No Regrets, Just A Well Executed Plan
By Rosalie Robinson
I had a colleague challenge me to think about four things that if I didn’t do them in the next six months I’d look back and wish I had. Just that phrase touched a spot in me, a tender spot filling with “regret”. I couldn’t believe the tears that suddenly welled up and ran down my cheek like an overflowing bucket. It made me realize that the dream I had launched at the beginning of the year, to be an independent business owner, was in jeopardy of dying on the vine as woeful regret.
I kicked off 2014 with a new business. I had done my due diligence in partnership with two other colleagues to start a consulting firm. Or at least I told myself I had done my homework. I was fully committed to the dream we crafted together over the prior four months. We spent hours planning, writing business plans, financials, reviewing the competition. Imagine my surprise when I woke up in April to find that I actually hadn’t done the work I thought and that my partners were really “residents in a co-op”. I played the words of one of my virtual “mentors”, Mark Cuban, in my head, “to be a successful entrepreneur…takes willingness to learn, to be able to focus, to absorb information, and to always realize that business is a 24/7 job.” I didn’t notice any mention of pity or regret. But that’s kind of where I found myself, having a momentary pity party and regretting something that would not become a reality without some additional hard work.
I realized that I would have a bigger problem in six months if I didn’t pull myself up by the bootstraps immediately, learn a couple of very valuable lessons, and move forward and I mean quickly. I immediately sprang into action rewriting my business plan focusing only on my coaching and human resources practice.
- Lesson #1, partnerships are great but they need to be well defined, have mutual commitment and offer mutual benefit to all parties. It’s all about the systematic approach to achieving my mission and helping my partner achieve theirs.
- Lesson #2, success is more likely when executing a well-confirmed business plan understand the details required to make your business run, monthly financials, projections, client flow, and lead generation.
- Lesson #3, even more important is a clearly defined value proposition. What’s the value that you bring? I honed in on my unique strengths as a human resources leader and executive leadership and career transitions coach and defined these services.
I don’t really know how this will all turn out but I know I am not going to have any regrets because I didn’t make the required effort, ran at the first sign of hard work, or let doubts sway me away from what trusted business advisors have said is definitely viable, what my clients have reaffirmed can work and what I believe. I am hitting the “re-set” button on this dream, moving it from an idea to reality starts now with the well-formed plan. Monday I have an important client meeting and I am prepared to close the deal and win one client at a time.