Success Simplified.....Because Planning Is As Simple As You Make It

Month: January 2022

The Story of Rosie – My First Plan

One of the many things that you may not know about me (yet) is that I’m a biker. I was brought up around motorcycles. As a young girl, I would ride on the back of both my mum and my dad, depending on who’s turn it was to ride the Norton whilst the other one had to slum it in the car.

So, it was inevitable that when the time came, I would want a bike of my own.

I was a teenager growing up in a Lincolnshire steel town in the mid 80’s. Money was scarce in the Thatcher Post Industrial Apocalypse world that this Northern lass was growing up in.

At the age of sweet sixteen, legally, I could have ridden a 50cc. The Yamaha FS1E (Fizzy) was THE bike of the era for that all important first year of freedom. But, for me, at the time, it might as well have been a Ferrari. Out of my reach, out of my league, out of my pocket money range.

Back then, the humble motorbike was still the regular commuter vehicle for the working man. 100cc and 125cc bikes were common place and relatively affordable.

Reality check. I’d need to wait till I was seventeen, when I might just be able to get a nice, sensible, basic motorbike on the road. For the first time in my life, I needed a plan!

First thing I figured was that I needed about £150 to buy and insure a rough-ish but running bike. Bearing in mind, my pocket money was 50p a week, I earned another 50p by doing some household chores, and a final 50p helping my dad out with his spray-painting business. On my weekly income of £1.50 it would have taken me 100 weeks to get the money together. 100 weeks, nearly 2 whole years. I’d have been nearer eighteen by then and my goal was my seventeenth birthday.

The initial plan would not achieve the end goal I had in mind. But it spurred me into action. Quickly I secured a Saturday job, working in Poundstretcher, and an ad hoc baby-sitting gig. Pretty much everything was cash-based back then. I had a plastic jar that had previously held hair gel sitting on my bedroom dresser. All of my hard-earned cash went into that jar.

After a few months I had over £100 saved up, and my nightly scouring of the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph turned up a Honda CB100N for £75. It didn’t actually run, but seemed to be in reasonable mechanical shape. Trusting my motorcycling family, I sealed the deal and the bike came home with us. That winter, I worked through the wiring diagram to track down the electrical fault that stopped it running. I took the top end of the engine apart when it became apparent that there was an engine problem, I rebuilt the carburettor, reset the points and the bike came to life.

But when all was said and done, it was still a boring, blue, Honda motorcycle. It was transport, independence, but not yet the road machine of my dreams.

However, I had an advantage. My dad ran a spray-painting business. So, we took the bike apart, down to the last nut and bolt. Dad did the re-spray for me using paint that he had leftover from a job lot he’d bought when he started the business. The frame went from black to silver. And the petrol tank changed from blue to Metalflake Wild Rose Pink.

Rosie was born. She saw me from my seventeenth birthday, through my test, till I was nearly nineteen when I could finally afford a bigger bike.

Rosie taught me so much. She taught me mechanics and maintenance skills. She taught me the rules of the road. She taught me the pleasure and the responsibility of all of that freedom and independence. But she also taught me the power of a plan.

If you have a dream that you cling tightly enough to, you WILL make the plan that gets you there, the plan that makes the dream reality.

So what’s your dream? Can I help you get there? Drop me a line and say hello if you like. Together we can change the world, one dream at a time.

Resolutions – Who Needs ‘Em?

I’m writing this on the third of January 2022. According to 2020 research by Strava, 21% of the UK population made a New Year’s resolution last year. Nearly 14 million people. And nearly 6 million had failed them by Sunday 19 January. The day they labelled National Quitter’s Day.

There are usually 2 opposing camps when it comes to New Years Resolutions. Let’s start with the Optimists:

“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Oprah Winfrey

“In our perfect ways. In the ways we are beautiful. In the ways we are human. We are here. Happy New Year. Let’s make it ours.”

Beyonce

“You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.”

Dr Seuss

Or how about the downright Cynical:

“New Year’s Day – Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

Mark Twain

“You know how I always dread the whole year? Well this time I’m only going to dread one day at a time.”

Charlie Brown

“May the New Year bring you the courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall. “

Aleister Crowley

So, as a planner, what’s my take on New Year’s Resolutions?

Well to start with, a resolution might be a plan. For example, the plan to lose that pesky extra 2 stone in weight to be beach ready, just in time for the next pandemic lock-down. (And if by some amazing chance you happen to be reading this blog many years from now, look up ‘Global Pandemic 2020-20xx’ in your history files because I sincerely hope lockdowns will indeed be consigned to history soon!)

But a resolution might also be a habit that could lead to a plan – I stop burning the candle at both ends and start to get more than 5 hours sleep a night so that I can actually function on a daily basis.

It all depends on how you frame it.

As a planner, I have to confess there’s something quite satisfying about a planning cycle that starts are the beginning of the year and rolls out, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and end neatly at the end of the year……But life as a rule isn’t neat. It’s messy, convoluted, exciting, scary and unpredictable at times.

That’s actually ok!!!

No-one says that the plan you start the year with is the plan you end the year with. As I have said many times, the best plans are dog-eared, covered in coffee stains with loads of crossings out and notes in the margins. They live, they breathe, they evolve. But they are written down!

It’s the act of going through a planning process that has value. And that can start on any day of the year. If you’ve already failed your New Year’s Resolution to start 2022 with a Business Plan, why not see how I might be able to help? Please get in touch. What have you got to lose?

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