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Strategic Plan for your Life and Business

(taken from the book

Building A Strategic Plan For Your Life and Business: Discover the Secret of the Greats


John M. Hawkins

. This article has been contributed by Angela Thomas. ) (This article is a review of the book "Building A Strategic Plan For Your Life and Business" by Angela Thomas. Her blog :
You will, at some point, need to share what your vision is with the rest of the world. You should share your vision wisely. There are many people who have all the will to be successful and will take any idea and use it for their own. When you are creating a vision, only share the vision with the people you trust. You only want to share the pieces of the vision with people who can share the whole strategic plan, but if you have a vision that is something you want to patent or a business idea, be careful how much information you share. That is why it is important to look for like-minded strategic thinkers whom you can trust.

Photo Courtesy : 'Flickr / Prayitno / Link1'.

You can be a high school dropout, and if you have more and want to be successful you can be just as successful as the PhD.

You might want a business that has no overhead so that you can operate from home. Identifying the qualitative nature of the vision and creating goals gives you the information you need to start building out a successful strategic plan that is in alignment with the vision.

True success is not only measured in wealth and power but in having the feeling that you have accomplished your vision and your goals.

Your odds of accomplishing your vision might increase in some locations versus others. Location matters in business and also matters in helping you realize your vision.

Think about certain professions that you immediately associate with a certain location. When you think politicians you think Washington, D.C.; if you think about models it’s New York or Los Angeles. If you think about technology, Silicon Valley comes to mind. For real estate, you think about the hot spots in the world and the big cities. You might also need to be in the right place to accomplish your vision.

When Mr. Hawkins was a young boy, his father used to tell him stories about the great legends in business. The legends included J. Paul Getty, T. Boone Pickens, Warren Buffet and others. As a youth, he wondered why others did not achieve such success.

Photo Courtesy : Flickr / Link Humans / Link1

It wasn’t until he found his way into the corporate life that he realized that large organizations had found ways to accomplish great things just like the greats. They have found ways to master the economies and produce the products and services that the world depend on. These organizations have the ability to grow and dominate the fields they are in.

They took risks and invested in the strategies that in many cases led to huge dividends. One of the tools the companies used to make the decisions is a strategic plan.

What the education factory did not take into account was that education is not the only strategic plan you can follow. There are other strategic plans that can get you to your goals.

Always consider the source and filter the information that is being given to you. There could be an ulterior motive behind the information that you are getting.

You will need to understand human psychology, understand the history of what has worked and not worked, and be a realist to some degree so that you know what is plausible and what is not. It is important to remain flexible.

Unforeseen events happen; births, deaths, the loss of a job, and other events will impact your strategic plan. Your definition of success might be limited by your experiences and judgment.

Your strategic plans are all about you and your visions.

The truth about you is that you might be more capable than others in some areas and less capable in other areas. You are the person who needs to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. With a good understanding of what you are good at and not good at you should look for opportunities that you are qualified to pursue.

A tool used in business is the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunity, and threats.

Photo Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons / Syassine / link1

Your strengths are unique to you and only you.

You can determine your weaknesses in the same way you determine your strengths.

Getting yourself into the world means that you must be engaging with other human beings to determine what is an opportunity. You can socialize with groups who share interests. You can read the newspaper, Internet blogs, and articles.

There are always opportunities out there; you just need to be aware of them. You must be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.

Threats are external to you but can threaten your ability to capitalize on opportunities.

Threats, like opportunities, are only realized in the outside world. Threats can come from business, family, and just about anything you can think of.

You might as well focus on what you are good at, meaning that it is one of your strengths and that you can overcome the threats and realize the opportunities.

No two people are the same. They think about problems and the subsequent solution differently.

Building your strategic plan will take time, understand that your transformation will not happen overnight.

Just because you were not born into money or a well-connected family does not mean that you have limited potential. It does mean that you are going to have to work harder to find mentors who can help you think strategically.

You can also apply the principles of strategic planning to your family life.

As with life and business, not all strategies are going to be successful.

If you had a marketing department and deep pockets you would be able to grow the business on your own. You could hire the right people to help you come up with the plan and strategic plan to meet your objective of increasing the sales.

Photo Courtesy : Flicke / Michael Cardus / Link1

Keep in mind that a strategic thinker has developed their skills over years and years of trial and error. You may be successful on the first try, but odds are that you will not be.

Your daily decisions all have an impact on your life: the road you take to work, the food you eat, the car you drive, the watch you wear, the clothes you wear, the way your body looks.

Keep in mind that life is complicated; keep your strategic plan simple enough to follow.

The strategic plans can be used to solve personal goals as well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be a friend.”

You want to qualify the vision with some goals to better describe your vision.

Build meaningful friendships with lots of people.

Have friendships with like-minded people.

My friends look out for my best interest.

The process you use to create the visions can be applied to business, school, personal life, and pretty much anything you can think of.

Creating your vision is a personal thing.

Having a vision that is dependent on others adds complexity and will be more difficult to realize than one you have total control over.

So while you are creating your ultimate vision or strategic plan, remember that certain paths can have similarities – such as you went to the same school as others or you shared a community of or faith with a number of other folks. But your underlying strategic plan might go in directions that others have not nor should they.

Articulating your vision is one thing, but committing pen to paper and getting that vision written down adds a new dimension.

Start looking for strategies and they will start coming to you. If you are at a loss as to where to start, a great place is through secondary research online.
Have an open mind when getting your information. A strategy that worked for someone else might not work for you.

Getting professional help from a consultant could be just the tactic to help give you the advice to get you on your way.

Strategies do not always work.

When you are looking at strategies to meet your goals in life, would it not be in your best interest to have as many as possible to choose from? The amount of information in the world is tremendous.

You might determine the strategies by hiring a consultant or talking to family and friends or by trial and error.

There are trade magazines and journals you can subscribe to, or perhaps you could get alerts and advice from online or more importantly seek out those who have retired successfully and ask them what they did.

The strategic plan is going to take a time investment. You will need to modify your daily activities.

You have to have some organizational skills.

If you have a business with a number of employees, you can delegate to the employees to complete the projects. You might look for volunteers to help you realize the vision.

Writing a strategic plan does not guarantee success. Your goal with writing strategic plans is to help you start to think strategically about accomplishing your goals and visions.

The more success you have, the more there will be to manage.

It is so important to find ways to manage the success you create.

Find the vision that suits you and your unique talents as an individual.

You must choose carefully who should be involved in your vision.

Keep those who share your vision and support your effort close.

You also want to be working on something you are passionate about.

Photo Courtesy : Flickr / Alosh Bennett / Link1

Strategic plans are not just for becoming super successful and dominating in business and our personal lives. Becoming a strategic thinker can help you with your personal life as well.

( This article has been contributed by Angela Thomas. Angela Thomas ( is Writer, Researcher, Book Reviewer, Sunday School Teacher. She started her research in 1996. She have her own data base of resourceful tips, ideas, urls/websites on various topics for career, ebusiness as well as ministry. This article is a review of the book "Building A Strategic Plan For Your Life and Business" by Angela Thomas. Her blog :

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Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
-- Sun Tzu
John M. Hawkins
John M. Hawkins is a consultant who helps companies and individuals achieve their goals. He graduated with a degree in business from the University of Portland. He is also the author of Affinity: Managing Java Application Servers.  John lives in Oregon with his wife and twins.

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