How Creating a Simple Business Growth Plan Can Lead to Success

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October 9, 2011

The year was 1989 and my life was not going as I had hoped. I’m not proud to admit it, but I had health problems, financial problems, and relational problems. Other than that my life was going pretty well.

My health was so bad I couldn’t get a standard life insurance policy, so I was buying credit card life insurance. Have you ever bought credit card life insurance? Let me give you a tip…it’s cheaper to die than buy credit card life insurance.

Financially, I had accumulated excessive debt. It’s embarrassing to admit that I had unsecured debt that was twice my gross annual income.

Lastly, and most importantly, I had relational problems. I had the habit of giving my best at the office and my leftovers to my family.

During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I lived in the fast lane real estate business in Denver, Colorado. I crashed and burned just as mortgage rates hit 18%.

After my real estate career, I worked with business start-ups and business turn-arounds  in the solar and energy conservation industry. In two years, I was on the road 96 of 102 weeks. I had the time of my life – speaking, training, and consulting 20-30 hours per week. Business growth was a passion.

In 1986, I became a full-time business growth consultant and public speaker.  My first consulting client increased revenues by 400% in nine months.

By 1989, I was married to Diane and had a young son, Joseph. At that time, I called on a couple large companies, AT&T and Farmland Industries. Both of these companies referred me to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I thought “that’s all I need is more competition.” The competitor turned out to be a man of incredible depth and breadth with valuable insight into personal and professional issues, his name was Stephen R. Covey.

By 1990, I was affiliated with Stephen and the Covey Leadership Center which became Franklin Covey. In the decade of the 90’s, I experience remarkable growth working as a Senior Presenter with Stephen Covey. One of the most important things I learned is to invest an hour every week, before the week begins, to plan my time.

Stephen deepened my understanding of vision, mission, values, roles, and goals. I developed the habit of weekly planning. At the end of each week, I would celebrate my progress and plan the next week. This process of planning, achieving, and celebrating progress changed my life. I eventually restored my health, got out of debt, and rebuilt my most important relationships. I’ve also used the planning, achievement and celebration process to build a business.

When I left Franklin Covey in 2000, these habits and the principles I learned became the foundation for a new business growth methodology.  In 2005, we wrote about the methodology in Prioritize! – A System for Leading Your Business and Life on Purpose. In 2008, we wrote On the Same Page – How to Engage Employees and Accelerate Growth.  My newest book is, The One Hour Plan for Growth — How a Single Sheet of Paper Can Take Your Business to the Next Level.

The process of planning, achieving, and celebrating progress dramatically improves any area of life. All it took was a simple business growth plan.

As Brian Tracy says, “one hour of planning time saves 12 hours of execution time.” Planning is the process of using your imagination to envision (and then, hopefully achieve) a more desirable future state. As the saying goes, “proper planning prevents poor performance” – in all areas of life. If you’re looking for an online solution to creating a simple business growth plan, I can help. www.1Hour2Plan.com is my online business planning system that helps you put your business plan together in less time than it takes to talk about planning. Give it a look.

So, how about you?  What areas of your life need to be improved? Do you have one hour to plan?



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