Episode #6: Building a Plan (Getting Started in Business Mini-Series, Part 2)

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. Episode 6 - Building a Plan (Getting Started in Your Business, Mini-Series, Pt. 2

In this episode, we’re talking about how to build a plan for your business! We’re also covering a listener question about how to get started and common mistakes that can be avoided… we’ll finish the show with a weekly actionable tip about how to turn your long-term vision into short-term, achievable goals. This is the 2nd segment of our 3-part mini series on how to get started in business.


Podcast Sponsors:

NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Driven Podcast

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: Today’s episode is the second segment of our three-part miniseries on how to get started in business. Today we’re talking about how to build a plan for your business. We’re also covering a listener question about how to get started and common mistakes that can be avoided. Then we’ll finish off the show with a weekly actionable tip about how to turn your long-term vision into short term achievable goals.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [2:38]
  2. Shop Talk: Building a business plan [8:00]
  3. Listener Question: Avoiding common mistakes [32:09]
  4. Tip of The Week: Make your plan [36:01]

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants by focusing on bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes a whole-food, properly prepared, and nutrient dense diet as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Throughout their programs, students learn a wide-range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in their clients, and to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition. The NTA produces like-minded practitioners and consultants that we endorse and consider colleagues in the health and wellness space. Registration for the February enrollment opens on September 17th. You can learn more, and save your seat by going to www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to mention our name, The Driven Podcast, on your application.

1.  What’s on my plate [2:38]

Cassy Joy: First segment is What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives this week. Diane, what’s going on right now?

Diane Sanfilippo:  Well, I think we’re going to do a little more personal updates this week, right? So a couple of things going on in my world. If you don’t follow me on Instagram and Instagram stories in particular, you might not know. We’re doing a little bit of a backyard renovation. I did mention it last week. But that’s been a really interesting process. Just kind of watching what’s happening back there. We’re cutting a hole in the back wall, making sure we get some doors.

For those of you who may have noticed, we live in a house built in 1924 here in San Francisco, and there was no door to our very small, also slanted, backyard. These are all very quirky and endearing things when you first look at the house. And then you live here for two years and you’re like; I would like a door from inside my house to get outside. That would be nice. Instead of climbing out the window. So anyway. And when the window stopped staying open, then it really became important. Because trying to climb out the windows was even harder.

Anyway. I know this seems like a first-world problem. But I’m pretty sure that most people would agree that a door to get to your little backyard would be nice. So that’s all happening. It’s really exciting.

Other news; our intro discloses that I am a plant enthusiast. I’ve had a plant-mom fail recently where I have this ZZ plant from one of my favorite brands; the Sill. Not sponsored. But we would love to be, if anyone is listening from the Sill {laughs}. And it’s got some bugs on it. So I asked some of my friends for some home remedies on that. That’s a plant mom fail. You know, I feel a little like I’m letting myself down on that one.

And then last but not least, just kind of in the super personal realm. I’ve talked about it in a few places; I don’t know if I’ve told our listeners here. But I’m back on this weight lifting template that I did; I think I did this after you and I were on tour together for your book, Fed and Fit and my second edition of Practical Paleo. It’s called renaissance periodization. It’s a weight lifting template that I really love. It’s like this excel spreadsheet. You get to pick your own exercises based on the movements that they want you to do each day, and I’m going to go do that right after we finish recording. And I just love that I’m like; here’s what I have to do. I go in. I lift the things. I put them back down. I check my Instagram in between. I don’t have to do cardio. {laughs}

I will be riding a Peloton soon. But I’m just really loving it. And I feel like it’s changing my body. I feel really, really good. I feel stronger, and my energy is better. So that’s just been really great. And I am really enjoying it. So what is up with you, over in San Antonio?

Cassy Joy: Well, my life has been turned on it’s head again. Because Grayson is now going to school. And it’s a whole new normal. People who I have talked to that have had small children; just standing from afar and watching from afar. They would say every turn and every new milestone, it’s like a totally different baby and your routine is turned on it’s head again. It’s like; right when you feel like you have it figured out. It’s like; Diane and I; we could record on this date at this time. And all of a sudden that’s not the case anymore.

