I am assuming you have completed the Yellow Zone and you’ve come to the Green Zone because you are ready to put your personal strategic plan to work.
When you complete the Green Zone you will be in business for yourself and you’ll be a indie employee or indie entrepreneur. Your choice.
Getting your independent business started is the important thing.
Share some of your personal strategic plan with your fellow students in the NME Facebook group that is open only to enrolled students, hidden from the public. You can get feedback from your student colleagues and from me.
Remember, there is power in knowledge sharing and the road runs both ways.
Once you’ve launched, you will tell us what you’re doing and how it’s going. Maybe you’ll need some advice. Undoubtedly your fellow students will learn from both you and the professor.
A personal strategic plan is more than a strategic document. It is both a guide and a statement about you and your DNA as a company of one. You may want to keep some of it close to the vest, like your weaknesses, threats and some strategies you don’t want your competitors to know about.
I shared my “dark secrets” with you in the Yellow Zone only because I wanted you to have an honest example of self-analysis.
Most of your strategic plan, however, is also a story and you will want to tell about it. COWORK Entrepreneurs page on this website is based directly on my strategic plan and I want everyone to know the positive features. Please take another look.
You too have stories to tell.
What you are doing is business unusual. At first, people will be puzzled, then curious, then interested. And then many will likely become impressed by the purposes built into your socially responsible, self-managed, profit-for-purpose approach to work. They are the ones who will become your customers or clients.
The Primary Reason for the Plan Is a Roadmap
Of course you didn’t develop your personal strategic plan as a tool for PR and marketing. It’s good for that because you’ve poured things you care about into the personal goals, objectives and strategies. You want everyone to know and you have the words to prove it.
Otherwise, it is a document to be shared only with people whom you consider your allies. Their input may be helpful or discouraging, but encourage and thank them either way. Consider the sources and look at the negatives as bumps to expect and overcome. Or the negative input may cause you to think again, revise and renew.
Your personal strategic plan is also the basics for a business plan you are committed to follow. We will get to that business plan here in the Green Zone. But first a few more points regarding your strategic plan.
You are now at the point where your personal strategic plan meets reality. As you develop your business plan and tactics, you will likely run into daunting barriers. You may be compelled to go back to your strategic plan and contemplate a change or two.
That’s common. But I warn you, before you make any changes . . . . THINK!
At a point in my career I had six lawyers working for me on various issues. To each I kept saying, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do. I want to know how I can get it done!”
I know, I’m a hard head. But when I make my mind up it is virtually unchangeable. Yet I’m not a blind fool.
You should be firm but adaptable. My general rule is being open to changes in strategy, but hard and fast on goals and objectives. To change a goal or an objective is to betray your vision and mission. The only way I will give up on any goal or objective is if I find that it’s clearly wrong. It could happen.
And so, with reasonable restraint, your personal strategic plan should be a living document. But be very, very careful.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
As I’ve described before, the Green Zone is where the rubber meets the road. You can think of it as “grad school” because you’ve gone from the academic phase to the implementation stage in the Green Zone.
Until now I’ve been carrying all the water because the course content has been generic and you’ve been working alone. Now it’s time for you to put your landing gear down and take control of the course as well as your destiny. I will still be your guide, but my words will require your action.
You, as with all the rest of my students, will know more about the work you do than I do. Everyone comes from a caldron of trades and professions. Whether you are a tradesman or a professional I can’t tell you how to do your job. That’s the intellectual capital you will have to bring to the table. It’s the capital you have to invest in your company,.
My purpose is to help you own it, manage it and reap the wealth and benefits as far as your talent and your passion can take you.
Together we will make a great team.
Please move on to the next essay.
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