Entrepreneurs: Are you a Pantster or a Plotter with Your Business Style?

Calendar-Pen

“Vision leads to proper planning and proper planning leads to successful completion.” 
― Farshad Asl, The “No Excuses” Mindset: A Life of Purpose, Passion, and Clarity

 

In the fiction-writing world, two terms define what sort of writer we are:

Pantster: we write by the seat of our pants

or

Plotter: we plot everything out before writing a single word into our first draft.

As an entrepreneur, which are you?

While one form of getting things done isn’t better than the other (as long as it gets done!), plotting requires a bit more planning. If you are a plotter, as I am, here is the process as it has developed for me:

Urgency—don’t make 1 year business goals to yourself or your business—make it 1 month. Break each goal into visible segments that highly depend on one another. Just as you wouldn’t miss a deadline to a client, made a high-demand deadline for yourself.

Accountability—who in your support team will keep you on target, but also stays on target? Choose someone who sets a good example rather than living by the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mantra. Bad habits are contagious.

Hustle—this is the personal kick we give ourselves to get things done. This is the attitude we take when we’re rather watch tv, drink another cup of coffee, or go shopping with a pantster. We sacrifice to make our vision a reality. This is what brings us deep satisfaction when things happen. We must hustle through the obstacles, landmines and vultures that attempt to trip us up.

An editorial calendar for yourself—what do you want to accomplish this month? How can you break it down weekly? Daily? When I was in college, I created an elaborate schedule that include classes, homework, meals, exercise time, friend time, and spare time. As with all these things, they start out well, but they fizzled because of family, friends, and situations (in reality, excuses, avoidance, and delay). To make your personal calendar work for you is to train yourself so those external influences won’t derail or distract you. Implement your virtual assistant, accountability partner, favorite scheduling tool or app. USE THEM—CONSTANTLY!

Establish a consequence chart—what happens if you miss a goal? Make it visible, make it painful. If a weekend vacation is your motivator, then that’s your lost opportunity. If attending an industry conference is your motivator, then HUSTLE so you can attend! If contributing to your child’s college fund or your retirement fund is your motivator—if you don’t reach your business goals, you don’t have the revenue to contribute. OUCH!! If that’s not motivating enough, get out of business.

Create a daily schedule—just as when you worked your 9 to 5 job, you had a set schedule. Make one for your business. As business owners, we have the freedom and flexibility to establish our schedule based on our early-bird vs night-owl preferences, our family, and our self-care. Create a schedule that works for YOU—not someone else, but keep your clients at the forefront. If needed, find an off-site location that gives you the space and uninterrupted time you need to reach your business goals. It’s tough, but it’s necessary for you and your business success.

The busier we get and the more responsibilities we take on (family, business, self), it becomes a little more necessary to plot our course. Looking through your own habits, preferences, and lifestyle, how do you describe your entrepreneurial style?

Kristen Edens

A grandparent in business

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