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For a Ship With No Destination, No Winds Are Favorable

For a ship with no destination, no winds are favorable. This is true not only in maritime rules, but in elevating your business growth, as well. You must first define growth (where am I going and how will I get there?) before you can even begin to have clear benchmarks to evaluate your success. The key to this is creating a solid business plan that includes a “to-do” list in the form of an agile “idea backlog.”

If you Google “business plan,” you’ll get hundreds of examples, but how do you choose what’s right for you? Let’s break it down into manageable pieces.

Start with your mission statement and core values. Your mission statement tells the world why you do what you do, which coincides with your core values. Core values are the expectations you have for your team’s behavior and attitude. Take the time to truly think about what message you want to send out into the world.

Next, identify your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). What are your special skills, how can you use those to compensate for your weaknesses, and where do you have exposure to internal or external risks?

From there, focus on setting goals by asking yourself which tasks or activities you should do now to help yourself reach your future goals. Set short-, medium- and long-term goals and continually update your progress. Make sure your goals are clear and measurable, and be sure to include at least four pillars to your business. These are four areas in which you can specialize your skills in order to produce multiple streams of income. This protects you against inevitable market shifts and is a foundational piece to building wealth.

Finally, create a budget. Have you ever heard the saying: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”? Overspending on costly pay-per-click (PPC) platforms or other high-volume lead generation tools while not tracking the return on your investment can often lead to a lower net.

Use an agile to manage your projects and goals. Originally developed in Utah and created for software development, agile has become an easy way to see and manage multiple projects at the same time. Use only the section titled “Idea Backlog,” and simply list all of your ideas for your business. Give each idea a numeric value between 100 and 1,000 based on importance and then sort. Choose three or four ideas and create a “sprint” to get the idea to market. A sprint takes a larger project and breaks it down into 10 or 20 steps, assigns a responsible party, a start and end date—and then runs. If you spend an hour in your agile every day, working on your business instead of in your business, you’ll find it much easier to elevate your growth.

By Jim Knowlton
Nearly three decades of real estate experience—including 15 years of coaching with Verl Workman—has made Jim Knowlton one of the top agents in the country and one of the most popular coaches on the Workman Success Systems’ team. In addition to serving as director of Coaching for Workman Success Systems, Knowlton also owned and managed several real estate franchises, earned numerous awards for his performance and continues to lead a Mega Agent team in New Hampshire today. Contact him at [email protected]. For more information, please visit