In order to grow your memoir business, you will need to outline your goals. It’s likely that there are some skills (teaching, business, or writing) you would like to improve, so you can be more successful. Organizing your plans to build your skills will help you attain them more quickly.
Outline Your Goals Using a 3-Ring Binder
One approach to organizing is to use a three-ring binder. The first thing to do is to write a list of everything you want to achieve. We’ll call these goals. Prioritize these goals and number them in order of importance on your paper: #1, #2, etc. Place this list in your binder.
Then write each goal on the list as a header on its own page. These pages, too, are placed in your binder. Under each page header, you will make subcategories (sub-goals) that are component parts you need to master in order to achieve your goals. These subgoals must be successfully completed to meet the goal listed in the header. Number each subgoal as a subcategory. Subgoals of #1 are listed: 1.1,1.2,1.3, etc.
Into your three-ring binder, in the section devoted to each particular goal, place notes from phone conversations or readings, relevant letters, ads, or mailers you have received. These go immediately after the page on which you have written the corresponding goal and sub-goals. What would help you to meet the first subgoal (1.1) of goal #1 would then be classified #1.1 and placed first after the page with subgoal #1.1. What meets the second subgoal (1.2) is then placed next in the binder. Using this system, you will find many of the necessary resources you need to act upon are always at your fingertips.
Still, need more explanation? Here’s a more detailed example:
On your master list, you might have written: 1. Learn how to make/use a cash flow statement.
On its own sheet, you would write as your header: 1.0 Learn how to make/use a cash flow statement. Then on the same sheet, you would brainstorm what you need to do to learn about cash flow. These ideas are your subgoals. This might include:
- 1.1 Search the Internet for cash-flow information
- 1.2 Buy at least one book on the subject
- 1.3 Talk to friends who have businesses
- 1.4 Take a class
The next page in your binder contains information that supports subgoal 1.1 (Search the Internet for information). Here you might include a list of websites that discuss cash flow statements.
Following the contents on 1.1, place the info that pertains to 1.2 (Buy at least one book on the subject). A mailer you received on a small-business book, for instance, belongs here. Label the mailer 1.2. Also with 1.2, you might place a review of a cash-flow book you picked up from the business section of the Sunday paper. Notes from your visit to the bookstore where you studied various cash-flow books are also kept here.
To support 1.3 (Talk to friends who have businesses), keep notes of a conversation a friend who talked to you about cash flow.
In this way, you keep everything together in one binder and have easy access to the information you need to make decisions.
This organizational tool of the business strategy plan simplifies the process, gives you achievable step-by-step goals, and makes it clear to your worried manager-self that your work is do-able and can pay off.
If you want success, you must plan for it. Following a business strategy plan will keep you on track, outline your goals and make them reachable, and improve your success.
What system do you use to outline your goals? Does it help you stay organized and on track with your business strategy plan? Share your ideas in the comments below.