How to turn your dreams into plans. Our 6 step recipe

Written by  //  January 8, 2013  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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Here’s a little method to get those dreams into an action plan! It’s based on what I do.

1. Decide your Healthy Income Goal

Step 1 is decide your goal

Because we (The Business Bakery that is) are about helping women make a healthy income doing the work they love, it makes sense, to me, to start with a “Healthy Income” goal. If your dreams are about something different that’s absolutely fine. Just try and find some sort of ‘number’ goal to aim for. I like numbers –  not because I am a mathematical masochist –  but because they are easy to measure. And measuring is important because without it you won’t know you whether you’ve reached your goal or not.

Here’s a previous tip on how to work out your “Healthy Income Goal

2. Work out how many sales you will need to make to achieve that goal

Now you can do this next part in a very detailed way –  in fact I run courses on exactly how to do this – but let’s not get bogged down in all that right now. Instead, try doing just a rough estimate.

So, step 2 is work out how many products/services you need to sell to make the money you want.

If you sell lots of different products have a go at working out how many of each you plan to sell.

Don’t worry about getting these numbers spot on. It’s more important to just have a good think about the sort of size.  So do you need to sell 100 or 1,000 or 5,000 10,000 or 100,000, etc?

3. Chunk it down

When we see the size of the number we need to sell it can be pretty frightening. So scary in fact that we do, er, nothing. We sort of get paralysed by fear.

To beat this I chunk the big number down into smaller bits until I finally get to something that feels doable and very unscary.

So I might do something like this:

Let’s say I need to sell 10,000 jars of jam. I’d have a think and work out that I need to sell:

  1. 3000 to my current customers
  2. 1000 to my current customers’ friends
  3. 7000 to brand new people

Then I’d take a piece of paper for each of those headings and write on the top  “what can I do to…..” so:

  1. What can I do to sell 3000 to my current customers?
  2. What can I do to sell 1000 to my current customers’ friends?
  3. What can I do to sell 7000 to brand new people?

You might want to chunk it down much further. So you might have little chunks under “Current customers” and call them “Easter Jam”, “Summer Jam” or whatever. Keep chunking until you feel like you’ve chunked down enough to do step 4.

So, step 3 is to chunk your big number down into small ones to use as headings

4. Make lists

Once I’ve ‘chunked’ I make myself a big cup of coffee, take a deep breathe and write down as many things as I can think of under each heading. The bits to write down here are all the things you can do to make those chunked down sales. “Weekly newsletter, Christmas Fair, Magazine advertising” – anything. I call it ‘Stuff I could do”

And don’t worry about whether you’re writing down good stuff or not. Your best ideas will come if you allow yourself the freedom to write rubbish!

So, step 4 is to make lists of things you can do under each ‘chunked’ heading

5. Make a Quarterly Action Plan

I then take a little break. Long lists of ‘stuff I could do’ are always better left to soak.

After a day or two I look at each list and prioritise it. As I rarely know which of my ideas are going to be winners I just order them according to how much I want to do them. Unscientific but it works!

Once I’ve prioritised my list I pick a few to work on over the next 12 weeks. If was doing this today (9 Jan) then I’d do the period until 31 March. I like ‘quarter ends’! You can pick whatever period you want.

It’s tricky for me to tell you exactly how many ‘projects’ to pick, but my tip is this: if in doubt pick less! Better to pick a few things to do and actually complete them rather than pick masses and barely make a start.

So, step 5 is to make a quarterly action plan

6. Weekly to-do list

Finally, I do a weekly to-do list. This is different to my normal to-do list. My normal one just has the run of the mill stuff on it, “make appointment with X, tidy Y, send Z” – you know what I mean. This to-do list is special, it’s the list of things I’m going to do differently. The list of things that will actually help me reach my dream. I call it the ‘to-do-the-dream’ list.

So, step 6 is to keep a weekly “to-do-the-dream” list.

And that is it! Are you going to give it a try?!


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