The Challenge Part IV: Creating A Business Plan For Your Career

I firmly believe that in order to fully succeed in any business, it’s imperative to set specific goals and a timeline in which you plan to accomplish them. A business plan is your roadmap to success, however creating a business plan for your career is no easy task and is something that should not be taken lightly.

The Coffee Shop Down The Street

For a moment, let’s assume that you’re going to open a coffee shop down the street. What are some of the things that you might do to get this coffee shop started? Before you find a location, purchase equipment, hire and train staff, and finally open the doors for business, you’re most likely going to have to obtain a small business loan from the bank. One of the very first things the bank will want to see is a business plan for your coffee shop. They want to see the path you’ve laid out for your company’s future and if it’s something they’d be willing to loan money to.

The Past Leads To The Present

To create your own business plan, you'll need to start with a clear definition of your abilities (Tell Me, Who Are You) as well as both your long-term and short-term goals (Simplify). 

The next step is to create an organizational plan to achieve these goals. Start with the short term goals, as they will ultimately lead to accomplishing your long term goals. Then you'll need to create a detailed overview of the strategy you plan to follow in order to achieve each goal. Also, be sure to include specific time-frames in which you plan on accomplishing them.

WRITE IT OUT! I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it... it's so important to physically write this out on paper. 

Strategic Relationships

As you already know, this industry, as well as most others, is built on relationships, so make a list of the strategic relationships you'll need to acquire in order to attain your goals. Some of these relationships may include management, agents, producers, engineers, musicians, songwriters, etc.

Include, and plan on taking, the necessary time to attend industry events, trainings, trade shows, and conferences. These are great places to learn and start to making these all-important connections.

Delivering The Goods

You should also list the specific gear you plan on purchasing to achieve your goals. Be realistic in this aspect of the plan as it’s important to be financially responsible and avoid going deep into debt before you’ve even begun to find work.

Create two lists for this aspect of the plan.  

  1. Crucial and Basic Necessities.  These are the things you’ll need now in order to start your business. This list may include:
    • Computer
    • Office Supplies
    • Instruments
    • Recording/Studio Gear
    • Education  
  2. Non-Essential Items that benefit your overall quality of work.  

Once you’ve started accomplishing your goals, and have a steady income stream flowing in, you can reward yourself by purchasing some of the items on this second list.

Always keep this business plan handy and refer to it often so you can stay on track. Recognize your successes, and reward yourself accordingly. Be familiar with your specific goals and the road you intend to take to accomplish them. The only real roadmap to success is putting in the time and effort.

Often, situations and opportunities will present themselves outside of the order you initially intended when you originated your plan. That’s to be expected. Be open to this change, as each little success will open more doors to achieving your long-term goals.

The Challenge

Laying out a plan will help you navigate the often tumultuous road that it takes to achieve your dreams. With that in mind, your next challenge is to create a thorough business plan for your career.

This is a process, and should take a few days. It's by no means a race, so take your time and be thorough. However, even if it's something that you're typing up on your computer, once you're satisfied, WRITE IT DOWN! There's something so powerful that happens internally when we physically write things out.

Your career is your business, and it should be treated as such. Take your time, think through every aspect and be persistent. When your moment comes, and opportunity presents itself, you'll be ready to seize it!

What have you learned from the Challenge Series so far?  Share your thoughts with us in the Comments Section below.

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