A Business Plan for Your Personal Life? How to Write Yours Now
A friend of mine recently vented to me that while she was interning in The Bay last summer she felt judged when people would ask her about her career ambitions and they didn’t include entrepreneurship. Starting her own business isn’t on her radar, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t plan on making an impact.
The conversation turned into an accountability moment in which I had to admit that sometimes my own ambition makes me look twice at people who are content with less. I feel all of this passion and excitement for all that I could be and I want other people to feel it too. What’s more, I want them to burst out of that potential and into manifestation. It’s why Forbidden Luxe was even born. Since then this site has morphed into a conglomeration of my own passions along with the same self-care, personal development gems that put me on your radar to begin with. I hate these types of comparisons, but I’m on my way to a Black Martha Stewart empire and along the way I’ll always be down to share the work that goes into getting there.
Days after our conversation had ended, I was still going over it in my head. A question had popped up and I couldn’t help but ruminate: what is it about businesses that make people want a piece of their own?
Of course I went over the usual answers: self-sufficiency, self-management, legacy. But there’s more to it than that. A good business has a clear vision and plan to achieve it. It’s my theory that the lure of owning a business also has a little something to do with that. We spend a lot of time, especially in the beginning stages of adulting, trying to find ourselves and then figure out where we’re going with this new person. What if we took the clear-cut intention that successful business all over the world and adopt that strategy to chart the course of our lives?
A Business Plan for Life
For a long time, the planner in me has wanted to make a business plan for my life. It’d have all the elements of a good business plan, but just in a personal sense. I felt crazy and like I had taken micromanaging to a whole new level...until I discovered the concept of a personal development plan. It’s exactly what I described -- a business plan for life.
If you’ve been with me for a while you know that strategy is my jam. In fact, I’ve created a whole toolkit to help you map out your own. A good strategy encompasses all of the processes you need to get stuff done.
A good strategy encompasses all of the processes you need to get stuff done.
This personal development plan is no different. You’ll take all of the areas in life that you want to work on and come up with a specific plan to do so. It’s the difference between goals not written (and strategized) and wishes. It’s your what, your why and your how all in one, clearly thought out place.
There are tons of templates online, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here, but to get you started I’m sharing the 5 things your personal development plan should include:
A Clear Mission
Before you do anything you have to know why you’re doing it. Getting intentional is the only way you’ll win. This is a grand philosophical question that probably changes over time, but: What is your purpose? Why do you do what you do?
If you can answer that, at least in some form at all, then you’re already on the right track. Having a clear mission is important for two reasons.
First, we were all created with a specific task in mind. Imagine waking up day in and day out to run on auto-pilot and then die. That’s sounds humdrum and miserable. Instead, thinking about what you’re trying to achieve at large with the 70+ (God-willing) years you spend in the world will help drive your actions starting now. Goals achieved are simply the manifestation of the baby steps you take everyday. Start thinking about what you want your impact to be now.
Second, your why keeps you going when it doesn’t feel good anything. You have to remember why you’re doing it, whatever it is, because six months from now when your patience has run thin, it’ll be the thing that keeps you going.
The Big Dreams
In your quest to set attainable goals don’t forget to to keep your big dreams in mind. Oftentimes those get put on the backburner because they’re almost too good to be true. Think of the things that would bring you absolute bliss. Think about how you’ll feel once it’s accomplished. Envision what your life would look like. The things that come to mind when reading this are the things that need to go into your personal development plan. Anything can feel too big when you’re looking at it in its entirety. Break your dreams down into steps.
Core Values and Beliefs
This is where you narrow down the things that are important to you. Ideally they’re tied to your values, but it also helps to kind of just categorize your life in a way that makes goal-planning that much easier. In my own personal development plan the categories include:
Faith: How am I getting closer to God and walking in His purpose?
Relationships: How am I cultivating the people around me? How am I making sure they’re the right ones?
Health: What am I doing to preserve my body and mind so that I can succeed at all the things in my plan?
Career: What am I doing to be better in my professional life? What do I want to achieve here?
Finance: How am I managing the funds I am already a steward of? What are my plans to create more?
Service: What am I doing to help the world around me?
Legacy: When I go what will I leave behind?
These categories are fundamental to who I am as a person. I’ve narrowed down the things that are most important to me so that I have specific life areas to work on that are actually fulfilling. It’s one thing to accomplish things, it’s another to be intentional about those accomplishments. A successful person who’s winning just for the sake of it won’t feel nearly as fulfilled as one who was intentional about where they’re going. The beauty of the world development is that it leaves room for change. As I learn and grow these categories change to suit my needs.
Related: Write the Vision Workbook
Goals and Their Breakdown
This speaks more to strategy. I have a whole post on it here, because strategy is just that important. Once you know where you’re going and why (your mission and your values and your vision) you’ll need to set goals and then break them down to their anatomy so you’ll know how to go about accomplishing them.
RELATED: Strategy Pack Toolkit - Nail the processes you need to get stuff done.
Having a place to document your success is very intentional. It’s so easy once you’ve established a rhythm to get stuck in the cycle of hustling and never feel like you’ve made it.
That’s how we forget that one day we were praying for the apartment we live in and the job we have. We work for a promotion, get it and then are already hating the new responsibilities it brings and looking out into the horizon for the next best thing.
Your personal development plan needs to include a place for you to celebrate actually checking things off of your list. As an added bonus, it’ll refuel you to look back and see all you can do with a little intentionality and elbow grease.