So it’s just a whole new normal. She enjoys it. She really likes getting to play with other kids. Getting to read new books. But it’s just trying to figure out how that’s going to work with our life.

And then I’m rolling up my sleeves and learning SEO; search engine optimization, for myself. There was a time where I was such a fuddy duddy about it. I was like; what’s this new-fangled SEO stuff? That didn’t exist when I started my online business. And I know a little bit about it. I thought it was just; how do you title things to be found in Google. And that is maybe 1.5% of SEO is actually involved in. And if I’m being really honest, I wanted to delegate all of it. I wanted to delegate all of it. Because it’s like me learning how to do graphic design. In my mind, it didn’t make sense to me to get over this huge educational hump where I could easily outsource it.

And truth be told; if I’m going be the editor in chief of this online editorial, and this is essentially our business front, or store front is online, then we have to be SEO friendly and compliant, then I have to be brushed up on this. So it’s kind of exciting to give myself permission to really dig into the education there. And taking all of these really great classes.

And then, on another personal note, I finally bought brand new glasses. And folks ask a lot on Instagram where my glasses are from. For the last four years they’ve all been from Warby Parker. I shop in the men’s department for what they say are wide heads. {laughs} Those are the ones I filter by.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I look for men’s glasses with wide heads and they fit me just right. This time I’m buying two different frames. It’s so funny because the last time I bought everything new right before I had my daughter, Gray, who is about a year and a half now. I was about 6 months pregnant. And I remember I got glasses. I got a new phone, and a new computer. And now it’s two years later, essentially, and my phone is petering out a little bit. What a terrible phrase. I hate saying that because I always feel empathy for the Peter’s of the world. {laughs}

And then my glasses are no longer kicking it. So that’s what’s going on.

2.  Shop Talk: Building a business plan [8:00]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, it’s time for Shop Talk. We know this is our favorite. In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful.

Cassy Joy: Ok. So this being part two of our getting started in business miniseries. Last episode, if you listened to episode 5 was identify your passion. And this being episode 6 of the Driven podcast, we’re talking about building a business plan. What all could be involved in it. And I’m really excited about this conversation, Diane. Do you want to kick it off and relay some of your thoughts?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I tend to say that planning is not my strong suit. So I think I will let you kick it off.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But I will throw in my thoughts as we move along.

Cassy Joy: Ok. That sounds good. So, when it comes to building a business plan, I’m all about the plan. I love crafting a vision. If you’ve listened to all the episodes so far, you’ve heard me say this a few times. But I am one of these people where I love dreaming and visualizing things and thinking about the ways that I can impact the world and really make a difference and all of these things. What is my life going to look like? So we’re going to break it down; how to really do that without, I think, make it feel overwhelming. Because for me, when I create a plan, it doesn’t turn into homework. It turns into something that more inspires me than makes me feel fenced in.

So, in the spirit of that, I say when you’re crafting a business plan. And some of you listening might think; because when you think business plan, if you go back to business school. A business plan was very different than what I’m going to cover. I’m really talking business vision. But a business plan was more like really, really specific details. These are business plans, let’s say if you’re ever applying for a SBA loan. A business plan is a very long document where you discuss at length these very specific details. And I like to think it’s more empowering when you’re at the very beginning stage of a business. You’re not applying for a loan. That you’re looking qualitatively; where do you see yourself going.

So I like to start 10 years out. I start; cast a really long line out. Start 10 years out; where do you see yourself? Where do you see your business in 10 years? Try not to focus on metrics. And think big, fuzzy picture. Ok? It doesn’t have to be that I have done 15 million dollars in gross revenue in 10 years selling this exact widget, living in this exact house on this street. And these are my children and their names. These are my cats and dogs and their names. I’m not talking about that kind of granularity.

But in 10 years, what kind of life do you see yourself living? And what kind of work do you see yourself doing? How does it make you feel at the end of the day? What are the lives that you touch? And this is all the day-dreaming phase, right? Once you have the 10 year down, where do you see yourself in 5 years? What’s the halfway point between now and then? And then what’s the 1-year route? What is 1 year from now before you get there?

