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Know where you are going first………….

In all aspects of running a business it’s important to know where you want to end up. Running a business, with the idea that daily happenings will lead you to the right destination, will seldom work. This philosophy of knowing where you want to be at the end of any project is one of the best planning tools and the best help in reaching each destination.

If each goal, no matter how small, has a written destination, then the road to get to it becomes easy. In other words, each project has its own vision statement. That vision statement describes what the project will look like when it’s completed. By working backwards and listing each step you are putting work clothes on your vision.

Let’s create a hypothetical process; the goal is to appear on a local morning TV show and to share your story. We just identified the vision, now let’s work backwards and create a plan.

  • Before you begin the interview you have to arrive at the TV station.
  • Before you leave for the station you have to wear the right clothes and have someone tape the interview so it can be used for future marketing purposes.
  • The day before you have to practice your story and gather any visual material you will need for the show.
  • Several days before the show you have to write (re-write) your story.
  • Usually a week before a show, you will receive an invitation from the TV host giving you the details with regard to your appearance.
  • In order to receive an invitation you have to send in a request accompanied by documentation showing that you have a compelling story to tell.
  • Before you can send in your request, you have to know where to send it
  • Before you send can send in your request you have to determine what is of interest to the audience and your TV host.
  • The potential TV stations that offer interviews need to be contacted and researched as to how they would like to receive your information.
  • Before you can contact the TV stations you have to get their telephone numbers, e-mail contact and street address and the name of the person that is in charge of selecting the participants.

Working a plan from an end point is a much more difficult exercise than starting at the beginning. The thought process is more complete and clients that are using this reverse planning method are reaching their goals more frequently, faster and easier than before.

Take a simple project that you have had difficulty in bringing to life and try this reverse planning strategy. You will be surprised at the positive results.

Nick J. Petra CFP                     

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