While I was going to school for massage, part of the requirement for graduation was to develop a business plan. I think this is par for the course for any school who claims graduates can sit for the national tests - it's a minimum requirement of the national associations.
Anyway, while I was in school I was fresh off Hell Job, and the business plan gave me a hell of a time. I was angry at it. The idea of sitting down and writing it - and especially thinking about all of the marketing - filled me with resentment and a real bad case of the "I don't wannas". Which is not how it should be. It should be an exciting thing... you're thinking about the future after all. What grand possibilities are in store for you? What can you make of yourself?
Granted, the process sort of takes the fun out of the "what if" part by focusing on financials and minutae of reality, but that's the business world for you. Take something fun and then keep staring at it until that slinks off and you can see the bottom line.
In school, I ended up writing a career plan, which at the time I could see much more clearly for myself. I could see five years down the line... where I hoped to be and what I hoped to accomplish.
But here's the secret, the reason I've never been a planner, the reason I've never written any "By the Time I'm 40" lists. Because life is crazy. You can plan all you want and meet goal after goal after goal, but if there is no flexibility you're going to spend a good portion of your life struggling against the tide to meet those goals. Especially if your life could have taken some amazing turns along the way...if only you'd look up from that list. You never know where the Road of Life is going to take you, and I prefer to just go along for the ride as opposed to trying to straighten out all the turns along the way.
This morning I opened a new document... a business plan. It's not a definite. It's a what-if, to be taken out when I feel the need. To put down ideas of how to do a business my way. It may never be anything more than me playing around on a rainy morning. But it's a step I couldn't take a year and a half ago.
See... you just never know where life is going to take you.
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