And this is really where I start building a business plan. Because it’s important for me to know qualitatively, where am I going? What’s my long lead? What’s the 10-year vision out, so that I can make sure what I’m doing in the short run that these short-term business plans, maybe more detail oriented, are actually moving towards the things in life that I really want to achieve.

So then you get into the granularity of what do you need to do between now and that one-year vision to make it happen? If you have a blog, or maybe you blog on Instagram. Or you have a desire to start publishing content on Instagram. Do you need to start publishing three times a week in order to get to where you’re going, and being really consistent with that? Do you need to start chipping away at that book proposal? If it’s a goal of yours to have a best selling book in 5 years, then you should probably start now on that book proposal just a little bit at a time.

Do you actually need to schedule weekly coffee dates with folks who you’re interested to invite onto your team? Let’s say if you have some sort of a big team that you’re nurturing. How can you break these things down into weekly tasks that don’t have really strict benchmarks? Because I think that’s a pitfall for sometimes these business plans.

Let’s say if we zero in on; both Diane and I are managing directors with Beautycounter and we mentor folks who are building Beautycounter teams. And I have, in the past, worked with folks who say; yes, I want to schedule these weekly coffee dates with folks who I think would be really great on my Beautycounter team. But they put in there this caveat that in three months, I’m going to have 15 team members.

And while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a goal of 15 people that you have recruited, I think sometimes our daily tasks become contingent on whether or not we’re achieving that overall goal, and we get discouraged. So I say break up this business plan into; what am I going to work on that can contribute towards this ultimate goal? Not necessarily, what is going to tie me to these semi-arbitrary milestones. Does that make sense?

Diane Sanfilippo: It does. One of the notes that I had was; let me just back up a little bit. Because you’re talking about this qualitative plan. Which is; I mean, I’m with you 100%. Because I think that in today’s modern world, the way that business works. Most of us, like you said; we’ve thought of the idea of a business plan as like this binder. And we’re writing down; what is the size of the market. What is; how many millions or billions of dollars? When people go on Shark Tank, and they have to talk about the market place. How many customers are there? What’s my cost of acquisition? All of that stuff, that’s all real. And there might be some of you listening who actually do need to write that kind of plan. Because as Cassy noted; if you’re trying to get money from somebody. If you want a loan, you need to show them what are they investing in. How many potential customers are there in the world? And all of that matters.

But I would say 80-90% of you don’t need that type of business plan. It’s not relevant for you. It’s not what we are using in our businesses. We are growing them ourselves and self-funding these things that we’re doing at this point in time. Now, if that were to change later, we would probably need that sort of plan. You need to have numbers that you’re showing people, as far as what’s happening.

So with this idea of something that’s more qualitative. We talked about this a little bit a couple of episodes ago of breaking those big goals down. I think that something really critical here is to have a place that you are building your home when it comes to content. So as part of your plan, I think a lot of folks are looking at making contact and talking to people. If they’re building a network marketing business it’s in these conversations and all of that. And sometimes you look back at this thing that you’re building, and you’re like; what did I even create? What did I put out into the world to create a touchpoint for people to know who I am and what I’m all about and what I’m building? And I think that we need to have a place.

So you mentioned, whether you’re “blogging” on Instagram or what have you, a place that you can draw people back to. And that you can look at along the way so that in six months, even if you haven’t achieved that quantifiable goal of, “Well I’m going to have this many people on a team.” Or I’m going to sell this many widgets. Or whatever it is. That you have been laying the foundation all along.

And I don’t know that we can get into what that looks like in every different genre of business today. So maybe we’ll talk about what that’s going to look like for different people. Because I do think a lot of folks listening are going to be; you know, people who are in the Beautycounter business. And they’re like; I don’t know what that really means to have this content home.

But I was watching; and I’m going to give kind of a hat tip nod; there’s my street noise I told you guys about on a previous episode. To Gary V. Because if you don’t follow @GaryV on Instagram, Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s not for everyone, but for some. He talks about entrepreneurial advice. And one of the things he said is; look. If you’re currently trying to build a business and you’re not creating content on the internet somewhere, you’re going to look back in 5 years and really regret that.

