I have worked for enough companies and been apart of enough strategy meetings to know what a strategic plan should look like. But when it comes to our own businesses, we get to be a little more, shall I say, creative with our strategic plans. I actually have a pretty solid list of goals and plans for this year. But when it really comes down to it, it all boils down to this: my strategic plan for 2014 is to be more uncomfortable.
You see, I am not a gambler nor a risk taker. I am not spontaneous. It's just not in my nature. I hyper analyze almost every situation and determine the probability of success. Low probability, I don't do it. High probability, I consider it. I map out best and worst case scenarios and look for alternative options. I know, it's not a very exciting way to live life. Imagine getting me to pick a restaurant for dinner! 😉
But it's served me well in most of my life choices and experiences. I have worked my ass off to get to where I am today and I have made determined choices that led to successful results. Of course, as with anything in life, there have been ups and downs and bumps in the road. But it's always been some variation of a positive, uphill road with more and more rewards.
Then I took an uncalculated risk and started Jenn's Trends almost exactly a year ago. To be fair, it wasn't a BIG risk. I didn't invest any money and there really wasn't anything on the line. But it was a spontaneous and unresearched venture for me. And, boy, has it paid off!
On top of that, I did a lot of things along the way this past year that really tested my comfort zone. I said yes to things that made me nervous. I participated in things where I didn't know if I would be "successful". I tried new things that I had never done before.
And you know what? Every single one of those things paid off for me in growing my business!
I have achieved more views and shares on my blog than I would have imagined possible. I have met soooo many amazing people who I can genuinely call friends. I have experienced business lessons that you only learn when you do it yourself. I have been surrounded with advocates and a support system stronger than anything I ever imagined. And I published a book!
Seriously, the girl who never considered herself a writer has been nominated as a top social media blog for 2013 and I have a book available on Amazon. I still pinch myself every morning!
I don't think there's any "traditional" path to describe how fast I should have accomplished the things I have. Or to predict how quickly the next stages should develop. And I'm glad there isn't. If someone had told me, "You should have 10,000 blog views by this date" or "You should have your first paying client within so many months" or "It takes everyone this long to achieve that", I don't think I would have enjoyed this journey as much as I have.
Having looked back over all the experiences I had last year, I realized that almost all of the successes came when I stepped outside my comfort zone. When I reached out and tried something new. Or even when I straight up admitted I didn't know how to do something but was supported by amazing people who showed me how to do it.
So, my comfort zone is going to get pretty lonely in 2014! I am looking forward to an amazing year and amazing growth. I am looking forward to trying more new things, learning new things, doing things that make me (a little) nervous, and enjoying being a little more spontaneous too! That is my strategic plan for 2014.
As my fellow tiara-wearing friend, Mia Voss said on Google+, this is the #YearOfTheKickAss!