining your dreams, putting specific details to your hopes and aspirations. Today is about planning your dreams.
General George S. Patton said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” When it comes to planning your dreams, it’s tempting to try creating a perfect plan. There’s no such thing as a perfect human plan; only God’s plan is perfect, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. It’s better to have a good plan with some fuzzy details than a seemingly perfect plan that gets wrecked in the first two weeks.
Defining your dreams creates an end goal for you to target. In yesterday’s example defining your dream is opening your own coffee shop. That’s your end goal: own a coffee shop, but how do you get there? You have to plan your dreams and create a roadmap to get to your final goal, the coffee shop.
Do you really need a plan? Why not just go rent space, buy equipment, hire people, and boom, coffee shop?
Four benefits of planning your dreams
There are four huge reasons why you need to plan your dreams:
- Planning creates a trackable roadmap to help you stay on target along the way.
- Planning gives you action steps to know what to do next.
- Planning keeps you from wasting time wondering what you should do.
- Planning helps you identify and eliminate distractions.
As the saying goes, “Plan your work, and then, work your plan.” The cost of not having a plan is greater than having an imperfect plan that needs slight corrections.
How to plan your dreams
The second of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to begin with the end in mind. This is fantastic advice when it comes to planning your dreams: begin with the end goal, identify the steps that need to happen to get there, and then, work your way backwards on the timeline until today.
For example, if you want to launch your coffee shop in January 2016, you will need licensure, equipment, staffing, build-out/remodeling, training, inventory acquisition, promotion and marketing, business structuring (LLC, “S” Corp, or “C” Corp?), and investment acquisition (who’s paying for all this?). It can take several weeks to get licensure in place from the state, city, and any other municipalities, including the health department.
Your first step is doing your research and then listing out all the necessary steps. Put them in chronological order and put specific dates to each of them. This is part of your business plan, which will become your roadmap for launching your coffee shop. Again, it’s not going to be perfect and there will be unexpected changes along the way, but do your best to factor in variables.
A written, detailed plan will give you a roadmap for launching your dreams. Write down your dreams, give them deadlines, and just breathe. This may seem intimidating and scary and just flat-out vomit-inducing, but you’re now armed with a great action plan to succeed.