Defining your Dreamscape

What do You REALLY Want out of Your Life?

It's Time to Dream Bigger

Take your dreams from what you think you deserve now to identify what you really want

Factoring enjoyable accountability into measurable, achievable goals

Defining Your What and How

You’ve taken steps to find your “why”—the reason that makes your dream one you can’t help but take action on. Even then, you may feel you haven’t been specific enough in identifying it—and you’re most likely right.

Along with dreams comes goals; and along with goals comes accountability. For this, you need a strategic business plan.

A strategic business plan adds the “what” to your “why”—and refines it even further with “how”. This type of plan is literally your strategy for achieving your dream—and without strategy, your dream will never come within reach. (Remember that you can create different types of business plans in an instant—including strategic plans—by applying a different report style to your basic plan at LivePlan – and at time of writing, there is a 50% off promotion in effect.)

Strategic Business Plan

  • Taking in to account my "What" and "How" are important to my business plan.

Making sure your present and future actually match

Is something missing?

Step One: Strategic planning with family in mind

A strategic business plan allows you to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (the SWOT analysis model). Analyzing your business in this way allows you to determine your competitive advantages and determine how you can best leverage them—as well as identify areas you need to drop, improve or change.

Your strategic plan also helps you to determine what is missing from your business plan … and that’s a biggie, because often, what’s missing is the sole component that blocks our path and keeps us stuck, frustrated, at a plateau.

When you apply a formula such as this to your business planning—especially during the late brainstorming stage—you temporarily take the emotion out of business planning (in a good way). This helps you be objective and clear-sighted about emotional subjects such as health and family, so you fit them back into your particular jigsaw puzzle in a fluid, natural and empowering way.

Even though strategic plans are traditionally business-oriented, you do have to make sure that your big goals align with your personal life. (This is all part of being accountable.)

Your present and future: Do they match? If not (here’s the big question)—what’s missing?

Do you know yet whether parenthood is going to be part of your life? Do you plan to marry? How important is it to include family life in your business? Or do you wish to compartmentalize these areas? Will your family life include travel? What sort of parenting model will you use? Do you have a plan for getting your children through university? Weddings? And have you planned for retirement?

All these are questions you need to ask, adding for each one, “How will this affect my business needs or practices? Do my present and future business practices and goals actually match?” Taking the time now to set everything up for the future, integrating all important aspects of your life, will maximize not only your relationships and personal fulfilment, but your business vision, fulfilment and success too.

Core Based Planning should include the following

  • Vacations and Breaks
  • Personal Growth Time
  • Top Quality Food
  • any items that are important to me
Choose any or all options.

Making sure your business runs even when you are out for the count

Planning to live your dream

Step two: making sure your present and future actually match

Let’s take a look at a family business that could double as a role model for a perfectly integrated, heart-based brand: Husband-and-wife team, Chip and Joanna Gaines. You may know this successful power couple from the popular TV show, Fixer Upper.

 

What you may not know is that their TV career was born from an article that appeared in the Design Mom blog. Or that their business evolved: Joanna first had a little shop, but closed it to stay home with her children. She missed that part of her life, and later it evolved into a company she created with her husband, Magnolia Realty. The Gaines’ gave careful thought to branding and future plans, and now the Magnolia brand currently include Magnolia Realty, Magnolia Homes, Magnolia Villas, Magnolia Market, Magnolia Flour, Magnolia House (B&B) and even their home is called Magnolia Farms.

FinanceBuzz estimated their personal net worth as $1.5 million in December 2015 “and increasing instantly”.

Insiders from the show say this couple is rare in that what you see on the screen—warm, friendly, professional, authentic, focused and fun—is actually what they see behind the scenes. They also praise the Gaines’ for including their children in their business—you will often see Chip bringing the children to visit Joanna as she puts the finishing touches on a home (bringing a meal or goodies to share); or Joanna taking the children to help her antique-shop for special items. The children know the names of the people whose projects are being renovated, and get to see, first hand, what their parents do.

