HM Insights

I just need a plan

Article provided by Gayle Mann, Co-Founder at Misadventures In Entrepreneuring.

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How many times have you thought that over the last 2 weeks...?

We’ve been speaking to entrepreneurs up and down the country about their worries and concerns amidst this crisis, and as we allay fears amongst some and cultivate hope amongst others, we’ve seen a few common themes begin to emerge.

Whilst entrepreneurs are supposed to be the experts in navigating volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity, how many of us is equipped for all of them, all at once, and on steroids? This really is a first for all of us and we’re all flying blind trying to figure out what to do next. 

This is the first of a series of blog posts aimed at entrepreneurs where we’ll be bringing you with hints, tips and actionable suggestions as the situation unfolds.

The first of these – “I Just Need A Plan” – is dedicated to all of you of brilliant entrepreneurs who are putting yourselves under way too much pressure trying to plan your way out of this uncertainty. You’re finding yourselves desperately trying to regain some semblance of control in your world – only to feel like a failure 24 hours later when you have to abandon you plan because the world has shifted again (or your child refuses to “sit quietly” or “stop fighting with your brother” so mummy or daddy can figure out how on earth to keep their business on track).

Here’s a quick guide to what to do when it feels like your plan has gone out of the window and everything is in chaos:

1.     Gently set the original plan to the side (…no burning or ripping up just yet)

Remember this thing that we’re experiencing is brand new, shifting under our feet and will eventually even itself out again. Yes, at the end of this your business might not look exactly the same as you’d originally planned, but the vision and mission will be the same. Hold tight, all is not lost with the original plan, just think of it like you’ve pressed pause for now.

2.     If you can, stop and breath

If you are an all guns blazing, action taking, eat sleep and breath your business kind of entrepreneur this is going to be especially difficult. It’s also easy to be overwhelmed by all of the noise on social media right now and to feel like you must be doing something, anything.  

Yet, is it possible that the best thing for you and your business right now is to stop, do nothing and breath? 

If you’re struggling with where to point that energy next, then why not try doing nothing. Not forever, just a few hours, or a day even to let your thoughts distil. Give yourself the opportunity to see what emerges from the stillness. You might find things look a lot clearer to you. You might even have the beginnings of a plan.

3.     Now, accept that you can only plan as far ahead as you can see

Your brain is full of juggling new priorities right now and the real reality for all of us is that if we can only plan the next 24 hours, or even the next few hours, that’s okay. Your world has been turned upside down, people are not where they’re supposed to be (mostly under your feet if your experience is anything like ours!), and priorities have shifted. Give yourself permission to take it day by day. 

Remember your customers are humans in the same boat trying to make sense of this too. So, only look ahead to the next day or week and plan what you can. Our thoughts are evolving each day so, anything more than that will probably be out of date in a week anyway.

In any case now is the time to practice kindness and forgiveness towards ourselves for not having a plan or for getting it wrong. We’re all beginners in this situation, we’re not going to get it right first time if at all. Now is the time to give yourself permission to temporarily abandon our plan, give ourselves a minute to breath, then do what we can. Trust us, we’re all winging it together! 

And if you still feel like you're in need of some catharsis, entrepreneurial chicken soup and top tips from other entrepreneurs that get it then come and join us on Monday 30th March from 3-4pm UK Time for an open zoom call on this link with our growing community of misadventurers.

Article provided by Gayle Mann, Co-Founder at Misadventures In Entrepreneuring.

To find out more about Misadventures In Entrepreneuring visit: http://misadventuresinentrepreneuring.com/ 

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