What a year it’s been and one I shall never forget.
When I drew up my business plan for 2012, I called it ‘Quantum Leap’ and shared my thoughts with those only where it came up in conversation. Here’s the thing, it wasn’t about the actual leaping, it was about quantum – being able to ensure my business retains strong momentum, whilst being accountable and to quantify my actions.
So what did I do about putting my business plan into action?
I invested and participated in 4 course programmes including, for good measure, writing a book – that this was the year I wanted to become an author. A tall order indeed.
Why am I sharing this?
What I’ve learned in my 28 years in business so far is this: When the economic chips are down, invest and act. Re-strategising isn’t enough. Action makes the plan complete.
So affirmative action it was to be.
I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in business in my entire life during the past 6 months in particular. This doesn’t mean counting the hours. What’s rewarding is taking stock in what I’ve produced and how others have supported me in helping me achieve what I set out to do this year: My family and those in my network.
I have seen others thrive through sheer determination in our challenging economy – To me, simply inspirational.
I have also seen and spoken to others in economic despair – To me, very humbling.
No matter how busy and what we wish to focus on, supporting and helping others has to surely work with action. In fact, it should be in every great business plan too. It’s just as rewarding.
When I found that one of the only ways to become an author this year was to prise myself away from the daily buzz of activities, amazing things started to happen: My business started to grow faster. Although not by chance, (I had a list of prospects that I had nurtured before writing my book), one thing struck me: I was trying a little too hard. I discovered that letting go, truly empowering my team and allowing things take their course can lead to amazing surprises.
During the summer months of writing, with the internet and phones off, something else – and just as extraordinary – happened: I managed to think properly.
Thinking outside the daily buzz – even if just a couple of hours each time.
Thinking led to creativity.
More thinking, led to more creativity.
Deep thinking helped me not only write a book, it lead me to venture into a space I seldom visit, where I felt I was able to go deep and into the heart of what I do in business.
Thinking enabled me to produce a methodology which I felt would work well with the many tactics I had already developed, (what I term as tactical engagement strategies). Not only could I share this with my readers, I felt I could also apply it throughout every proposition we have as a business as a whole: The ACCELerate™ methodology for business owners to realise return on investment in their social media marketing.
It also enabled me to be unique in an immensely competitive environment.
When I shared my methodology with my book coach & publisher, Mindy Gibbins-Klein, Ecademy Press, she said: “Ah, ‘bookplus!’” I responded by saying “@networkerplus, loves ‘bookplus!’”
A few weeks later, the ‘set to live’ phase came.
Was what I had devised good enough? It made sense to me. It also made sense to my four book reviewers who played an instrumental role in providing feedback before I sent my final manuscript to my publisher.
By the time I was presenting again for Social Media Week® London, during September 2012, my methodology was set. My final manuscript was already with Mindy and her team. There were to be no changes.
So, if I had got it wrong – or even missed something within it – and got to know it through feedback during my live Social Media Week® presentations, (where my audience comprised of both my network and competitors), it would be too late.
Time waits for no-one. Not for you. Not for me.
The quantum aspect of my business plan was to be put to a live environment: My ACCELerate™ methodology was to go public, even before the publication of my book.
There was no going back. I felt there was no way I was going to deliver another set of seminars – after months of being away from presenting due to writing – without sharing it.
I felt that a proven methodology was usually missing in the countless social media presentations out there, including my prior ones, and I was determined to share mine.
So I recommend that whatever you’re planning in for 2013, think ‘quantum’.
What risks are you going to take?
How will you measure your achievements?
Will you simply have another business plan that doesn’t truly take you out of your comfort zone? It’s not about whether you have a methodology or not. It’s about stretch. Stretching yourself through thinking time, strategising and putting what you create into action.
The choice, of course, is yours.
….and the reaction from my ACCELerate™ Your Social Media seminars?
@networkerplus Social Media