If you're new to my online home - welcome!
It's fun around here, especially today. Today we're going to talk about DECADENCE.
May I share a #MomWin with you?
Above is a decadent, scrumptious, and a pain-in-butt to make chocolate raspberry cake.
But that’s not the #MomWin. The Win is my smarty-pants 7-year-old that insisted (honest to God, insisted! For the entire evening!) that I teach her Planning. She heard me teach it in my group, and wanted to understand what’s mommy talking about.
We believe in answering kid's questions as best we can, so I tried to show her what Planning is all about. Our daughter is seven, so even a month is too long for her to grasp. We settled on planning a couple days ahead.
She wanted to make a cake.
I asked: what kind of cake? What does it look like?
She closed her eyes, sniffed the air, and declared “Chocolate-raspberry. With berries on top. Made of three cakes”.
“How big is it?”
“This big” (About her height. She's going all out with this)
“What is it made of?”
“Chocolate. And cream. And strawberries and raspberries”.
”Good. What are you going to do now?”
“… I’ll find a recipe. I’ll go to the grocery store… No, first I’ll check what I have in the pantry. But we don’t have raspberries, so I’ll have to go to the store… Then I’ll make the cake.”
“Wait. How will you make the cake?”
“I’ll bake the cakes. Then I’ll decorate. Then I’ll put it all together”.
“Imagine the cake again. Are the cakes stacked on top of each other, or does each stand on its own platter? Is it going to be easier to first put the cake together, then decorate? Or maybe the other way around?”
We fantasized like this for a good few minutes.
She went to bed dreaming of the cake, having a clear Plan, and also having secured a promise we’ll make it for her birthday. (There’s some time till then, so I might get off the hook).
Now back to you:
In my experience, when you're Visionary Entrepreneur, you tend to
- a) be pretty good at setting goals
- b) manage the day-to-day minutia very effectively.
The breakdown happens at Mid-term Planning.
Which is Reason #1 you may feel planning sucks.
Reason #2 is that we are taught to plan top-down: make a goal, create an outline, break down the outline into smaller tasks, the smaller tasks into even smaller actions, until you have a Gantt chart and your project is planned to death.
Very few people truly enjoy doing that.
Instead, let me walk you through a model that works for most people I’ve met.
Say, you've set a goal. As we've already established, you are very good at this.
Now imagine what the best Outcome would look like.
The operative word here is “IMAGINE”.
What’s your best way of imagining? Are you a visualizer? An audial person? Someone who is very sensitive to smells? Or, maybe you’re a verbal processor like me, in which case you can best define your Outcome talking to yourself or to a friend/partner/stranger on a street.
Once you goal is vivid in your mind, it’s time to take a step back and let your brain come up with ideas. Clarity nourishes creativity, and once you have a clear picture of an Outcome, ideas start to flow.
After the brainstorming session, it’s time to organize your ideas. Look at what you’ve written down or clipped into Evernote. After a short while you'd see patterns – what needs to be done by whom, what ideas/actions can be grouped together, etc. A natural order will emerge too - what should happen first, and what comes next (find recipe, look in the pantry, then go to to the grocery store).
Time to organize your ideas into a coherent flow. A narrative, if you will.
Once your have a narrative, think “Next Action” on each of the key aspects of your Plan. We’ll talk about it the very next time
So to recap:
- Imagine a vivid, possibly decadent Outcome
- Let your brain get flooded with ideas
- After that - look for patterns and natural order.
- Organize ideas and tasks into a flow
- Decide what the Next Action.
That’s it. Try it, and if you're in a sharing mood, click on the icons below.