February 18, 2019

Have a Plan, and a Back-Up Plan


By Telford Aduda

Many things may go into making a successful entrepreneur, it can be a fool’s errand to attempt to figure out what is, or is not, essential. But one thing is pretty close: When you talk to and work with enough entrepreneurs, the main theme that emerges is persistence.

In entrepreneurship, persistence is a skill or attribute because it may just be the one skill without which failure is pretty much assured. In other words, it’s possible to succeed in business or in the workforce or as an entrepreneur if you’re not creative, or if you don’t collaborate well, or have not really learned to be adaptive and flexible. All three are important parts of an entrepreneurship mindset. Whether you are creative and collaborative and adaptive, lack of persistence will surely kill you.

Here are the reasons why being persistent and well-prepared to tackle life’s many obstacles is more important than trying to manage things out of your control.

Things don’t usually go as planned
So be ready when the inevitable road blocks stand in your way. Whether you are an entrepreneur growing a start-up or a team member at a large corporation, you’ve probably noticed that plans can change, and change often. You must learn to remain focused on what lays ahead, testing failures along your path to success doesn’t mean you failed. Failing occurs when you let those experiences cause you to quit.

Planning doesn’t ensure adaptability
As the saying goes, hell can sometimes break loose, putting the life of your organization at risk. Plans may not work. Common sense is also a great standby when your plan starts falling apart. For companies to be dynamic and adapt to internal or external forces pushing against them, they must have nimble leadership, healthy financials, and a team with a shared sense of purpose.

Planning doesn’t identify unknowns
Persistence and tenacity is what makes businesses successful. Character is built during the third and fourth attempts at achieving a goal. Not the first try. In business, there are always many things out of your control such as the economy or your customer’s financial situations. But that’s no reason to freak out and make knee-jerk decisions. You simply have to stay positive and keep moving.

Thus a great quote from Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, “If you can’t fly you run, if you can’t run you walk, if you can’t walk you crawl. But no matter what, you keep moving forward.”

Good plans are worthless without execution
You can spend all the time in the world developing great plans for your business but if you don’t have the ability to execute on those plans you’ll fail.

Never discount the importance of having a great plan and even better contingency plans. But keep in mind that if you invest proper time to ensure you have the ability to adapt as needed, it won’t feel like you’re trying to steer a cruise ship with an iceberg dead ahead.

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