Work Toward Goals with a Solid Life Plan

Small-business leaders often need to take time to reevaluate their career paths. Whether this is due to the fact that a professional feels his or her trajectory has been interrupted or simply needs a little push, it’s wise to start by considering a personal life plan to get you on track to success.

Many leaders feel pressure to create a clear business plan for their companies, identifying where they want the organization to be in the future when it comes to financial success and customer satisfaction. However, it can be helpful for managers to narrow the focus on themselves first. Taking the time, often with the help of a small-business coach, to review career goals and current actions can help leaders develop a strong business vision that will take them where they want to go.

Define success

The University of California, Berkeley stated that beginning with a definition of success is the best place to start. Every person has a different definition for themselves. The concept of success encompasses many things, including family, finances, title, emotional well-being, friendships and more. Avoid falling into any preconceived notion of what success should look like or has looked like in the past. This process is solely about building a stronger future.

“This process is solely about building a stronger future.”

Pick a time frame

Next, identify a time frame on which to focus. Rather than arbitrarily listing goals to reach some time in the future, pick an exact date by which certain items should be accomplished. The amount of time one has to advance a career will determine the steps he or she needs to take to make certain changes happen.

Slow down

Though it’s hard to sit in limbo, it’s imperative that small-business leaders don’t rush this process. Designing a business vision, either for a company or a particular person’s career, takes thought and reflection. It shouldn’t be built overnight. In addition, don’t be afraid of change. If new ideas come to light that change an initial plan, it can feel like a setback. Embrace these alterations and keep pushing forward.

Remove doubt and judgment

Especially at the start, it’s important to get rid of any internal judgment or overly-logical thinking. Let the mind wander for a bit to see where it goes. Do not assume that the future is fixed; in fact, a life plan is exactly the process that will help executives take the first step to accomplishing feats they previously found impossible. Don’t hold back in these early stages.

“It’s important to get rid of any internal judgment.”

Reach out for help

Asking for help is one of the best things a manager can do when trying to build his or her life plan and business vision. Coaches serve as training facilitators that keep business leaders on track to completing their goals. They can offer advice and personalized insight into the growth process, which is exactly the type of feedback that will project small-business leaders into the next stages of their careers.

Post the vision

When leaders see their vision or specific goals every day, it increases the likelihood that they’ll follow through on taking action as often as possible to become the best version of themselves. The act of physically writing down a business vision or career goal not only makes them more real in the mind of the individual, it turns the vision into a clear way forward. This is also a good point in the process to share certain goals with close friends and family or colleagues. While not necessary, sharing can elicit additional support from important people in the business leader’s life. 


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