And even if you are building what we would consider a network marketing business; if you’re building a person to person business, we still need to know more about you, who you are, what you’re teaching, why you’re the resource. Why I should trust you. Why I should buy from you. In a way that goes beyond just that conversation you had at the coffee shop. I need to have another way to ground that relationship. And I think that finding a way to communicate that online is what will separate those who are successful from those who are not. Because it is really not that easy to verbalize all of these things that we do. But it’s so important.

And it’s not about being showy, or being egotistical, or just parading your accomplishments. It’s about documenting what it is that you’re doing so that in 5 years, you look back and you’re like; yeah. You know what? That person decided to get into this business with me because they could see what I was doing. How else do you show your cards? How else do you show your work? It’s like a math problem. You can’t just have the answer. You have to show someone else that you’ve done the work and really kind of; {laughs} I’m using all these analogies. But earn your stripes, right? Show that work.

So I think that’s really important. And whatever that is going to look like; again, I think we’ll find a way to explain that in the future. But I’m definitely; not having a 5- and 10-year vision is something that I feel really insecure about. To this day, it’s served me just fine. I’m 41; I feel like I’m doing pretty well with my businesses. It’s unsettling for me to not have some kind of more grand vision. I don’t like that feeling. I just don’t really have another way to be who I am. So I don’t have that kind of vision. I generally can see no more than 1 to 2 years ahead.

I think it might also be self-protective. Like; I think if I made this 5- or 10-year vision or plan, and continued to not achieve whatever that is, in favor of perhaps something better for myself, or not. I think that might feel too painful for me. I don’t really know what the story is there. But if you had asked me 10 years ago, in 2009, am I trying to write a book at all? In 2009? Don’t think I would have said that. Don’t think I would have said 5 books. I don’t think I would have said one of those books would be a 2-year New York Times’ bestseller. I don’t think any of that was on my radar.

So I’m here to tell the people who have a more gut focused; it’s not reactive and it’s not unthoughtful. It’s just; you’re kind of riding the tide in a different way, I think. And I really just move from that place. I move from a direction, and I’m very focused on finding joy in what I’m doing all the time. And very quick to cut my losses. When I’m like; you know what? I don’t like that thing. And it’s not working. And it’s not serving other people.

There are some parts of my business that are doing different things than others. Whatever; I don’t want to get into all of that. But I think I’m very much driven on a daily basis by; is this thing bringing me joy? And do I want to continue doing it? Or is there something that is emerging that’s presenting itself that I actually think that seems like the direction to go.

I know that can seem scattered or unfocused. And it seems that way to me sometimes, too. But I think if I look back at how that has led me to where I am, I think it’s working out. You know what I mean? I never would have put a business like Beautycounter on my map. I never would have put, write 5 or 6 books on my map. Ever, ever, ever. I’m not a writer. I write the books, but it’s not what’s inherent to me. So I would never have written that out for myself.

Because, kind of what you were talking about recently, too. It’s like those hard, challenging things that are uncomfortable that you agree to do, or where you have the growth. Do you know what I mean? So that’s kind of a struggle for me with this plan. Like, I’m just; I don’t know. I’m moving, and I’m like, yes.

I think I’m thinking about the 5 to 10 year; how do I want to impact people’s lives, and I get these crazy; I wanted to eventually have frozen meals, and I said it out loud to someone, and not more than two to three months later, the opportunity did present itself. So, I don’t know, maybe I am planning.

Cassy Joy: I think you are. And I think that your method is serving you well. And there are; I would argue, a great portion of listeners who are nodding along with you. And they’re like; yes, I get that! That works for me. That’s how I “plan.” Right?

And I also think that there are the other folks out there who really like to cast a vision. But I think it’s a slippery slope into chaining yourself to these arbitrary, very specific milestones. And I think it’s important to be aware of those as you go along.

So; for example, let’s say. Business plan. I knew that I want, part of my vision, is turning Fed and Fit into a robust online editorial. And what do I mean by that? I mean that it’s a place that, in five years, a dozen people call home for work. Right? They are fulltime employees. I have a really great on-campus daycare that is just the best place to be. I think of Patagonia; I’ve mentioned it before, is really what I’m striving after in terms of HR and program and giveback. We’re just really thinking outside the box in how we’re able to fuel people’s hearts and minds and plates. And that’s a huge passion of mine.

