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What Makes You Think


You Can Wing It?


 Farmers, carpenters, doctors, lawyers, firefighters, pilots, seamstresses, stylists, realtors, even Cub Scouts do it.


So what makes you think that you can wing it? Now I’m not talking any hundred-page document with 37 pull-out spreadsheets and an annotated bibliography featuring a gazillion itemized resources. Who cares? I’m talking about an Entrepreneurial Action Plan.

Yes a plan of any kind needs a goal.


And that goal has to be realistic and specific and flexible and due-dated. If it’s not all four of those criteria, it’s not a goal, it’s a wish. Wishing may work in Disneyland, but business success comes from taking action. Taking action without a goal-based action plan is like trying to control a rudderless ship in a storm.

Your Entrepreneurial Action Plan


Like any good news release, your Action Plan must answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? And be realistic, specific, flexible and due-dated. It’s always a worthy endeavor to include a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement at the beginning of your plan to set the stage.

A quick market assessment, a marketing plan, a management approach and/or team lineup, an operational outline and a financial plan and projections — that all answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? (and that are realistic, specific, flexible, and due-dated) will do the trick.    


Is this over-simplified?


No. It’s actually very simple. An Entrepreneurial Action Plan is simple and quick to execute. It is not a formal business plan. Many of the same ingredients are in both, but business plans are primarily done for the purpose of raising investor or lender money. Action Plans are to get things going, and build momentum; they are not fancy.

An Entrepreneurial Action Plan can be scribbled on the back of a large envelope.


It is definitely not for the feint-hearted crossed-t-dotted-i perfectionists or analysis-paralysis corporate types. The best results come from those who chunk up their plans and adjust them frequently. This doesn’t take thousands of hours or a rocket science degree. Oh, and what a great amnd illuminating collection the saved scribbles make.

BUT your Action Plan does need to capture.


It needs to capture the five “W” questions and one “H” question above, and it does need to target goals that are realistic, specific, flexible, and due-dated. Otherwise, you are captaining a rudderless ship in a storm, and are bound to have schools of lawyers circling you, closing in for the kill.

Yes, put it in your pocket, not a spiral-bound or 3-ring binder.


It’s a working document for the day, week, or month. I do daily scribbled Action Plans for each blog post. I do weekly versions for my writing/consulting/marketing business. In the end, it’s all about why you are an entrepreneur in the first place . . . to make your idea work by exercising the freedom to continually adjust it.

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One comment so far

One Comment to “NO PLAN TO PLAN?”

  1. […] “Envelope Plans” are best because they are real-time happening and they keep your attention on what you need to do […]

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