Building the Digital Business of Your Dreams

Putting Dreams Into Motion

How to actually use your dreams to inspire your everyday business actions—and vice versa

 

How to get specific when building your business dream plan

Dreams and Action

There’s a tendency in modern-day business to separate dreams from actions, but too many people get stuck because they are hung up on either one or the other.

Dreams without action remain exactly that—pleasant daydreams—the sort that provide you with no connection, no reason to take action to achieve them.

Actions without a dream to inspire them keep people locked in a never-ending cycle of “busy-ness”—but it doesn’t advance anyone towards a goal.

Action without a strong dream to inspire it can be found wherever people get stuck in the same business model, never growing. They do “safe”. They do “reactive”. And they are often liable to change business models—usually right before they see success.

How do you use one to fuel the other—actions and dreams? There’s a clear answer: You have to treat your life the way a good screenwriter treats a blockbuster script. Scriptwriters know that every single scene in the script has to move the story along. And these scenes can’t wander off in tangents—they have to advance the protagonists straight towards the story goal.

What do we mean by “moving the story along”? We mean every scene needs to include a change to advance the story towards its conclusion. Two people talk in a room … but they don’t just make small talk for two hours (unless, of course, they’re in a Russian existentialist play). In a true blockbuster, something happens in every scene. A car crashes through a wall. A telephone call interrupts a reunion. One of the two people talking rejects the other, breaks off their relationship and runs from the room.

There is change in every scene … but each change has to move the story towards its inevitable conclusion.

Here’s another storytelling rule that we can apply to business—if you want to make yourself care about your business success enough to take consistent, focused action, raise the stakes. Think of it like a movie that opens with a raging storm at sea. The camera keeps pace with a terrified child tossed around in a row-boat. Her mother is in the water, desperately clinging to the boat’s gunwales. She loses her grip on the edge of the boat and is swept away from boat and child. The child screams for her mother.

That particular story has only existed before our eyes for a second or two, but the stakes are life or death. We care. Does the mother survive? Will the child be swept away? We want to know what happens next.

So if you’re going nowhere with your business, raise the stakes. Find and identify a dream—an outcome; a goal—you want badly enough and figure out what you need to do to make it happen.

You need a dream big enough to finally kick you into taking focused action.

The dream I want badly enough to take action over is...

Making sure your business vision and model matches your dreams

Defining Your Purpose

Step One: Your specific why

“I want to make $300 more a month,” is a good step towards completing your dream, but it’s a step. And it may be a goal of sorts, but it’s not the big picture.

Sometimes, in order to see the big picture and reach it, you need to start small. So ask yourself, “WHY do I want to make $300 more a month?” (Your reasons—your “whys”—are the core of the sort of business that takes you from dreams to measurable, real-world success.)

Your “why” can be simple or deep. Perhaps you just need that extra $300 to make an increased monthly car payment after trading in your old car and upgrading to a new 2017 Lexus LS. But the need is immediate, and that sort of reason is far more motivating than “well, you know, it’s nice to have an extra $300 in case I need it.”

What’s at stake if you don’t make that goal of earning an extra $300 a month? Keeping that shiny new car!

That’s an immediate goal—but what about holding a bigger dream: For example, knowing you want to move to Costa Rica, retire from your day job and buy that villa you saw during your vacation? Staying specific and working out a timeline are key components to bringing a longer term goal to fruition. For example, if you have a specific villa and price-tag in mind, and you’ve done the math so that you have a reasonable chance of achieving that longer-term goal in three years’ time, you’ll be far more focused and motivated than if your goal is “one day I want to retire early and live somewhere warm”. (Words like “one day” or “someday” are big indicators that your goals are not specific enough!)

So the key here is to get specific when building your business dream plan—and make sure your “why” is a big one, with your highest stakes, marked by smaller, achievable steps along the way—milestones you can use to measure progress.

Reaching my Dreams

  • Making specific long and short term goals, with milestones along the way will help me measure my progress and reach my dreams.

Deciding what impact you want your business footprint to have

Making a Difference

STEP TWO: Making your business footprint matter

It’s vital to understand and include the key foundations of a specific, successful business plan, to make sure your business vision and model matches your dreams.

For this, you need to assess and make sure you include three essential components:

  • Impact—your business footprint
  • Financial strength—your financial goals
  • Philanthropy—how you give back

Too often coaches fail because they focus on only one or two of these key hallmarks of a truly successful business. Leaving out any one of these three keys will ultimately leave you dissatisfied, feeling as if “something is missing” … but when you make sure you have specific goals for all three areas and meet them, life remains fulfilling and exciting.

Once you determine your why, your long-term and short-term goals and your vision for your business, you need to next ask yourself:

  • “How closely does my current business model match my vision?”

Too often we settle for less than we really want or need. If you find that you have done that, ask that “why” question again. Why have you settled for less? What is stopping you? Once you identify the source of this compromise, it becomes much easier to make a plan for stepping over it.

Common roadblocks are:

  • Fear of success
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of becoming “visible”
  • Negative past “messages” and influences
  • Confidence issues
  • Not having a core mission that excites us enough

Understanding your particular roadblock will lead you to the next step—making a specific plan to deal with it. And, as a coach, you are in an ideal position to identify what you need to do to restore the excitement and confidence to your goal. (It could be as little as changing the way you prioritize and getting rid of non-essentials not in alignment with your dream or as life-changing as going for trauma therapy and counseling.)