But because I know that that’s something I have to build, I also have to monetize it. And I also have to explain reach and voice. So decisions to write books along the way, right, become a part of that vision. And they feed this ultimate goal that I have. And then joining up with; back in the day, when I joined as a Beautycounter consultant, I was just linking to products that I really liked because I had reviewed the ingredients. I had been using them for months and I really appreciated them. And I linked to them on the website. And it was a way to monetize via, in my mind; I was a consultant, of course. An independent consultant, and disclosed that. But I was thinking; this is a way to earn affiliate type income. I never thought that I would have built a team. But that decision to monetize through links also helps fuel this; I’m building a larger umbrella for this brand.

So, it’s kind of this meeting in the middle between staying nimble, trusting my gut. I really believed that Beautycounter was the thing to do. It really felt right. I really liked the business. I liked the people. I liked what I learned about the products. And it just felt like a natural fit with what I was doing at Fed and Fit. But it was never a part of my original business plan. So I would have never let it hold me back.

And I think that’s what I want people to get to do. If you can craft a business plan that does not feel like it limits you, and it just offers you potential and opportunity in the future, then I think that’s the way to go.

And then I also say; it’s ok to change course as you’re moving along, like Diane said. And if I’m being honest, Diane; as much as I like, I just said a 10-year plan. Because Fed and Fit has changed so much, and we have really just been riding; we’re just riding the bull right now. We’re holding on for dear life. It is a wild ride. And things have definitely changed. The trajectory, in a lot of ways, have changed. The specifics have changed. I’m still building this business, but I never thought 3 years ago we would be getting into meal prep. I really, really didn’t. I could have never guessed that.

And so my 10-year plan looks very different now. I never thought I’d be building a separate brand for Cook Once. And so it is important to, I think, stop and reevaluate and refocus. But it can also inform where we’re spending our time. If you’re somebody who likes to agree to a bunch of things, when you figure out where you’re going, you can say; you know what? I do want to be spending. If this is a priority, and I know it is in my heart of hearts that this is something I want to be doing, then I’m going to start setting aside more time for it in my business.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. The one thing I want to share that I touched on just a few minutes ago about somehow creating content. Somehow having this home. I think one great thing to plan is where and how you’ll create that home and those materials and all of that to go deeper with people than just a conversation or a product or whatever it is. Because even if you’re selling a product, people want to see the backstory.

If you create; like when I’m creating my spice blends, creating the meals. People want to see the recipe development. They want to see what’s happening when the labels are being created. People want to see the backstory of that. So no matter what it is, we just have an opportunity to tell our stories. And I know this is something we’re going to get a lot more into over time. But we just have this opportunity to share so much more of what we’re doing.

I think that we will see how valuable that is continuing over time. Because I see how much I wish I had those stories documented from even farther back. From when I started even back in nutrition school, and in design school. There is some photographic evidence of some of it, but a lot of it there’s nothing there. So digging that out; and I know you and I haven’t even told our full backstories on this show yet. But all of that is so valuable to building whatever business you are building.

So we talk about some of you might be nutritionists, and you want to start a blog, and you want to start working with people. Your story is all relevant to building your business now. And it’s even relevant to looking forward to what’s the plan. Because if you know where you’ve come from, you know what you’re good at, you know what might challenge you. What you need to learn more about. All of that is relevant to what’s going to happen with your plan. And it’s also important to, again, just grounding your business.

So, one other thing I want to mention. I know a lot of folks are fans or followers or readers of a woman named Danielle Laporte. And she talks about just the vibe of; how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel? So I think we can combine this idea of; what’s the vision for our life in 10, 5, 1 year? As Cassy talked about. And where I’m kind of coming from right now is; yes, I’m looking at what I’m trying to build with my businesses with Balanced Bites, with my Beautycounter business. Just all of that together.