Says Chip Gaines on their blog: “[The children] really are my pride and joy. I loved cheering them on in the smallest things. Walking. Catching a ball. Reading. In every milestone, I loved teaming up with Jo to cheer on and encourage our kids.”

It’s also obvious, reading their story, that they have learned on the job(s), made the odd mistake, adjusted their business plan, made the most of their brand (hey, they’ve even got a book out!)—but always made sure that every new venture not only reflected their brand but included their core values and family and health goals too.

 

This focus from the center outwards (your business core values, brand mission and message, and dream) allows for flexibility as your life evolves. And it’s not only an inspiring way to live for you, but for all those around you, including family, community and friends.

That’s true accountability—making sure your brand reflects who you really are and what you believe in—rather than simply hooking up with an “accountability partner”. (The Gaines’ are most likely each other’s accountability partners too!)

When you plan an integrated life and business, you open yourself to possibilities you may not even be able to dream of right now—and set yourself up to make these achievable.

Putting it all together

  • Having your business and personal goals intertwined is recommended.

Possibilities you never dreamed of—and how to make them achievable

An Energized Life

Step three: Health and your Dreams

This core-based lifestyle leads to healthy business success; and the more successful you are, the more you can afford to integrate safeguards for your own health, and that of your family … including:

  • A relaxing yet energizing lifestyle
  • The luxury to fit in health-promoting activity and exercise—the type you most love to do
  • Top quality food
  • Vacations and breaks
  • Personal growth time
  • Thorough health insurance

And speaking of insurance, you also need to insure/ensure the good health of your business!

I plan to take care of me in a better way by doing the following...

Preparedness makes for peacefullness

Planning for the unexpected

STEP Four: Planning for Emergencies

Using a detailed, expertly-prepared financial planner like the Finance Kit in particular also helps you ensure that your business will never go down when you do. Your assistants, business partner or spouse can go through your spreadsheets and financial information and instantly know how much to pay, where to allocate it and who they need to deal with.

Part of planning for emergencies does go beyond financial, of course. It’s also a good idea to create a physical “Master Business Manual” containing essential information.

This business manual should include information for:

  • Essential personnel—who does what; plus contact information, payment rates and arrangements, etc.
  • Access—logins, usernames, passwords, subscriptions and services
  • Style guides—if you produce reports, forms or learning materials for clients
  • Master copies—of items such as style sheets, checklists, client intake forms, etc.

You should also make sure you have an updated will, with a power of attorney in the form of a “living will”, stating legally who you want to handle your affairs in the event you are, God forbid, completely incapacitated.

Managing Multiple Logins, Usernames and Passwords:

Use a Password Manager such as LastPass or RoboForm to manage all your passwords, instead of storing them individually in a spreadsheet.

With a central Password Manager, you remember only ONE master password (keep a copy written in your Master Business Manual).  A central Password Manager will save you hours of time and frustration over your business year.

And you can easily look up individual passwords and logins you need to give out within your password manager, if you decide to outsource certain areas of your business.

Am I prepared? How difficult would it be for my family or friends to access vital information if I was unable to. My thoughts on the current state are... (we will plan for the workbook)

Why reaching short and long term goals is good for your business, good for your relationships—and good for your health

Now and Then

Step Five: Short vs. Long Term goals

It’s great to set yourself up to be the next super-coach, with books, TV shows and appearances—all the trappings (and responsibilities) of celebrity—along with the perks! But the Gaines’ didn’t start out knowing exactly what was going to happen in their future. They started out one step at a time … and as their business acumen and experience grew, they found they were able to expand and sometimes add more than one venture or step at a time.

It’s a good way to plan: Focusing on both long term and short term goals. And the question you need to ask yourself, always, is “what step comes next”?

