Creating Your Business “Roadmap” to Arrive at Your Wildest Dreams! - Al Zdenek

Remember “Animal House”?  “Roadtrip!”  When we’re young, it’s exciting to be spontaneous and fly by the seat of our pants — just hit the road with no reservations and see what happens. It’s exhilarating…for a while.

What amazes me is when people, especially business owners follow this approach. Hey, I was one of those business owner!. I didn’t have a plan in writing for the first five years I was in business, and in retrospect that was a big contributor to my business almost going under. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50 percent of small businesses fail. After 10 years, the survival rate drops to approximately 35 percent.  Want to be one of them?

Having your personal financial plan written down — and a business plan that covers at least two to five years –– will help provide that essential roadmap for how to get from where you are to where you wish to be. Without it, you’re wandering, maybe even a little lost. I was lucky to survive not having one at first. Will you be the 35 percent that survive?

I equate not having a business plan to jumping in your car without any clear plan or roadmap on how to get to your destination. You may want to go to San Diego from New York, so you just head west, but you may end up getting detoured or lost, ending up in Portland instead.  Certainly not having a map, you might take a less efficient route: Take longer to get to your destination. It’s easy to start the trip without a plan, but you’ll get hungry or tired or may want to see some iconic sites along the way. Isn’t planning a trip a better way to accomplish what you what to see?  It’s the same with a business.

I’ve perfected what I call the “business plan trifecta” and it’s what you should aim for.

Like most, you can certainly start a business without a plan, just as you can start a road trip without a map. And you may still get lost with that plan in hand, but you can get right back on track, or make the necessary adjustments to course-correct. And if your goals change, you can reroute or pivot your business direction that much more easily.

Just as with a map, the better your business plan is, the higher probability that you’ll achieve what you need to live the lifestyle you want now and in the future.

Let’s use my college friends who’ve been in business for nearly 18 years as an example. This is their third enterprise — their other two businesses stumbled, fell, and eventually closed. They lost millions of dollars with these enterprises. And even after those losses, on their third attempt, they still didn’t develop a business plan!

Now let’s use a hypothetical. You wake up one day to your million-dollar idea; you want to open a chain of retail cosmetics stores. You could easily find an empty storefront, sign a lease, and open the next day. But, seriously, is that wise way to start? Nope.

Are you asking yourself where to even start with your business plan? Well, luckily for you, I can tell you that. I’ve perfected what I call the “business plan trifecta” and it’s what you should aim for.

  1. If you love the business you’re in, that’s one point.
  2. If said business provides you with the cash flow you need to live your lifestyle now, that’s point number two.
  3. Finally, if you’re able to earn enough to grow the wealth you’ll need to retire when you wish, that’s the third point. You’ve completed the trifecta.

Now, I should point out that I meet very few business owners who experience the trifecta and actually stop working. They continue to work in their business or eventually do something else. Genuine financial independence means that when you walk into work you don’t have to be there; it’s your choice, and you have the option to do something else if you like.

Just feel that for a moment:  Not having to work, but because you want to.  Don’t you feel the stress melting?  Now you’re choosing to use your time, or maybe fulfilling a passion you’ve always wanted (I took up piano!). I should also point out that if you can only achieve two of the points in the trifecta, you’ll still be doing better than most, which I’d say is a win.

Now, how do you create a business that meets the trifecta? Well, that’s where I come in to play. I can help you align your passion and business to create a financial plan that helps you succeed.

Access my FREE online mini-course (8 videos + worksheets) today. Learn the importance of having a leadership mindset and a championship team to fuel your success. Take the first step towards mastering your cash flow, finances, and life!