A BFO About Planning

This blog was originally posted 1/7/2018 at actioncoachmichaelbreitman.com

I had a major comeuppance and Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) this morning related to one of my monthly activities, instigated by a Darren Hardy video I watched yesterday.  During my holiday break the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I worked on a few administrative tasks in advance of their normal schedule.  Among them was a look at my Accounts Receivable (A/R) aging.  I printed the A/R Summary Aging Report from QuickBooks and thought about how I wanted to collect from each of the few past due client in the report.  After deciding on several different collection strategies based on the past due amount, age and client situation, I put a code next to each past due client.   For example; some were going to receive a statement via email followed by a call, a few would get a mailed statement and a call, etc.  I must admit, I was very proud of myself for addressing this unpleasant, but necessary task earlier than usual.

This morning, almost two week later, I realized that after planning my collection strategies, I put my collection plan into my A/R folder without implementing it!  My BFO:

Planning to do something, and knowing how it will be accomplished ….

Is Not The Same As Actually Doing It!

There is no doubt that planning is essential, as the saying goes, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”  However, failing to work the plan is actual failure.

In Darren Hardy’s video, he presented a weekly Sunday Planning System (http://dh.darrenhardy.com/win-the-week).  As he explains during the video, he was given the system by a billionaire he was introduced to a few years ago.  In addition to the Sunday Planning System, the billionaire told him that in order to focus and maximize his effectiveness and results, he works on one, and only one major item per day.  He addresses that item until it is complete.  Based on this system, and my BFO, my plan going forward is to plan and finish whenever possible.  No more plan, put aside to finish later.  By the way, Darren Hardy is one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 Business Excellence Forum and Awards (http://www.thebusinessexcellenceforums.com/events/?event_id1=7) February 18th to 20th in San Diego.

As we begin 2018, I encourage you to plan and act to achieve your goals.  My ActionCOACH colleagues and I are presenting GrowthCLUB 90-day planning workshops in the coming weeks.  These powerful and very effective workshops will accelerate your journey to massive results in your business and life.  Plan to register, attend and implement your ActionPLAN.

What Can We Learn About Business from Arthur Rubinstein – What Are Your Business Superpowers?

During a recent conversation about personal and business superpowers, I recalled something I read many years ago about one of the twentieth centuries greatest classical pianists, Arthur Rubinstein (1887 – 1982).  Although I am almost certain I read about the one of his many superpowers that is the basis of this blog in his 1980 autobiography “My Many Years”,  (Last night, I found my copy of the book, it is 626 pages) I was not able to find the exact reference I was looking for. One of Arthur Rubinstein’s amazing superpowers was the ability to play 100 distinct volumes, from pianississimo (very very soft, a whisper) to fortississimo (very very loud, yelling), certainly a necessary superpower for a world class pianist.  Add to that other essential superpowers such as perfect pitch, a photographic memory that enabled him to rapidly memorize musical scores, and a great passion for the music of multiple composers, and you have a pianist who was recognized as one of the greatest, if not the greatest of the twentieth century. Given all that natural talent, Rubinstein was a tremendous success from his early performances in 1904 through the 1920’s.  However, in 1934 he withdrew from concert life for several months to begin a period of intensive study and practice.  He stated that he had neglected his technique in his early years, relying instead on his natural talents. There are two very important business lessons here:
  • What Are Your Superpowers? – As a business owner or executive, identify your natural talents, abilities and developed skills that distinguish and elevate you from others in your industry. Dig deep and periodically repeat the identification process.  Many of us have both business relevant and irrelevant superpowers, so make sure you identify those talents that give you your competitive advantage.  Identify the talents that enhance your ability to excel in your current and future roles, and talents that enable you to bring superior value to your business, community and the world.
  • Continually Enhance Your Natural Superpowers – Just like Arthur Rubinstein, your natural talent can get you far, but not as far as possible. As is often stated by my colleagues at ActionCOACH and many other mentors and speakers, you’ve got to “Learn More to Earn More”.  Don’t rest on your laurels.  Continually learn, improve and practice, some of your competitors are doing exactly that.
My colleagues and I are uniquely positioned to assist you in identifying and enhancing your business superpowers.  Give us a call.