Business Plan for My LIfe


Napkin_Business_Plan (Photo credit: Linda Nowakowski)

I’ve been working these past two weeks on a business plan for my division at work.  We are asking for new investment on some cool stuff we want to do.  I have notes on scrap paper, Word docs, Excel Spreadsheets; I have notes and drawings in my little red notebook and on post-its.

Today I’m using a great on-line tool, LivePlan to pull it all together.

As I’m working through the sections and organization, I am getting excited to see how it all comes together.  And now I want to do the same for my life.  I will retire in 10 years or less.  I don’t have a business plan for my life and I think I could use one.

Sure I have a financial planner telling me how much to save and to stop shopping at Nordstrom.   He’s telling us where to invest and what to sell, but those are just the financial pieces of my ‘business plan’.    Steve Jeuten, our CFP, also asked us to redo our estate planning documents.

Hmm.  Maybe there’s why this ‘business plan for my life’ is forming in my head.  In order to thoughtfully prepare for my legacy, for my death, I need to prepare for the rest of my life.

So I’ve been thinking about this; about how to formulate a plan.   The Business Plan for Life model seems like a good solution:

  • What is my mission statement?
  • What is my personal history ?  How will it inform the next 10 years.
  • Who and what are competitors (obstacles?) to keep me from my goals?
  • Which competitors/obstacles can I do anything about?
  • What products and services do I, Val, bring to the next 10 years.
  • What do I want my legacy to be?
  • Where do I need to invest — either time or money — to fulfill my mission statement and reach my goal of retiring at 60.
  • What are the milestones?
  • What resources do I need?
  • How will I know I’ve succeeded?  What will that look like?

It’s a bit distracting for me, frankly.  I’m trying to focus on distribution and commercialization for work products when my own life is swirling around in the back of my head trying to organize itself around this kind of framework. few years ago, three friends and I all sat around drinking tea and asked each other to write down what we wanted to accomplish by the time we were 50.

  • I want to sit on two boards.
  • I want to be known for writing letters.
  • I want to find my biological family.
  • I want to lead.
  • There was one more, but I don’t remember it.

On reflection, most of my “I Wants” weren’t around my job or my career.   They were about the other ways I engage in the world; about how I begin to give back.

So I’ll be writing Val’s Business Plan for Life.  I am confident it’ll be interesting.


One response to “Business Plan for My LIfe

  1. What a provocative idea to have a business plan for our lives. I love it! Valerie, I think you are well on your way to succeeding in all the things you want to do. You continue to inspire us all!

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