Over Plan, Then Go With The Flow

I’m writing this post from the balcony of a condo in Siesta Key, Florida, where I”m on vacation to start off the New Year. Sorry, not sorry… I really needed a break…. and if you can’t remember the last time you took a real vacation, when you finish reading this, open your calendar and block out some time in the 1st quarter for your own break.

Now, back to the point of my post… yesterday, we decided to “island hop” and drove up to Anna Maria Island for the day. Naturally, being the organized person that I am, I had a plan in place before we pulled out of the parking lot. 😂 Which brings me to my travel motto, and the title of this post… Over plan, then go with the flow.

We’ve been traveling pretty regularly since my daughter was a baby, and while I used to have entire trips planned  out from touch down to take off, the summer she turned three is when I learned to let go of my agenda and just enjoy the ride instead. But, because I can’t help myself, I still have a list of “possibilities” ready for each new destination. And once we arrive and settle in, we decide each day what we feel like doing and then take it from there. The list has definitely come in handy in making sure we don’t miss any “must do’s” when in a place we may not be back to again (like Greece and the Door to Nowhere).

So for our trip to Anna Maria, I packed everything we could possibly need for the day, looked into what was happening on the island (we actually shifted the trip by a day because of my research and were able to stroll through the open air marketplace by the beach – see, it does pay to plan ahead), and checked out local restaurants for lunch. And we had a lovely day on a different beach, did a little shopping, and ate a delicious meal before heading back to Siesta Key.

So what does this have to do with your business? Much like taking a vacation to a new destination, every new year in business brings with it a plethora of unknowns. If you take my vacation motto, however, and apply it to your business, you’ll be prepared for just about anything that comes your way. So here it is again…

Over plan, then go with the flow.

And here’s what it might “look like” in real life:

  • Create a yearly plan, budget, and revenue goals
  • Break the plan down by quarter to stay focused on 90 days at a time (click here for a free template to help you get started)
  • Create a monthly to do list for execution across all areas of the business (there are 6)
  • Start thinking about the “what if’s” (both good and bad) before they happen – back up plans never hurt
  • Operate daily as if everything will go according to plan, BUT be prepared to shift and “go with the flow” if necessary.

Having a plan is a must, but holding on too tight can lead to failure instead of success. As the year unfolds, stay the course, but be willing to adjust as needed as the road ahead continues to unfold. And be sure to take a break every once in a while for some much needed time off and a chance to reset and come back fresh.

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