Planning for success

Planning for success

We plan for a journey or what we want to do on our holidays, but we rarely plan for success.

When we see our competitors or people we admire having success we forget about all of the private sacrifices it took to get there. Or the years of slog and failure before they had a success. all too often we compare our beginning to someone’s middle. As the saying goes “It is amazing how many years it takes to have an overnight success!”

If we don’t plan for success we are going to end up unfocused and treading on the spot. If we don’t have a goal or dream to aim for, how do we know if we have made any process towards it, or had any small successes on the way?

In this podcast I talk about why it is so important to plan for success, how to do it with out feeling overwhelmed, and how to use the tools and contacts you already have, before you go hunting for for new ones.

New shiny things are tempting, but they can move you off the path to success. I talk about how you have everything you need right now and how to make the most of it.

What you need…

  1. Start by thinking about what success looks like for you. This isn’t what your parents or friends think you should be doing, this is personal, and only you know what success or your dream looks like.
  2. If you are into visual mood boards- create one around your dream of success. I’m more of a write it down sort of person, and that might work for you as well. By being clear about what it looks like, you can begin to visualise it and picture it as a reality.
  3. Focus on the 3 P’s- Plan, Predict and Pause. 
    Plan– Have a plan of what you want to achieve and by when. Don’t set yourself crazy deadlines. Break it down into smaller manageable chunks. By doing this, it allows you to appreciate the small successes that you have on the way. If you only focus on the end goal, you can get disheartened and lose focus.Predict– Know when the pin prick points will happen. These are moments when you think you might need some help, some financial input or where you might go off track. Predicting when things might go wrong empowers you, as it can take the fear away and help you to make a plan of what you might do if it doesn’t go to plan.Pause– It is so important to take a break and look at what you have already achieved. If we keep on pushing ourselves forward all of the time without ever taking a moment to look back, how do you know if you have made any progress? Breaks help us to give ourselves a pat on the back and to regain focus if we have run out of energy.
  4. Don’t try to do it all alone. Just as you need to take a pause, it is important to surround yourself with people who are also trying to build their dreams. They don’t have to be working in the creative industries, but they need to be there for you, and you for them.Knowing that someone is thinking about you, or is going through the same thing, can give you strength. It also helps when you are trying something new and need to bounce some ideas of others.
  5. Be strategic– This doesn’t mean acting like a hard nosed business person with flow charts and statistics (uncase that gives you reassurance- then go for it!). It means not trying to throw everything at it, and hope that something sticks.You need several parts to reach your success, like social media, accounts, inspiration and networking. Don’t try to work on all of those parts at the same time, take blocks of time for each bit. If you try to work on it all at the same time, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed and unfocussed. Be strategic!
  6. 7 degrees of separation– Look at the people you already have in your network, before you search for new ones. If there is a particular person you want to connect to, ask you network if they have a connection to that person. Your Auntie Sue might know their daughter, or your best friend has already met them before.Looking at the network you already have is an easier way to make connections than trying to reach them via a google search.
  7. Ask for help– We can’t do everything ourselves. I know that it is hard to make yourself venerable, and sometimes we want to look like we know what we are doing, when in fact we are scared or feel lost.You can ask for help on social media if you don’t want to ask your own network. The key is to make sure that you get support when you are building your career. Especially if you work alone as a freelancer.
  8. Try– If you aren’t sure how to do something, give it a go. If we aren’t making mistakes we are making nothing at all. It is important to start before you feel ready as well, as there will never be the moment when everything is perfect- that doesn’t exist.

In the comments below, let me know what your idea of success looks like and how you plan to achieve it.