Just Do It? Sort of

I recently had a client tell me, “I finally listened to you and stopped my cycle of researching and planning. I just did what we had been talking about. Guess what!? It worked!”

Are you a researcher or a planner like my client? I confess I am a total and complete planner. My mother-in-law jokes about me being our family’s cruise director because I always have a plan and itinerary for everything. I simply like to be prepared.

But over the years, I’ve learned even the most perfect plan will likely need to be adapted along the way. 

That’s why when I create an awesome plan now, I make sure I don’t become emotionally attached to it. Instead, I focus on results. As long as we reach the desired outcome in an efficient and positive manner, then I am perfectly alright if my plan is obliterated in the process. (Note: I may have a minor tantrum as it goes down, but I promise I will recover.)

Whether you are starting, running, growing, or even working for a business, having an adaptable plan is essential. For example, when rolling out a new product or service, one of the best plans I’ve learned is to always develop an MVP (minimum viable product) first. Creating an MVP allows me to invest minimal time and energy into my creation upfront.

Then, once I have my MVP, I stop planning, and I take immediate action to obtain two specific things before I go any farther forward:
  1. Feedback on the product (from the people I believe are my ideal clients), and 
  2. A consumer to purchase what I’m selling.
Firstly, seeking my target market’s feedback allows me to gather information about how to improve my idea prior to making it into a more robust product. I can learn how to add value in the eyes of my client. I can also figure out if my assumptions are correct about who my ideal clients are or if they need any adjusting. 

(Even if you already have a product or service you are selling to clients, you can still benefit from feedback from current clients. You can use a survey process, or contact current clients directly to ask for feedback.)

Secondly, knowing there is someone willing to pay you money for your product (or, better yet, more than one person) proves it is a viable business idea. Countless businesses have gone under after pouring resources into brilliant ideas only to find they have no buyers. Others end up spending all their money on production and preparation, leaving them struggling to cover marketing or operations while they scramble to build a demand for their service or product. 

The point is, no matter how straightforward or complex your plan is, and no matter how many times you have to adjust it along the way, the more action you take on your plan, the more real-time feedback you can get. The more feedback you receive, the more you can make relevant, valuable adjustments that lead you closer to success. 

Remember, the worst place you can spend all your time as a business owner is in your own head. Step away from your thoughts, talk to your clients and your community about what you’re creating, and then put that feedback into action. Improve your services and products, continue to try new things, and be willing to go back to the drawing board however often it takes. 

Do what you can, starting right now, to save the world!


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