And I’m also really taking inventory of; how do I want to feel? Because, at 41, I remember a decade ago, when I started doing a lot of this stuff, I had a lot more energy. And I think that’s awesome. And any of you who are younger; and like Cassy, I never remember how old she is because I feel like we’re the same age, but I know she’s younger because she definitely has more energy than me. But I’m like; good. Go with it. Crush it. I kind of wish I still had a little more of that energy. But I’m also like; I need to find a way to feel like I’m doing what I want and need to do and also that I am breathing a little bit more. And that I am remembering to put myself on the list. Because as much as I think that I have those really firm boundaries; every time I’ve written a book, for example. And that’s been part of my plan for that year, and the next for example. I’m writing it for one year, and the next it’s launching.

Somehow, myself; I guess I get off the list. My stress gets too high. And I’m not really taking care of myself. So I do think, also, in that planning; think about what are the tasks that I’m executing. But throughout this, do I want to feel; sometimes we have to feel this way. Do I want to feel like I recognize that I’m in my hustle right now? Because I definitely am there a lot. Do I want to feel like I’m in my hustle, but I’m finding a little more balance? Or do I want to feel really, really balanced and I don’t mind if things are going to take longer because of it.

And all of those, you have to be really honest with yourself. Because if you’re somebody who is listening to people who are like; oh, it’s not about hustle. You really want to balance. I’m like; listen. Those people are lying. They hustled their butts off. They broke something; themselves, their lives, their health. Something broke in their hustle for them to get where they are. And now they’re all talking about balance, but they’re lying to you about how to be successful. Because if you’re trying to go at a pace where you want to see success faster, you have to step on the gas pedal. Right?

And then if you get to a place where you’re like; you know what, I’m feeling pretty good about these things, and I want to feel a little more; {sigh}. You know? That’s where I am right now. I want to feel a little more breathing room. Because I can. I’m going to say no to more things. And that’s part of the plan.

So anyway. I know we have; we’ve got a lot of ideas here on this idea of a plan, and kind of how to move forward with it. But I do think that everyone needs to figure out; what’s the vibe you’re going for and recognize where you’re at, if you’re just starting out, and you need to be in your hustle; you really need to be in it and own that and not push it away if you’ve got big goals. And if you’ve moved a little bit further along, and maybe in whatever thing it is, and then maybe you’re going to start over again. Because I’m probably in my hustle in some things, and I’m in my breathing room in some things. So, those are just a few extra vibes I want to share.

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3. Listener Question: Avoiding common mistakes [32:09]

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, in this segment, we pull questions, comments, and topic ideas from your interactions over on @DrivenPodcast Instagram account. And this week, we have one from Better.Beauty.Mama. and I’m guessing she is a Beautycounter consultant. She’s asking, how to get started and common mistakes that can be avoided?

Cassy Joy: So I would say to just very quickly answer that; I would say number one, it answers both. How do you get started and how do you avoid some very common mistakes, is craft achievable goals. If when you write; I’m all about a B-HAG. I’m all about a big, hairy, audacious goal. But it has to be possible. Right? It has to be within the realm of possible for you and your life. If you literally only have a spare 30 minutes every single day that you can work writing down a goal that would require 5 hours of work every single day, is not possible.

So craft an achievable goal that challenges you to be in activity for all 30 of those minutes and make the most use of them that’s going to have an income-producing activity, right, that actually moves your business forward. But make sure it’s an achievable goal. That’s a huge mistake I see, folks create these goals that are not even possible. They’re challenging, yes, but also not possible.

And then I would say another common mistake that I’ve seen is misinterpreting opportunities to improve for reasons to quit. And I think that a lot of folks; when we run up against something that we could have done better, we see it as a sign for reasons to either scale back, quit altogether, or find another thing to do. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to be seen as saying; maybe there are a lot of reasons going into and I shouldn’t break them apart. But I think it’s important that if something doesn’t go as planned, or it’s not as great as you thought it would be. It doesn’t mean that you need to quit the thing that you’re doing. It just means that you have a great opportunity to improve upon it. So those are the things that I see folks run up against a lot.

Diane Sanfilippo: The one thing I’m going to call out on this, in terms of a common mistake, is that a lot of folks think there is one set plan or path or checklist of things to do or things to achieve in order to get to a certain goal. And there may be some nonnegotiables. So in this case, if she is a Beautycounter consultant. Of ire you’re in any kind of network marketing business, you’ve got different levels that you’re trying to achieve as promotions and things like that. Or maybe you’re trying to achieve X number of followers on Instagram. There are always going to be those numbers that are there.