If you are ever going to take your business from dream to do to done, it’s vital you don’t skip a step in this analysis-to-action process.

Your business impact means more than what impact your business plan’s success is going to make in reaching your personal goals. When we talk about a business 

footprint—about impact—this also means what effects or benefits will your business make on:

  • Your community
  • A specific social group
  • The environment
  • The world and mankind

The more outward-reaching your mission—and the more focused—the more fulfilment you will gain from it … and the more benefits your chosen area(s) of impact will reap.

For example, are you dedicated to the idea of running a green business? Do you want to improve the lives of your city’s homeless? Are you committed to employing the differently-abled? Is your passionate cause creating opportunities for aboriginal youth? Animal adoption? Supporting sports programs for young people?

These types of outward-seeking goals may or may not involve philanthropy—for example, you may be committed to running a green business and maintain separate philanthropic commitments (sponsoring a kid’s hockey team, for example; or providing monthly support for your local animal shelter).

When you think in terms of impact and plan to give back to the planet or the community, your mission becomes both more important and more fulfilling … and the more creatively this will allow you to plan and think, from the word “go”.

There is nothing like seeing with your own eyes how you have made a difference—and are making a regular difference—in other people’s lives.

Three components of a fulfilling business plan

  • Impact on Biz Footprint
  • Financial Strength
  • Philanthropy

Making sure you have the tools and information make informed financial decisions for your business

Income Goals

Step three: your financial vision

In order to effectively take care of your business impact core mission and philanthropic goals, you need to also make sure you have the tools and information to make informed financial decisions for your business—and, frankly, this is where many coaches and entrepreneurs fall short.

In order to determine your financial needs, break it down into three areas:

Short-term goals

Long-term goals

Investments and savings

If you are weak or lacking in any one of these areas, you don’t have a strong financial plan and you may be missing key components of knowledge that you need.

One of the easiest ways to fix this is to invest in Sassy Clouts package: Finance Kit: Money Tracking and Planning for Infoprenuers. With this package’s thorough combination of guides, checklists and MS Excel spreadsheets you can instantly start using, you don’t need to take courses, read mind-numbing or time-consuming books or get bogged down in any other type of learning curve.

In fact, looking through Sassy Clouts’s Finance Kit is an instant education in itself, showing you and providing every essential financial tool and strategy you need.

For example, one of the Finance Kit’s custom MS Excel Spreadsheets helps you to instantly create an “income snapshot”—vital for building your financial business planning upon.

A single glance inside any of the Finance Kit’s over-a-dozen spreadsheets and checklists will instantly alert you to areas you’re forgetting, not planning for or didn’t realize you needed to have.

The planning guides will help you create:

  • An emergency savings fund plan
  • A monthly budget
  • A monthly income plan
  • Quarterly tax planning
  • Monthly income plan
  • A Zero Sum business budgeting plan

What the Zero Sum business budgeting plan does is help you eliminate the all-too-common habit of accidentally spending “leftover” dollars at the end of the month—something that it’s all too easy to do.

As the Zero Sum business budgeting plan points out, “When every dollar has a job to do, it’s impossible to go over budget.”

A final word about overall business planning: If you are planning to dramatically upgrade your business and you are considering business financing as a result, you’ll not only need to provide institutions or private investors with a specific business plan, you’ll often need to provide the same information in different formats—for example, a projection plan (where you are intelligently making informed guesstimates of where you are going to be by an anniversary date). In that case, check out LivePlan, which not only helps you quickly create dynamic business plans and reports, but provides a variety of formats plus an incredible array of resources and tutorials.


Both a LivePlan subscription and Sassy Clout’s finance kit are ridiculously inexpensive—and together they pack a powerhouse punch (and save hours of maintenance time, learning curve time, administration time and more) in creating an accurate, powerful and specific business plan that will take your business from dream to do to done.

Which financial planning method prohibits the spending of unused dollars at the end of the month?

Setting up tracking—and using it as a positive goal driver

Keeping Track

STEP Four: Tracking and its uses

It’s important to track the results of your business in all areas: Income, expenses, investments, assets, liabilities and promotion being a good starting point.

Also track non-financial portions of your business: For example, sales page copy, headlines, different graphics or colors.

 

Most people use tracking to help refine sales messages and increase conversions, or else track where the money is going and if it can be allocated more effectively. They look for things like cost reduction and how to maximize investments. These are all important, but they make tracking dull unless you are supremely left-brained and revel in this type of “bean-counting”.

But you can also set up your tracking and use your tracking as a positive goal driver. For example, using spreadsheets like the ones provided in Sassy Clout’s Finance Kit allows you to magically see changes and shifts as you enter new data.

When those figures start to match your projections or you see how far you’ve come towards reaching an important milestone, it can be incredibly inspiring and empowering, galvanizing you with renewed energy, focus and purpose to keep steadily on towards each specific short-term and long-term goal.

In the next Module, we’ll drill down even more into your goals and accountability.

Tracking My Business Expenses

  • Tracking my business can be positive and help me measure and celebrate my successes.

Next Steps

Action Planning and Exercisies

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Complete the Actions Listed below

•ACTION PLAN: Determine your business impact footprint

•EXERCISE: Roadblock detection

I will complete the action plan and checklist to ensure my success.

  • Yes, I want to run my business like a pro!
  • I not interested in doing that