My plan failed me…by Holly Lanesmith
Be careful of well-thought-out plans.
Most people will say it’s smarter to create a plan and to stick to it, but I’m about to share with you why that isn’t always the smartest route to take (based on my years of experience with plan failure)...
Let me share with you the process most of us go through when it comes to creating a plan and sticking to it.
Once we get clear on our goal, we usually go through a process where we become fully motivated to bring it forward. And then we build a level of belief in ourselves that we can achieve it. We’re feeling good, we’ve made an internal commitment to it, and we feel like nothing can stop us.
Until suddenly, we ask ourselves, "How am I going to do it?"
And that’s when the problem arises…
We become so emotionally attached to the plan that when challenges arise and the plan isn’t working out the way we would like it to, we surrender the goal.
We see this all the time when people set financial goals. They’ll have a number in mind and set a plan to achieve that goal.
And after the first or second quarter of working the plan, they realize they're way off target of reaching the goal, and then they’ll lower the goal of earning $150k down to $100k…
Or they’ll have a goal to reach $100k, and they’ll lower it down to $80k.
Whatever the exact number may be, they surrender the goal and favor the plan because all their emotional commitment, intellectual commitment, and time commitment has been to work that plan.
But what if you're working the wrong plan?
Several years ago, I was growing a business that was doing very well.
The business was already generating 20 million dollars a year in revenue, and the new goal that I had set that year was to get the company to 30 million dollars.
I had created an entire plan of how we were going to do this. That plan included opening up different profit centers, making shifts in our marketing and messaging, and making changes in our internal system.
So in short, the plan was comprehensive and really well thought out. And in that process, I had even taken the time to seek the advice of really smart people who had experience in business.
And so, I was locked in on this plan.
…So locked in that I invested 1.5 million dollars into a national radio campaign!
And even though I had done all of my "due diligence" and all indicators were giving me a green light that this was the right plan, that we were gonna execute it the right way, that it was well thought out....
After the first week of ad runs, it became clear that the ads were not producing.
I was feeling frustrated, confused; doubtful… I had 1.5 million dollars on the line here, and I wasn’t receiving any return on my investment, and time was ticking!
And so rather than stopping the ad and really going back to the drawing board to make sure it was a good plan, I trusted the past thinking that created the plan.
As a way to kind of "save the plan," I told myself, "maybe it just needs more time."
So we'd give it another 2 or 3 weeks to run.
Maybe the ad just needed to catch momentum…
But here’s the sad news… it didn’t. By the end of the first 30 days of this 90-day run, the ad still wasn't performing how we expected…
And as another way to defend the plan, I told myself, "well, now I'm committed to the plan. It's too late now to just pull the plug."
And so we re-wrote the ad, we looked for different times to run the ad, and we stuck with the plan. But again, the plan wasn't working.
So another 2 weeks went by, and still, we were not getting the expected or desired results.
So again, in another attempt to defend the plan, we changed the offer. We added bonuses; we lowered the price.
The result told us the plan was clearly failing, and yet, here I was defending the plan.
I would think to myself, "surely, the plan couldn't be wrong" - all the while feeling scared, frustrated, confused, doubtful, regretful…
Remember, I had invested 1.5 million dollars and all my thought energy into this plan. And now? Now it had me second guessing whether I could even reach my goal. Now it was failing me…
To help you avoid the mistakes I made, allow me to share with you what I learned in a nutshell:
You have to be willing to change your plan. And more than that, as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to accept defeat, accept the loss, and accept that you’re wrong.
It’s as simple as that. But it requires you to take your ego out of it. You've gotta be willing to be brutally and critically honest with your Team about how things are going in the company and whether your efforts are paying off.
Sometimes the plan just doesn't work. And that’s okay.
But with the way we’re wired, there's a mindset that we develop to justify our plan. And this mindset fortifies our thinking, and doesn’t serve us. Instead, it has us double down on what's not working. It’s not healthy, but we’ve all experienced it.
The good news is, if we become aware of the thinking patterns that lead us to justify our plan when it’s not working, and work on those thinking patterns, we can prevent ourselves from falling into this trap again and again.
Because we’ve just started a new year and many of us have created some type of plan for our goals ahead, I want to share with you the 10 thinking patterns or what I like to call "landmines" of a failed plan.
I hope you’ll join me this Saturday at 9:30am (ET) on the Empowered Living Facebook platform as I expand on this topic and we get into the 10 steps that lead to a plan failure.
Join me right here. >> www.facebook.com/empoweredlivingcommunity