Maybe it’s a good thing….

I’m a planner. I plan, schedule, make lists. I remember that my plans, my itineraries were jokes at my wedding. I’ll take it … because if you must know, my wedding was a success with no hiccups.

This skill is one of the things I teach through my company. I teach people how to set yearly goals, break them down into quarterly goals and then plan them out. I teach people how to plan for success. I also teach time blocking and other organization methods to support those goals. Then I recommend accountability as the missing piece to achieving success. I stand by the process.

However, for most of us, 2020 didn’t go as planned. I had a plan… it was nicely mapped out on a dry erase calendar and what I set out to do in Q1 2020, for the most part, got done. But by the time we got to the end of Q1, life as we know it had changed. I never made it to Saint Martain. Most of the dates I planned for my husband and I had to be changed because they were no longer possible. My summer plans for big BBQs and fun with my friend’s kids all had to change or be cancelled. But even bigger was the business deal that never happened, the staff lay off’s, followed by staff terminations, store closures, business plans that had to be delayed or changed and the emotional rollercoaster that I faced.

My husband’s businesses have a September 30th year-end. We have decided to match my company’s planning cycle with them. Making it yearly planning time for us. All planning cycles start with a review. What wins did we have, what did we learn, what could we have done better? As I reflect on this year, I know I didn’t achieve what I expected. I’m not where I thought I would be in my business. My husband’s businesses have taken a beating. I could look at it as a failure.

If I just look at revenue, a business deal lost, new customer acquisitions or entrepreneurs helped, I may see a failure. A failure because we didn’t achieve our plan. As a planner, the plan means everything. However, when I reflect on the last 12 months I see two business partners who faced a lot of uncertainty and faced each challenge together. I see a couple who managed to work from home and managed each of our emotional rollercoasters and came out stronger. We took an opportunity to re-evaluate what we wanted for our future, get reacquainted with our why’s. We learned to let go of the outcome and be ok with whatever happens. We remembered to take time to care for our house and find creative ways to improve it (homemade outdoor furniture, concrete outdoor kitchen countertops). We learned that there are different ways to do business; we are a fully remote company now. We realize in both our business and personal life that we will figure it out. We always have, we always will as long, as long we work together. I learned that even the best-laid plans sometimes have to change. I still believe in planning. I still believe in setting goals. I also now understand that sometimes you need to change HOW you get there. Sometimes you may need to intentionally set out on a new path.

I know that COVID is not over. I know that financially the worst is likely still to come. I know that planning for the next 12 months will be difficult with so much uncertainty. However, it’s ok. As long as we remember why we are doing what we are doing, continue to move forward towards the why and we continue to keep the communication high; I know we will figure it all out.

I’m still a planner. My plans help me focus, be productive and keep moving forward but I also know that we just have to enjoy things while we are here and make the necessary adjustments as we go.

This year has given me so many lessons. Lessons I needed. I still have some more to learn (like how to manage staff and build a strong culture in a remote environment) but I’m excited because as I learn I can help more entrepreneurs who don’t have my skills.

I would love to hear what you learned this year. Are you willing to share?

Back to 2020/2021 planning!

“We make all these plans about how things will turn out, but life happens, plans change so we adapt. We draw on strength we didn’t know we had, we give up an illusion of control and deal with any problems that come our way.”