This morning I had two conversations that came together and connected with planning.
In the first, I was talking to Pamela Slim of Escape From Cubicle Nation, one of the blogs I like and read regularly. We were talking about starting a new business, looking forward to it, enjoying thinking about it, working it out in your mind while you go. This reminded me that a lot of the benefit of planning is in anticipation, working things out; it’s almost like anticipating a trip that you’re looking forward to. In that case, planning isn’t a hassle or a problem, it’s part of the enjoyment. That ought to be true about business planning, too; but it isn’t, in many cases, because of the myth of the great big business plan that’s so hard to do. You should be doing it in pieces, and enjoying it. There’s a great deal of benefit in that.
That was just an hour before a lunch with my youngest daughter, 21, contemplating what she’ll be doing after she graduates from college next June. She said one of her older sisters took her aside last week and helped her with the specific steps of the job recruiting process.
“To have it broken down like that, into understandable pieces, makes it easier for me to see and think about. It gives me a better sense of it,” she said. “I’m not as nervous about it now.”
And that, of course, reminded me of why we do planning when we’re looking at building a new business, or growing an existing one. It gives us that same benefit, the breaking things down into pieces, seeing them now as a whole thing that might be too imposing, but as the specific steps.