But you have to be able to respond in the moment to whatever is going on, and not just get so caught up in whatever those numbers are, or whatever that checklist was. Because if you can’t be responsive, you will ultimately miss out on some things that are coming up, if that makes sense. I just see that too many people are like; what’s the list of things I have to do to achieve this. And I’m like; that’s very sweet that you think there is a list of how to be an entrepreneur. I’m not saying that’s what she’s asking. {laughs}

But a lot of you listening are probably like; yeah, I kind of thought there was a business checklist. That I check this off, and I will get to this point. And the truth is, most of those milestones; whoops, there’s my pen. Most of these milestones are going to take longer than you want, and they’re going to be harder to achieve than you thought. But you will be able to do it if you keep plugging away at it every single day, just like Cassy mentioned.

Cassy Joy: Just keep swimming.

Diane Sanfilippo: Just keep swimming.

4. Tip of The Week: Make your plan [36:01]

Cassy Joy: To close out the show, we have our Tip of The Week. In this segment, we’re giving you one actionable tip. And I’m actually going to indulge those of you who have hung onto this episode, and you’re like; but, but, what can I do? I’m going to give you a little bit.

Ok. So I’ve mentioned the 10, 5, and 1-year plans. Crafting dreaming up that 10-year vision. What would that look like halfway there? And maybe what does it look like one year from now to get to where you’re ultimately feeling like you want to go.

So in this, I would say sit down, do the fun dreaming part. Write down this fuzzy vision of where you want to see qualitatively what you’re doing in life and in work. I would say write those things down; pencil them down, right? It doesn’t mean it has to be iron clad. But what to do to fill in the gaps. Ok, I think that it’s important to, as far as the actual articulates and specifics of a business plan for that year, write down what it is, to Diane’s point. What content; what unique, individual content are you going to put out into the world in the next year. What original pieces of work are you going to publish?

If your desire is to create some sort of a business online, or have some sort of an online profile, or that’s how you interact with your clients, or your readers, or your future customers; what ideas are you going to give as well as for free, and how are you going to do them, and when are you going to do them? So I would pencil those ideas down.

We’ve been talking about Beautycounter a lot today, but if you’re in the beauty world; what educational pieces are you going to talk about? What experiences are you going to share? So what kind of content are you going to publish into the world? And how are you going to interact? How much time are you going to give that business to start?

And I think that’s a great place to go, right? What pieces of content are you going to give away, and how much time are you actually going to give it? Of course, there are other specifics and granularities that you can get into. But like I said, I think those can be more distracting than they are empowering when you’re working, so just do the work. Set aside the time. I’m going to work one hour, at least four days a week. And if you have to make it more fluid, then make it more fluid. If it’s more time, then make it more time. But actually set these achievable goals based on the time that you have, and push yourself to get them done.

And then I also think a part of this business plan that’s really important is to find an accountability partner. Whether that means you just tell somebody that this is what you’re doing, and this is what you’re working on, and this is your vision, and this is your plan. I think it’s really important to share that with another human. I’m a Gretchen Rubin Rebel, of the four tendencies, I’m not an Obliger by any stretch of the imagination. But there is still, even for someone like me, there is power in finding someone to share my vision and my goals with. Because whether or not; I’m not accountable to them, but it makes the idea more real. And I’m able to think through, and brainstorm, and spitball ideas that maybe I couldn’t have in a vacuum with my own thoughts.

So those are your tips. Write down your 10, your 5, and your 1-year plan. Write down what kind of content; some of your best ideas that you can give away for free. Break them out into things that you can share and publish with the world; whether it’s a website, or an Instagram, or a vlog, like a YouTube. And how much time are you going to give this thing. And who can you share this with.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can follow us on Instagram @DrivenPodcast. Cassy is @FedandFit. I’m @DianeSanfilippo. Tune in next week for more on getting started in business, and specifically we’ll be talking about a task list for your launch. I know everybody is waiting for that.