The traditional business planning model emphasizes developing a mission and vision statement, and writing goals, objectives, or values. This model helps business owners assess their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These elements are important in strategic thinking for business longevity. However, this method does not focus on how these elements align with an entrepreneur’s mind, body, soul, and spirit, which are critical factors in determining entrepreneur satisfaction and motivation, and overall business success.
This is why I use the holistic strategic planning model to assist my clients during our business coaching sessions. This model helps entrepreneurs develop a keen sense of self-awareness so that they can fully understand how their business operates as an extension of themselves. This in turn adds to the health and well-being of the business owner and the business.
It goes without saying that you should have the mental aptitude to coherently engage in whatever business endeavor that you embark upon. In fact, the average business owner starts a business related to an occupation or profession that they have a number of years of experience in or are otherwise familiar with.
However, it is also important to continue to build your level of knowledge, skills, and expertise as you grow your business. It is even more important to build adequate knowledge, skills, and abilities if you decide to start a business in which you have little to no prior knowledge about. Regardless of whether you are an expert or amateur, it will also be important for you to learn about legal and regulatory issues pertaining to business ownership.
Therefore, a very important part of your strategic plan should include your professional development goals and objectives. I am not referring to the type of professional development required by employers or professional associations. I am talking about real, hands-on knowledge that can help you become the best at what you do.
As a new business owner, you will often find yourself learning critical knowledge and skills in rushed or time-sensitive situations. Why not include this as part of your business plan so that you can avoid or decrease the likelihood of such situations from occurring. So think about creating a plan to grow in your respective business endeavors and in the rules and regulations of business ownership.
So often new entrepreneurs only think about the financial gains from their business endeavors. Of course, this is sometimes necessary based on an individual’s circumstances. And there is certainly nothing wrong with considering the role of economics in business as financial gain is generally the ultimate goal of establishing a business. However, the challenge with allowing money to be your motivating factor in strategic planning is the potential sacrifice that you may be making to your physical well-being.
Operating a financially profitable business that drains and tires your body can quickly lead to burnout that will likely have you reconsidering your decision to be an entrepreneur. This scenario often happens when an individual is not properly aligned with their passion, which I will discuss in more detail in the next section.
On the other hand, when your business mission and vision is properly aligned with your soul purpose, the business energizes and excites you even if your business operations require a great deal of physical exertion. This is when you know that you have chosen the right business path.
So spend some quality time meditating on how your business operations can or will impact your physical health. If you get tired at the thought of carrying out the daily duties of your business operations, this may be a sign that your business is not in proper alignment with your physiological well-being. In which case you should seriously reconsider your strategic plan.
Whenever I hear a person say that I would do this for free if I didn’t need the money, I know that they are in alignment with their soul path. When I refer to soul path I am not talking about only one aspect of your life. Life purpose or soul path is often thought of in a monolithic fashion. People usually think that their soul path is a series of steps or a long winding road that leads to one epic event or accomplishment in their lives. We are multidimensional beings so it would make sense that our soul path is likewise multidimensional.
One thing that links us to this multidimensional soul path is passion. Our desires or passions show us what we really want, what we will be good at, where we should be, and how we should start our mission. This is why our business plan should be inevitably intertwined with our passion.
Your passion can be something that inspires you or something that angers you. Like all of our other emotions, passion is a continuum. Whether you have intense love or intense hate for something, either emotion can be a driving force that causes you to accomplish the same goal.
For instance, a number of people who start schools do so because they intensely disagree with the way public school systems are ran. Others may do the same thing because of their intense love for education and knowledge. Either way, both can have very prosperous schools because they are passionate about their intent.
This is why celebrities and public figures know that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. Their goal is to get noticed and be in the public eye – someone who has intense disdain for them can oftentimes stir up more drama and attention than their devoted followers. This in turn puts them in the limelight, thereby allowing them to accomplish their goal of getting more attention and notoriety.
Therefore, part of your strategic plan should involve assessing how passionate you are about your business operations. The more intense you are about something, in either direction, the more likely you are to succeed at it.
Our spiritual sensibility guides us to understanding if or how our lives benefit the greater good of society. So when you are led by spirit in your business endeavors you are removing your ego or self-serving desires from the picture. You think about whether your business endeavors are serving or harming society at large. Even more, you dig deeper into how your business is serving the greater good of society, if it is indeed doing so.
Your business should be of service and benefit to mankind and the planet. It should not just be a profit-making machine that is useless or hazardous to society. When your business serves the greater good, your spirit will be at peace and you can enjoy tranquil days and restful nights knowing that you are benefiting society.
On the other hand, your business may be successful even if it does harm others but you will lose your integrity in the process. This will ultimately cause you to disconnect from yourself and society at large. You will lose your sense of peace even if you are financially or otherwise successful.
So know what you want when you plan your business. If you desire peace and holistic well-being, think about how your business aligns with your personal goals and desires, society, and the planet. If all of these elements are benefiting from the services and/or products that you offer then you are most likely on the right path.