One, almost unerring, constant for the success of a business, from the initial spark of an idea to the celebration of its success in the marketplace is the business plan. Some of these plans take as little as a few months to come to fruition but most materialize over one or more years. In some instances the plan is actually a path where success is measured in non-traditional methods. Monetary gains may be shared with, or usurped by, the satisfaction gained by how well the "life-journey" is playing out. Life success can be geared toward a fixed plan containing shares of both financial and lifestyle attributes. To plot a life history - which is what a plan of this sort is all about - is like reading a biography before the life has actually been lived. However, every biography reads like a full life regardless of what the subject really wanted to do. Some lives just played out like an out-of-control game. As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while youre busy making other plans." There are countless stories of successful personalities who have not enjoyed their professional successes - or have purposely sabotaged them - because their personal lives and mental situations were less than ideal. Despite the money and fame these unhappy people began to feel like failures; such as a movie star losing leading roles to younger actors or the financial wizard who is cleaned out by a downturn in the market like the dot-com bust. Their respective lives did not have the balance to survive what they perceived as success or catastrophe. In order to have life success our guidance systems have to be fed more than these drives while complimenting them. And like the business plans that are rife with brochures, onsite demonstrations and PowerPoint presentations the "Life Success Plan" operates best when the brain is being fed constantly with information detailing where the host wants to go. This stream of information is like the data that guides a hi-tech missile, constantly making small corrections to the flight plan in order for it to hit the target. Continually feeding the mind with parallel aspirations has fueled countless of balanced life success stories and can be implemented on a variety of levels. CDs and MP3s can affirm a persons goals during long commutes, while exercising and even while relaxing the park. Many of the great voices of the human potential movement - Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, etc. - are available in many audio forms. One successful realtor once commented, "I had a great stereo in my car and never tuned into one radio station during the five years I owned it." What he said right after that was that, "the killer stereo" was a conveyor of his success affirmations and self-empowerment courses that were stored in his CD changer. Now that we have the audio, what else is there? Another great tool for feeding the mind is nothing more than cut-outs from magazines arrayed on Bristol board. This is a visual idea imported from the boardrooms of Japan in the ‘60s. Some Japanese officials have up to 50-year company plans that can be inspected daily in a well-laid out collage. For our purposes we are just going to show a 3-year plan. With a felt marker and ruler create on the Bristol board a grid of five rows and divided into four columns. Three of these columns are purposely wider with a narrow subject column on the left entitled, "Success Themes." Financial; Mental; Physical; Emotional and Spiritual. Write these in the appropriate squares. The three columns have above them: Year 1; Year 2: and Year 3. Mark these as well. Now comes the fun part. Gather up as many magazines as you can and start filling the boxes with pictures. For example, "Financial Success" in Year 1 may be a new car. But dont just stick in any car. Pick the exact vehicle you want. Then trim the picture and glue it to the board. "Mental" success may be a picture of Christmas carolers, denoting your family getting together for the holiday. A picture of a hi-tech exercise machine may be in the "Physical" category, but make it the machine you really want. Under "Spiritual," you could cut out anything from a beautiful country churchyard setting to a view of a mesa outside Sedona, Arizona. It is your life, so you decorate the board with exactly what you want. You can even have the stereo going with your favorite music to give you inspiration. Once you have completed your plan place it in a spot where you can easily eyeball it on a regular basis. If this is what you want then your personal guidance system created by the images will have no option but to steer you in this direction. In fact, many people are astounded at how close their lives begin to resemble the plan and that the fifteen pictures on the board begin to materialize into exactly as each one dreamed. This is just another tool to add to your box. But is a constant reminder of what you want in life. About the author: Tim McKee is Senior Partner at Pathways Business Associates, PBAs mission is to develop leaders, coaches and entrepreneurs through the shared values of passion, courage, service and home business opportunity success.
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