“You have to start with a plan, but the plan you start with will not be the plan that gets you there.” -Jeff Olson

Nearly one year ago I started Thrive On Challenge with some big plans!

During the last year some things have worked and other things have failed miserably, regardless I continue to work to keep failing forward.

Fail early and fail often has been my mantra.

As I approach my second year of business I have reflected on the very concept of making plans and I have drawn some conclusions:

1. Everyone needs a plan. A big vision plan then broken into smaller plans— 5 year, 1 year, 3 month, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day, and a minute by minute plan. I plan out my day by the minute, because it helps me stay focused and present in the moment.

2. You must cultivate before you harvest! Be patient and trust the process! My growth has been slow and steady when it comes to blog readers, podcast listeners, and speaking engagements. Jeff Olson, writer of The Slight Edge says this,  “You plant, then you cultivate, and finally you harvest. Plant, cultivate, harvest. In today’s world, everyone wants to go directly from plant to harvest.”

After planting (planning) early on I was eager for the harvest. I was focused on booking speaking engagements and growing the number of my readers and listeners. After some beautiful failures I have learned and dramatically shifted my focus to cultivating— producing better work and more value for people.

3. The plan you start with will not be the plan you finish with, so don’t get stuck to the plan. I have not carved in stone my plan for the next few hours, so I sure as heck won’t carve in stone my plan for the next five years! Still, having a plan is beneficial because it helps us to align how we spend our time and resources with our vision for the future. The balance is knowing when we need to stick to our plan, tweak our plan, or sometimes scrap the whole plan altogether!

-J.P. Nerbun