Are you ready to stop winging it and set your business up for success? I so am ready to show you!
I have been noticing that there is this void or this fear of not knowing how to create the right plans in your business. And today’s post is going to give you some really tangible steps to be able to know what kind of plans you should be making in your business, how to not over plan in your business, and when is the right time to start creating plans for your business.
Obviously, we’re going to talk a little bit about what happens when you don’t have plans in place. You may or may not be experiencing that right now. I would err on the side of you experiencing that and I have definitely fallen prey to that many times myself. And so I want to give you just a little bit of insight into how I create plans for my own business. To have you walk away feeling super confident and prepared to be able to do this for yourself.
So let’s just jump right in.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Set Your Business Up For Success by Planning
Well, first things first, what kinds of plans should you be making in your business? Some, lots, many, or none at all. Do you even know where to begin? Who knows, it is all so overwhelming. So, what do you need to actually stop winging it and set your business up for success? First of all, I think this is a really hard thing for people that aren’t planners.
Let me just say, for those of you that are new around here and did not start at the very beginning of my journey. Those that don’t know this about me already. I owned an event-based business for seven years which I ran together with my mom. We did flowers for weddings, then we transitioned into styling the entire wedding. Because we ended up with a massive inventory we actually got into planning events.
It’s just been super crazy looking back on how much I learned from that to now, as I’ve fully absorbed myself into my current business over at Chelsijo.co. Even back in high school, that was my job on the student council, I was the activities director. I would plan all the events that happened at the school which is kind of where I am at with my business now, it just looks a lot different.
The point of all of this is to say that I love planning things. I loved planning in that business. I love the planning and the details in every aspect, I always have.
Are You A Planner?
For a lot of you that are either in direct sales or you’re running your own business, you do not have someone telling you what to do. You have some freedom on really whatever it is you do want to do. The world really is your oyster, then all of a sudden it’s too much, and you don’t know where to begin.
When you start your business, it’s going to be really hard because you’re still learning. And although I am still learning, I definitely know that A to Z has to happen every single week. And in order for my business to grow in my podcast or blog to reach thousands more women, a whole other set of X, Y, and Z has to happen.
That’s why I have plans in place because I know all these things, but even in the very beginning I was planning. I could whip out all of my papers and show you all the plans that I put down in place. So no matter where you’re at, you should be putting some type of plan in place. You have got to get what’s in your brain and your mind down on a piece of paper and start mapping things out.
And I actually work best if I start at the end of my goal and work backwards. I actually have an incredible goal planning podcast episode and the business systems series on the podcast that you definitely should listen to. Inside the Facebook group, there’s also a whole guide designated for the business system series and it talks specifically about your goal planning. These are great places to start.
Where To Start With Planning
What kinds of plans should you make for your business? You don’t have any idea where to start, what do you do?
I would say start with the general overarching vision planning process that I do. It is step by step all laid out for you inside of this podcast episode, definitely start there and get some plans in place. Get plans for what you need to do each week, each quarter, and specifically what you need to execute within the next one to four, maybe six weeks. I wouldn’t plan any further out than that and even four weeks is kind of pushing it. But if you are a big time creature of habit, you could definitely do six weeks.
That is where I think that you should start to stop winging it and set your business up for success. I’m going to dive in a little bit deeper in the next couple of steps, but first I want to go over how to not over-plan.
Because I used to be a professional over-planner, I’ve gotten a lot better at not over-planning, after I worked with different coaches, got married, and had kids. I’ve learned that over-planning doesn’t always pan out. And it can actually be my coping mechanism for anxiety, to get into the details.
I think that each person is going to have to find their happy medium here. There’s gotta be a middle of the road, but there’s also going to be those of you that don’t want to plan at all as a coping mechanism. You may be on the other side of the spectrum than me, and you need some plans in place.
When it comes to not over-planning, just focus on that immediate first week and month. I touch on how to break down your tasks inside of The Systemize Your Life Academy, the business system series podcast that I mentioned above, and inside The Systemize Your Life Facebook Group.
That is essentially where my plans live and for the rinse-and-repeat stuff that I do every single week. It’s a great place for you to start whether or not you house that in a spreadsheet or task management software. Those plans have to be there for you to stop winging it and set your business up for success.
