There is more than one way to do most things. Sometimes there is a best way. Often there is a best way for you. I think there is one more qualifier that should be added here…there is more than one way to do things successfully. In business, we want our efforts to pay off. We want to achieve our goals.
Assuming that there is more than one way to be successful gives us options. However, we still need to choose. To be successful we need to choose one of the ways and stick with it.
This is where ambiguity sets in for some small business owners. Which strategy should I choose? How long should I stay the course before I determine success or failure?
A Process To Evaluate
These are hard questions to answer in mass. I think we all need a process to evaluate our strategies and plans. But we need to also remember that how well we develop our plans and execute the plans is often more important in achieving success as the strategy or plan itself.
The best way to evaluate if a strategy or plan is a success or failure can be objective to some extent:
- Did you put together a thorough plan of action, timeline, and measurement? What would strong execution look like?
- Did you create a timeline for results? What is your expectation for results of the plan in Month 1, Month 2, Month 3…?
- Did you execute to the plan? Did you stay focused and execute the actions with full commitment and quality and timeliness?
- Did you evaluate the performance along the way?
I don’t understand the desire to change directions or start a new plan if you didn’t execute the original plan. In all likelihood, if you plan and execute well, it will work over time.
Time is How Satan Makes Us Doubt
Time is the plan-killer for most of us. I really believe that this is one of Satan’s best tools to use on us.
- It’s been 6 months since you started using social media and how many sales have you achieved?
- You’ve been calling on new clients for 3 months and you only picked up one new project?
- It’s been a year since you decided to go after this new industry and you have nothing new?
Yet, what Satan leaves out of the story is:
- You didn’t have a specific plan or goal for your social media, so what were you expecting to get?
- You called on new clients for 3 months, but you never connected with them or got in front of them. Or you only made one call on any specific prospect and that was it.
- You set a goal to diversify but you never put a plan in place to execute.
Satan wants you to give up on your strategy and plans. People around you want to change plans because it feels like a fresh start. A fresh start cleans the slate and I no longer have to be accountable to the old plan that I didn’t work on or execute.
Staying the Course Is Hard and Requires Discipline
It is hard to stay the course because it feels like you are on a course of failure. It seems futile even if you didn’t execute. The fact is…it isn’t a success. But, changing directions and plans only sets up a pattern. We go from one strategy and plan to the next following the same path and feel fear and failure as each new plan is pushed to the side in hopes that a shiny new plan will somehow produce different results.
The problem is the execution, consistency, and perseverance…. not the plan.
You can change the plan, but…
…if you don’t change the process of working the plan,
…if you don’t change your attitude and your team’s attitude towards executing the plan,
…if you don’t change the behaviors of execution, consistency, commitment, and perseverance,
…if you never stay the course,
you will not see success in this plan, the next one or the next.
Pick a Strategy or Plan and Commit
With a new year comes a fresh start of sorts for us. Let’s make it a fresh start on all fronts and commit to a strategy, create a strong plan, decide on what success looks like and when.
Execute your part. Pray that the Holy Spirit will make your path straight. Ignore Satan. Ignore distractions.
Stay the Course.