The Business Plan Project: Lesson three: Where you want to be

What’s your dream?

When I started my photography business, I wanted to do something I loved, and have more time to spend with my family. I imagined glamorous photo shoots in awesome locations, a warm and inviting studio, clients who became like good friends.

I imagined working from home, sleeping in, cuddles with my new baby. I imagined being able to spend time cooking delicious meals and taking Otto out to discover new places.

Instead, I was working over 60 hours a week. The majority of the work wasn’t glamorous or even fun…Editing, customer service, album design, print ordering, packaging. I had no weekends free and even less time to spend with my family. And my business wasn’t making me feel fulfilled or satisfied like I always imagined it would.

Forget your five year plan

I know I’m probably supposed to tell you to write a five year plan right about now. I should tell you to imagine where you want your business to be in five years…the financials, the products, the assets…

But instead we’re going to have more fun. Studies have shown – repeatedly – that numbers and statistics don’t motivate people as much as feelings do.

So forget the five year business plan!

Instead, I want you to imagine what your perfect life would be like. After all, who wants an uber-successful business if it means you can’t see your family or your friends, you can’t enjoy extra snuggles or long coffee breaks or walks in the woods?!

The Business Plan Project Homework

1. Open your Freakin’ Awesome Business Plan document.

2. This section is about where you want your business to be.

3. Imagine what your perfect business and life would be like. Write down as much detail as you can. This is your goal. This is where you want to be. This is where you have to work towards.

4. Sign up for more lessons sent direct to your inbox.

And tell me in the comments…What does your perfect business and life look like?

29 Comments on The Business Plan Project: Lesson three: Where you want to be

  1. Keryn Campbell
    March 20, 2014 at 2:51 am (7 months ago)

    This sounds so much more fun than crunching the numbers – although I did enjoy it in my pre-children life as an Accountant.

    – I would like two to three events a week with enough participants to make them pay.
    – Days in between to prep for those events and enter orders in to the system and make deliveries.
    – With time to catch up with friends, be home for my boys and keep the house together, but not obsessively of course.
    – Mostly I want enough fun stuff (work) to do to stop my from getting bored but not take over.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      March 20, 2014 at 3:54 am (7 months ago)

      These sound awesome Keryn! Is there any easy things in your business or your life you can change to get you closer to this?

      Reply
      • Keryn Campbell
        March 21, 2014 at 7:57 pm (7 months ago)

        Interestingly just writing it down seems to have given things momentum. Have two events schedules this week and next. We are on track.

        Reply
  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    March 20, 2014 at 11:05 am (7 months ago)

    It seems like there is so much work involved when starting a business, but you plan seems to alleviate a little bit of the stress :)

    Reply
  3. Robin {Mom Foodie}
    March 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm (7 months ago)

    My 5 year plan is pretty vague. I tend to focus more on plans for the next few months and just have a basic idea of what I want long term running in the background.

    Reply
  4. Allyson
    March 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm (7 months ago)

    I feel the same way about my job, but I am not really sure where to go from here. I am hoping to get some inspiration soon!

    Reply
  5. Debbie L.
    March 20, 2014 at 3:09 pm (7 months ago)

    When I started my glass art – thank goodness I spent 30 years running someone else’s business – it gave me lots of insight. Yes, a plan is a MUST!

    Reply
  6. Lois Alter Mark
    March 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm (7 months ago)

    Yes! It is so much more inspiring to think about your perfect life than just your perfect business! Great advice.

    Reply
  7. Virginia @thatbaldchick
    March 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm (7 months ago)

    Thought provoking. I’m not sure what my perfect life would be in five years. I’ll have to think about it some more.

    Reply
  8. brett
    March 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm (7 months ago)

    I started my business kind of by accident. but as it changes and evolves I change my plan and goals

    Reply
  9. Lexie Lane
    March 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm (7 months ago)

    I think the biggest key to business is dedication. You always have to know that there will be ups and downs where discouragement will be there but if you deal with it appropriately, move on, and work hard, you’ll eventually get to where you want to be :)

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      March 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm (7 months ago)

      That’s such a good observation Lexie! Dedication is definitely important to get you where you want to be. It sometimes seems like a long road to get there – especially when you just start out – but I’ve found that concentrating on how I want my life to be like, and heading in that direction keeps the motivation there.

      Reply
  10. Sandra
    March 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm (7 months ago)

    Plans are great to follow, especially if they are simplified to where it doesn’t feel overwhelming but yet productive….hard to mix the two.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm (7 months ago)

      That’s so true Sandra…I find a lot of business plans are pretty overwhelming and not very inspiring. Hopefully this is a much more intuitive way of planning your business and your life!

      Reply
  11. Pam
    March 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm (7 months ago)

    I like that you included what our perfect life would be like, too, in your plan. It’s easy to get stuck crunching numbers and projecting growth and lose sight of what else is important.

    Reply
  12. Lisa Jones
    March 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm (7 months ago)

    Love Your Way Of Doing Things. Goals Are Definately A Great Way To Start!

    Reply
  13. Heather Lawrence
    March 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm (7 months ago)

    8 months till I turn the big 4-0 and I have yet to figure out what my dream job is! I laughed when you suggested to throw out the 5 year plan. I haven’t made one of those yet either so you saved me some time! Thanks again :)

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      March 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm (7 months ago)

      Haha that’s awesome Heather! Another reason I don’t like 5 year plans, is you feel like a failure if you don’t achieve everything…but just making little changes and working towards your perfect life is much easier and much more fun!

      Reply
  14. Maggie @ The Love Nerds
    March 20, 2014 at 10:50 pm (7 months ago)

    I want my business to help my family financially while I eventually stay home with kids. I also want it to keep giving me the freedom of taking care of my health.

    Reply
  15. Amy Desrosiers
    March 20, 2014 at 11:08 pm (7 months ago)

    I love this post! My business started as a hobby but now it is finally making us some money. I never made a five year plan but I am making more and more money each year.

    Reply
  16. Mama to 5 BLessings
    March 21, 2014 at 2:45 am (7 months ago)

    My dream is for my husband to be able to quit his job and our family can travel the US for a year!

    Reply
  17. Aly Mashrah
    March 21, 2014 at 2:47 am (7 months ago)

    This is going to make me think about my business for sure tonight! I’m going to start a list.

    Reply
  18. Claudia Krusch
    March 21, 2014 at 3:07 am (7 months ago)

    My business only really started working, when I did my business plan and started working on my goals…

    Reply
  19. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas
    March 21, 2014 at 3:10 am (7 months ago)

    I’ve been working really hard on trying to make things happen the way I really want them to. Taking those leaps of faith is hard…and (I hope) worth it!

    Reply
  20. Danielle
    March 21, 2014 at 5:16 am (7 months ago)

    This is a fabulous post, I completely agree! There should be passion in our purpose ;)

    Reply
  21. Debbie Denny
    March 21, 2014 at 9:58 am (7 months ago)

    Great info. Working on a plan with my granddaughter. She wants to start a business

    Reply
  22. Christy Hoover
    March 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm (7 months ago)

    These are such great life tips! I love the ditch the 5 year plan. It’s so true. We often think that certain things will bring us what we want. But happiness is so important.

    Reply
  23. Janeane Davis
    March 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm (7 months ago)

    Business plans are a crucial part of business success. I always enjoyed helping my clients prepare and revise their business plans.

    Reply
  24. AJ
    March 23, 2014 at 6:17 am (7 months ago)

    I’m very visual so use a vision boards & mind maps to motivate….basically cutting up mags & using pretty colour pens ;-)

    Reply

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