Here I sit, on the eve of the year 2020 behind the glow of my laptop listening to Dinosaur Jr. Instead of enjoying the warm embrace of “kith & kin” as Clarke W. Griswold uttered through frozen lips. I’m putting the final touches on my 2020 “Master Plan”.
What’s a “master plan” Chris?
I’m glad you asked intrepid blog reader!
But let me preface my answer with this. As you all know, everyone is different. The insights I mention below are what work for me. You may already have your own unique way to plan, prioritize and execute. If so… great work!
My Master Plan is nothing sinister I assure you. In a nutshell, it’s my high level view of all the things I want to achieve in the upcoming year, both in business and my personal life so I can prioritize and stay focused on the things that I think will matter to me for the next 365 days.
I want to succeed in business and be happy in my personal life. An extremely difficult combination to achieve, but it IS doable and in my opinion, this loose, high level plan is one way to ensure you stay on course and get where you want to go.
Start with Self-Awareness.
Let me just state that I don’t consider myself “fluffy”. By that I mean, I don’t really subscribe to, no disrespect intended, things I’ll lump under the term “new age”. I’m not a horoscope person. I’m not a luck believer. BUT! I do strongly believe that one way I’m able to create a plan with so much clarity, vision and relevancy is by being self-aware.
Self-awareness, by definition, is conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires. If you have a better understanding of yourself you will then be able to set goals and craft direction that plays to your strengths which in turn will breed succeed, empowerment and happiness. I know… it’s starting to sound a little “fluffy” but it’s not!
Here’s a really good article from the Harvard Business Review about Self-Awareness and business —> https://hbr.org/2018/01/what-self-awareness-really-is-and-how-to-cultivate-it
Being self-aware and factoring it into my plan dramatically improves my odds of success… and happiness.
Begin simple and with goals.
There’s no need to complicate things. Simplicity is the key. Simplicity feels good, mentally. Simplicity allows me to create my plan quickly so I don’t lose energy and passion. Simplicity allows me to pivot as needed throughout the year because when an opportunity (that fits your plan and goals) presents itself, you’ll probably want to take advantage of it.
Adding goals is essential in my opinion. They are a focus aid. They are one success metric. They allow you to plan other parts of your master plan and life.
I start by prioritizing the main “categories” in my life. For me, it looks like this:
3. Superzooka (my side hustle)
4. The Evil Gift Co. (my second side hustle)
5. Black Corporation (my band)
I take those items and I bolster each one with a bulleted list that includes a few poignant observations as to how I can achieve them.
Here’s what #3 Superzooka looks like:
• Design a print catalogue for October 1 distribution
• Grow distribution for the catalogue
• Increase and diversify my product offering
• Formulate a deeper working partnership with DG and 8B
• Investigate entry-level licensing opportunities
• My revenue target (sorry, that’s private!)
This now provides me some items I feel are important and will contribute to the success of the main item. Feel free to prioritize them too. It’s also important to note, being self-aware helps ensure you don’t overload yourself and you play to your strengths!
We all want life to “go our way” but not everyone is willing to put in the planning and day-in/day-out work necessary to get there. I’ve always felt that, if you don’t have some kind of plan (with goals) you’ll just be pinballing through your year and more likely than not, find yourself unsatisfied with the results about 365 days from now and posting “fuck you 2019” graphics on your Facebook timeline.
I don’t have a lot of spare time like many fellow business owners, so cutting to the chase with this stuff and plotting my course is done as efficiently as possible. I don’t want a document full of fluff. I want a document with real goals and real ideas on how to achieve those goals. It also plays a pivotal role in helping me achieve my desired work-life balance.
I’ve talked about balance many times over the years, and how it’s different for everyone and will change over time. What I expect out of a work-life balance today is significantly different than 20, 10… hell, even 5 years ago! So I ensure I plan my year with work-life balance in mind, which ultimately will play a significant role in my overall happiness.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not guaranteeing you will find yourself living in Xanadu by setting goals, building a plan and being self-aware, but I do know these things won’t hurt! If you find yourself stuck in a rut, consider this as a potential idea to get un-stuck.
Happy New Year! See you on the other side!
P.S. If you are interested in seeing what Superzooka is all about, check out the website at www.superzooka.com