It’s like building a ladder to reach a tree-house: Imagine you start out by deciding you need two fifteen-foot poles; then realize you also need rungs, so you rush back to the lumber store and by a bunch of two-by-fours to cut up for the rungs. And—oops!—you need a saw to cut them with. You buy one, and it’s the wrong saw, so you return it and get the right one and—oh no! You forgot the nails…

Okay; so this is an improbable example, but it does get the point across that it would be better to first research:

  • Whether or not you should make a ladder or buy a ready-made one (and save yourself a lot of trouble)
  • How to build a safe ladder
  • What materials to use (what will work best with your tree house and your goal for it)
  • Whether or not to rent or buy a table saw

And so on, and so on. The latter is the correct way to build a ladder, one step at a time (and no—the pun wasn’t intentional!) and that’s how you build a business that is set up and ripe for growth, in a flexible but focused direction.

It’s important especially in the early stages to identify these steps. Reaching smaller, more immediate milestones and goals sets you up for success (and reduces stress and workload!) You can see concrete progress, which builds confidence, which reduces stress and increases effectiveness. This keeps you energized and relaxed, as we pointed out earlier, in a balanced proportion.

In short, having measurable, achievable long-term and short-term goals you hold yourself accountable towards is good for your business, good for your relationships—and good for your health!

If I start asking myself  "What Comes Next" I think it will...

Wonderlust

Exploring for benefits

Step Six: What Travel Can do for you

One final point for your planning: Even if you’re not in a position to consider travel as part of your life now—include it in your planning.

Realize what travel can do for you: What benefits it can bring to you, your family and your business. Travel isn’t just fun to do for vacation activities: It can also open you and your business up to new opportunities and ideas.

On top of that, travel is a phenomenal way to increase your reach: Whether that’s from going to another city to network at a live event, speak at one or simply explore a new culture—where you may see markets you would never have found if you had stayed at home; let alone knowing first-hand whether or not the infrastructure and culture of the place makes your idea feasible.

 

Travel also gives you the opportunity to make a difference. For example, Thunder Bay entrepreneur Kyley Blomquist’s travels not only lead to her opening a factory in Kathmandu, Nepal, to supply her unique clothing boutique, Elfarrow Apparel , but when the May 2015 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit in that area of Nepal, she was able to jump immediately into action, using her company (which was still largely functional after the quake) to make and provide tents for earthquake victims with no place to call home.

In addition, she quickly raised over $10,000 in donations from loyal customers in the relatively small city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, reported CBC News, Canada.

Not only that, before supplying tents, she started out by using her factory to provide shelter—and food. “Factory workers initially used the money to buy cooking pots and a big water tank to set up a relief station at the factory and feed the 169 people who were taking refuge there.”

Her workers brought food and medicine to seven of the hardest-hit villages—as well as supplying tents, which cost Blomquist’s company $30 per tent in materials to make (labor was donated).

This young entrepreneur’s superb business model, acumen and planning allowed her to instantly respond to an unforeseeable catastrophe of epic proportions, adjust to the needs and really make a difference. So did being on the spot, and being very much a “hands-on” business owner, whose Kathmandu workers (as well as her store staff) are well-paid, positive, proactive and dedicated. She knew what to do—and was able to do it. She believes in empowering her workers and credits them with providing action and direction with the relief efforts.

Kyley Blomquist remains humble about her involvement in the Nepal earthquake relief efforts: "I think trusting in the local people, their ideas of what actual people need — I just feel really good about that," she said. "They're helping each other. They know what they need most."

It almost seems shallow, after a story like this one, to point out that travel can also be a status symbol that adds to your aura of success—but that is nothing but the truth.

Just make sure that when you are planning your business, you keep all these possibilities in mind. There’s no such thing as planning too big, when you’re following a dream, one or more steps at a time—and including those around you.

Travel Can Expand My World in the Following Ways

  • Finding new ideas
  • Finding new audience segments
  • Expanding my experience
  • Being able to make more of a difference
  • Showcase my Success
  • Renew and Refresh my mind and body
Choose and or all that apply

What's Next

Workbook and Checklist

Action to plan

to step out of your comfort zone and connect with the ultimate dream vision, focusing on possibilities -not problems.

Check List

Your checklist to unleash your dreams.

Planning for Success

  • I plan to complete the action plan and checklist so that I can be better prepared to catch my dreams.