By Hugh Stewart
In June of 2011 my business life underwent a radical transformation. I sold a major business that was responsible for a majority of my income and my attention.
After selling that business, I began to rethink my consulting business. I began consulting as a hobby or side business. Essentially, I helped friends and colleagues by advising them on how to create the types of systems and structures that I used to make my other businesses successful.
I realized that I had the same problem as many of my peers when I made the decision to turn my consulting hobby into a more serious and structured business. Because I had begun consulting as a side venture, I had not given it the attention it deserved.
I had procrastinated on creating a strategic plan for more than three years, because I had a good enough idea of who I wanted to help. But I had never managed to muster up enough focus to make it a full-time commitment.
With the changes in my business life, I began to focus my attention on building my consulting business and I found myself going through many of the same processes that I assign my clients:
- A three- and a five-year comprehensive strategic plan
- A vision that could inspire the people that worked for me
- A decision of how big the business needed to be so that I could focus on my unique ability
- Financial goals and an entire financial model for the business
- A list of who I would have to engage to operate the business effectively with scalability
- Product development and intellectual capital creation
This was not an overnight process; it has taken many months and intense communication with my team to get everyone clear on exactly how we should build this empire together.
It has been an interesting journey. The lesson learned is that even if you have gone through this process before, resist the urge to take shortcuts. It is critical to go through the strategic planning process. Take the opportunity and time to focus on the plan. You will learn more about yourself and this new business, even if you have been in the business for years.
For me, I was able to come to some of the best and most creative ideas that I’ve ever had. I know that I am crafting a business that fits my lifestyle while letting me do the best work of my life and focusing on doing the things that I was put on the planet to do.
Hugh Stewart, founder and CEO of Confident Solutions Coach, has both a substantial education background and diverse entrepreneurial background. Stewart was not only a nuclear fuel designer, but he has created and operated more than 17 businesses in the past 10 years in industries such as money services, real estate, advertising, reinsurance consulting, and coaching.
Stewart seeks to help business owners who are struggling or simply wish to move their business to the next level. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up for a free business consultation here.
Originally published: Jan 9, 2012