How to Plan for the Unexpected in Your Business

How to Plan for the Unexpected in Your Business

Did you reach your business & personal goals this past year?

Are you ending up where you expected, worse than you thought, or in a different but better place?

I hope that you can find some space to look back on your year and make some small course corrections for the new year.

I traveled over Thanksgiving 2014 (for 18 days to San Francisco, my favorite place!) This gave me some space to reflect back on what I expected and to do some planning for next year. I find that travel (plane, train or auto) gives me some space to think about my goals.


This blog post holds even truer today! The start of 2019 was full of unexpected stress! I started the year in the ER with my grandmother, who sadly passed away at the age of 102. My cat died a month later. My husband was injured in a car accident. We also had many additional surprise challenges. THIS IS LIFE! And I have had to run my business around what comes my way!!

If your life is anything like my life, then your year will be full of both new opportunities and unexpected distractions. Lean into this and plan for it, and you’ll be able to navigate anything that comes your way!

Often I find that people’s overwhelm is a direct result of the unexpected—illness, opportunities changes in business plan, family priorities.

For example, I had some unexpected medical challenges but also unexpected successes along the way. So what if you EXPECTED that it won’t be a straight path? Just because it’s a new year does not mean the pattern changes!

The best way to plan is to break it down into byte sized steps. Yes, it’s great to think about where you’ll want to be at the end of the year, but if your goal is too big, you won’t get there. The unexpected will throw you off (besides a big goal being impossible to achieve all at once!)

Let’s say you want to make 6-figures this year. Instead of focusing on this end result, shift your focus to the smaller, do-able things that will result in your larger goal.

EXAMPLE: Make 6-figures this year

  • Attend 1 networking meeting a week, meeting and following up with 3 new contacts
  • Make contact with 7 people aready in your network
  • Book 7 conversations a week, with at least 3 as sales conversations
  • Send out 3 proposals a week
  • Track progress online (both from your computer & mobile device)
  • Etc, etc.

EXAMPLE: Lose 20 lbs this year

  • Go to the gym 4 times a week, increasing intensity gradually
  • Get healthy prepared meals for 5 meals / week
  • Prepare frozen meals to have for busy days
  • Use a shopping list of healthy staples
  • Track exercise and food online (both from your computer & mobile device)
  • Etc, etc.
Both of these plans can easily adjust to reaching the goals quicker than expected OR unexpected life changes.

The bigger goal has been broken down into S.M.A.R.T. goals — Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-based — which allows for checkpoint along the twisted path.

This will also lead you to opportunities that are a natural result of the steps forward you are taking. Most of my opportunities were not on my radar at all last January. However, they were the result of the strong foundation I’ve been creating for the last several years. So the big wins were not really out of the blue, it was the result of the strategic planning I had been doing and implementing all along.

Many of these will be opportunities that find YOU, especially if you combine this progress forward with your online brand. With your message online 24/7 AND small steps forward for 52-weeks of the year, you can’t help but make 2014 a great year!

As you are making goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. — you will dramatically increase your chances for success. Don’t worry, if you ever find your goals are too easy, then you can always kick them up a notch. But it’s much better to be successful than to fail from the start.

TAKE ACTION: Make your resolution checking your S.M.A.R.T. goals every 30-days & you’ll really accelerate your success!

Let’s talk about your goals & create your action plan »

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