Getting out of the doing

29.09.10 | Posted in Entrepreneurship

I have spent the past week staring at blank pieces of paper and having “I don’t know what to do” conversations with people I know and trust. It all started after we did a strategic planning session with PricewaterhouseCoopers. There were some really good minds around that table – from both PwC and Business Chicks – but that didn’t make it a whole heap easier.

ThinkingIn business it’s so much easier to be in the doing, rather than the thinking. Doing gives you instant gratification, gives you a sense of value and purpose, and makes you feel as though you’re moving forward (which is what all business owners want.)

Nailing strategy is one of the pillars of entrepreneurial success, but the ride to getting your model right can be expensive, time consuming, resource burning and well, just boring and frustrating. Few companies have made it by just winging it, and few companies have hit the jackpot without changing their original strategy at all.

Here’s what we’ve been reminded of in the last week about building good strategy:

1) Research is king – there’s no point entering in to strategy mode without knowing what your customers want.

2) Get prepared for implementation – the world’s best strategy won’t work without a solid implementation plan. If you’re not strong at execution (like me) then ensure you’ve got the right people around you who enjoy making things happen.

3) Start with the end in mind. Where are you going? By when? What’s your exit going to be?

4) Get an ‘outside in’ viewpoint – we all know it’s hard to be objective about our businesses when we work in them every day. Hiring a coach, a management consultant, or the ear of a smart friend can be the voice of reason in any strategic process.

Here’s to hoping you’re on track with your strategy and I promise to keep you updated as my blank piece of paper becomes a work of art!


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  1. Jen

    Hi Emma,

    Talk about blank piece of paper, i’ve been researching
    constantly involving the marketing plan for the subject.
    Haven’t done a marketing plan before (all ideas in mind of course). I am motivated constantly to complete this however I have been reading up alot for hours & hours & it seems like I’m not making any progress. Like you I’m all action but I believe it’s not strategic planning. Any suggestions or advice will be much appriciated.

  2. Kym

    Beautiful post thanks Emma. I love stepping back to get that objective, blue sky thinking perspective of where you’re at. I would add . . . to work out (or revisit) your personal / business positioning – that which makes you unique and different and doing more of that. : )