Room For Error
Leave yourself a little room for error. You don’t want to get down to the last minute of every single day and not give yourself any room for creativity, error, or room for just breathing or even a lunch break.
Those things are pretty important. And it’s also vital in my opinion, that you do become familiar with your style or need for planning. And if you’re starting from square one on how to get plans in place, just set up a plan for tomorrow. Although, I would challenge you at minimum to plan out at least a week.
Don’t Force Plan
But what does over-planning look like? Over-planning looks like telling yourself every single thing that needs to be done in your business, at every single minute, of every single day. And then forcing certain things to be mapped out before they’ve come to fruition or before they’ve matured.
There are certain projects that I have on my timeline for this year that I haven’t mapped out. I know I can’t quite possibly plan the details because I’m just not there yet. Instead focusing on the immediate, on what’s happening right now. That is all that you truly need to do. You don’t need to go any further than that. What deadlines do you have coming up very quickly?
Put Plans In Place
So When is the right time to plan for a project or to plan for the week ahead?
The sooner the better. Start yesterday, start right now, and start tomorrow making plans for your business. Keep in mind what I said about not over-planning. You don’t want to do it as a means of trying to control every single aspect. But, if you know that you have something coming up big or small, something new that you’re adding to your business, a new responsibility, or a new person that you’re hiring, put some plans in place.
My favorite tool, well it’s actually my favorite software, which is totally free is Mind Meister. You guys may hear me talk about this and Meister Tasks all the time and I’m going to keep telling you until you finally decide to go use it for everything personal or business, it’s amazing. MindMeister is a mind-mapping program and this is where I do 90% to 99% of the planning for my business.
I’ve got a map for my content and I plan out all my content. Now, when I say I plan out all my content, do I have every single thing down to the money? No, but these are my ideas and I’m putting them down and I’m getting them organized.
The worst day of the week for me to plan is Monday mornings. So since I take off the weekends, I do not want to have to get up Monday morning and execute Monday through Friday, that is the worst time to figure all that out.
Now, if you get super strategic and you have a very static work schedule, you can plan your workflow for an entire month. You can make business plans a month out, and be pretty secure. Of course, that is all outside of what happens with your kids, because we just can never know, right?
But for people like me, where every single week of my life is different it is very hard for me to plan an entire month in my business. I do as much as I can, but every single week is different in our life because of Blaine’s rotating schedule and my interpreting work.
I do have specific jobs or specific clients that want to work with me and so I want to take it, I want to be a part of that community. Or I’m just doing mom things like spring break, kiddos get sick, extracurriculars come up, or somebody asks for a play date. There are all these other variables that come up that make it a little bit hard to plan.
That leads me right to what happens when you don’t plan.
What Happens When You Don’t Plan
I want to talk about this because I get kickbacks from everyone all the time. “I put plans in place, but nothing ever goes according to plan. So what’s the point? I’m just not even going to do it.” And then what happens when you don’t plan, you think you’re getting stuff done but you actually get nothing done.
If you ever get to the point where you can experience life where you have strategically put plans into place, you’ll never want to go back. It is the most freeing, most effective, most efficient, and most productive way that you will ever live. This feeling alone will get you to stop winging it and set your business up for success.
“But if you ever get to the point where you can experience life where you have strategically put plans into place, you’ll never want to go back. It is the most freeing, most effective, most efficient, and most productive way that you will ever live.”
Constant Battle Of Perfection
By nature of me being a one on the Enneagram, this has always been a part of me to do things by the book. To be very much a rule follower and a perfectionist. I want to make sure that my t’s are crossed, my i’s are dotted, and that I’m being very thorough. The only way for my brain to sleep at night is if I flesh those details out, and put them down on paper. To know that when I wake up in the morning, those details are going to be on that piece of paper. Or I will literally stay up all night long thinking about it. I’ve had many sleepless nights in my life and that was the remedy, and it will be the remedy for you too.
The constant battle and struggle of what I need to do and forgetting a product or service that I need. Or I have a product that I need to provide, that I need to execute, that I need to show up and do, but specific ingredients or specific tasks or specific portions of that product or service are missing. The contract didn’t get signed or you forgot to send out the email.
