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Making Your Strategic Business Plan Work

Every business has a deliberate plan to reach their goals. It something called market strategy. Just because you have marketing strategy in place doesn’t mean you will experience success in reaching your objective. If you don’t know what you are doing and are just “throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks” you are being ineffective for sure and as a result will be guaranteed not to get to where you want to go with some kind of direction.

To get to where you want to go in a timely fashion, you have to produce and establish Marketing Strategies that have the following characteristics.

You have to understand what having a Strategic Business Plan means. And you need to understand the difference between strategic and tactical. This all sounds simple but it’s a point that many people find confusing. Strategies define goals to be achieved while tactics define the actions you'll take to achieve those goals.

  • Strategy: I need to define the competitions and companies that are appropriate at my present entry level.
  • Tactics: Make a list of all publications to check in with to get this information, ask my fellow colleagues and teachers, and check out all companies within a 100 mile radius.

Tactics are measurable rather than vague. Know what every business person knows, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. If you go after vague, elusive and unclear goals, you will have no idea if you are achieving your tactics because there is nothing to measure any success against. But once you have your tactical system in place you will be able to create success again and again as you move forward with your strategic plan.

  • Vague: I know there are bunches of auditions coming up next month. I’ll send my resume out to them.
  • Measurable: I understand what my entry level is so I need to work through the auditions coming up next month to see which ones would be appropriate for me and then send them my materials.

A strategic goal should be achievable through the tactics that support it, rather than dependent upon uncontrollable outside forces. Tactics can be accomplished because they don’t depend on anything but your research, resources, and action. How often do you put this into practice?

  • Contingent: I guess I’ll wait for the next Classical Singer to come out before I get my PR Packets together.
  • Actionable: I need to double my efforts to find just the right auditions for me right now so I don’t waste my key resources of time, energy and money.

This is not personal or emotional, it’s Business. Strategies and tactics do not require you to be artistic about how you get to your goals. It’s nice to find a vision for your work, but that is not the same as creating and implementing your career strategies and tactics.

  • Inspirational: I need to make sure I create an artistic path to follow that will lead me to my goals.
  • Achievable: I can clearly see in a very unemotional state, what has to be done down to the mundane and unattractive parts I really don’t want to do, but will follow through on so I can move forward toward my goals.

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better." — King Whitney, Jr.

Work smart. A Strategy is just hot air unless there's a tactical plan for achieving each strategic goal. Take the time to think through what kind of time you have to devote to the many projects you have coming up. Prioritize what needs to happen first and which is the most important. Notice what is working and what is not, because it’s your life, your career going by and you need to stay present so you can adjust your tactics, have the time to observe your strategies and tactics, make any necessary adjustments, follow any important leads, try new approaches and embrace change because that is inevitable. Also know that you will undoubtedly fail and make mistakes. That means you will always be checking in for any feedback so you can learn the lessons therein. Stick with your plan because changing directions every few minutes is just “crazy making” and learn just how much you can put on your plate at one time comfortably. If the plan’s not there, your strategy isn’t real. Because of this, changes in strategy should be undertaken only when it's clear that achieving a strategic goal is either impossible or no longer desirable.

Now that you've told your mind that you have a plan in place, your strategies and tactics to carry it through, pat yourself on the back and don’t think about winning or losing. Just be in the moment, focused on what you need to do next. If you watch Olympic athletes, you can actually see the moment, just before they begin, where they shrug off the thoughts of winning and are simply in the moment allowing what they have practiced to be what they do as they simply take action.

"Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing." - Eckhart Tolle

Regardless of the results of your actions, indeed, even before you analyze whether or not you've done the work, take a moment to celebrate the incredible victory of doing your best while being in the moment. Consider: you just experienced your life at a higher level than 99 percent of the rest of the people in the world. Now, and only now, take a look at your results. Regardless of whether you achieved the level you'd hoped to or not, notice what worked and what didn't. Hone your thinking so that you can make the process even more powerful when you prepare for your next big moment.

You know what I think about strategies, tactics and taking action. Now, let me hear from you – your comments, observations and questions. Avanti and ciao until next time. Carol

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