Business Plan 2013 – Consider Seeking Wise Counsel

(For the month of January,  my top five commenters will receive a copy of Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell.  In this vivid account of the U.S. Army’s legendary 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.)

The New Year is here and you have a blank slate to begin planning your goals for 2013.  Hopefully, many of you have a business plan in place and ready to implement.   The question I will ask you is:  How did you make the decision of what action items to put into your business plan?

Military personnel make decisions through the process known as the MDMP – the “Military Decision Making Process”.  The sixth step in the MDMP used by the United States Army is “Course of Action Approval”.

When you created your 2013 business plan, did you share it with anyone else and ask for their input, guidance, advice, or just for an opinion?   Over the years, I have found great value in seeking “wise counsel” from my business coach on the creation of my business plan.  I have to honestly say that many times I have hardheadedly included actions into my business plan that my coach or mentor may have advised against.  And most of the time, they were right.  I should have altered or omitted that course of action.   A coach or mentor can help keep you focused on what you both know are your priorities for 2013.

A business or life coach can help you see the big picture.  And although, it is your plan, your life, your decision as to what you want to achieve in 2013, a coach or mentor can give you pro’s and con’s of your written business plan.  For instance, if it is your goal to build your business on Realtor referrals, but your 2013 business plan also includes purchasing online leads and developing a follow-up system, a coach may prod you to take a hard look at what your priorities will be for this year and how much time you will need to accomplish each goal.  Will purchasing online leads take your focus away from developing Realtor relationships?  Would it be better to keep your focus solely on developing those relationships?

The military insists upon a “Course of Action Approval” as its 6th step.  It allows the commander to assess risk, refine the original intent, and make sure that through this seven step process the original goal stays intact.   Who in your life could be the “commander”?  The one you will willingly allow to review your business plan and give you honest feedback?

Why not consider hiring a business coach this year to keep you on track with your business plan.  This could be the biggest year ever for your business.    A quote I love from Harvey Penick, professional golfer, coach, and best selling author:  “I learn teaching from teachers.  I learn golf from golfers.  I learn winning from coaches.”   Think about it.


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