Practice Helps Prepare You
Let’s say tomorrow’s the big day and you don’t have anything prepared. This is what happens when you don’t take the time to sit down and put plans in place. And I am very aware that you’ve experienced that. Here’s the deal, if you don’t know how, It’s okay, you’ve never done it before. But you need to practice to get yourself to stop winging it and set your business up for success.
The point is that you’re never going to get better at it and you’re never going to be able to learn if you don’t make the mistakes, if you don’t simply just try. So I want you to sit down and I want you to write out next week’s plans that you have for your business. What are you going to post on social?
Or maybe you’re just trying to build something or you’re just dabbling with a hobby and maybe that is painting. Okay, well, what do you need to be able to have a successful week in your painting next week?
Do you need to go to the store on Monday to get more canvas or do you need to go for a walk to get inspiration? What do you need to do to be able to make that happen next week? Write it down, then get it on your calendar. That’s all you have to do.
Evaluate And Refine
Then you go through the week and if it didn’t turn out well, that’s okay. We don’t make emotionally based decisions. You simply just sit down and you assess over the weekend, Hey, I thought that these things were going to happen in this order and that’s what I planned for, but they didn’t.
What chess pieces can I move around strategically next week to get the outcome that I want, and try again? Every single time you try again, you will refine yourself and your plans to a point of complete and utter efficiency and productivity. This is exactly why you’re here and it is precisely what you lay in bed at night thinking about.
Example Plans That I Have In Place
What plans do I have in place for my business? Here are some examples to help you stop winging it and set your business up for success.
I currently have plans for my content, so for my blog posts, podcast episodes, Instagram stories, Instagram feed, Facebook groups, and for my emails. And there may be plans for reels in the near future.
My content planner and I do all that inside a meister task, and every single day of the entire month is all mapped out in there. I’ve been doing that in several different ways for a very long time and now I have those plans in place.
I have also broken down my podcasts into four major content pillars and tiers and how they fit in with each tier inside of the academy. That way, whenever I go to plan my month of content, all I have to do is open that up and I have anywhere between fifty to a hundred podcast episode ideas just sitting there. And that’s a bank of plans and ideas. Am I going to fully execute every single one of them? No, that’s not the point. But I have some rough plans in place for that.
I also have my workflow for the recurring events inside of my business. Everything that I need to do every single week, I have a plan in place for that. I also have plans in place for whenever I get a coaching client that books and what needs to happen whenever they book.
I also have project plans for projects that I’m going to be undertaking. When I launched the academy, I had all that stuff mapped out in a mind map, and those were the basic plans that I followed every single time I would build a course. I would have every main module idea as the heading, and then I would have all the subcategories below that.
I definitely have an annual plan, and my quarters are always mapped out before I get into that quarter.
I have an idea bank for what I post on social. I have a whole list of all the different ideas that I can put in my Instagram stories. Y’all know I’m in Instagram stories like crazy, and I get those ideas from the plans that I have in place. I literally say, okay, Chelsi, on Wednesdays you’re going to talk about real-life examples of what’s happening in the podcast. So you can probably guarantee that most Wednesdays that will happen.
So all of these things that I do, that I have, they didn’t happen all at once. I built them over the last year and a half. They do change and I don’t always do them perfectly. I allow myself the freedom to make decisions out of inspiration when I feel like I need to. But they do 100% of the time keep me from mentally spiraling out of control over and over again. Feeling overwhelmed and feeling stressed because I set it and forget it.
Remember Plans Can Change
I’ve also become very accustomed to dealing with plans changing. One of my favorite things that I say inside The Academy is to improvise, adapt, and overcome. Blaine said that to me very early on.
There are going to be several of you listening to this that don’t like plans. They make me feel stuck and strapped, and I have no ability to just think for myself. It makes me feel frustrated that I can’t just do whatever I want.
But that’s not what plans are for. Plans are actually there to give you more freedom to enjoy your business and to enjoy your life instead of constantly mixing the two together. And that, my friends, is how I put plans in place for my business to stop winging it.
I really hope that this can encourage you to start putting some plans in place for your business so that you can stop winging it and set your business up for success. To help you have more freedom, more fun, and get more done. As always, I look forward to connecting and hanging out with you inside the Free Systemize Your Life Facebook Group.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know what to prioritize in my business and schedule?
If you feel you need more help with prioritizing your schedule and routines we recommend heading over to Chelsi’s Free Fundamental Needs Workbooks!