Do you really need a 5 year plan? She Strategy : Mandala Reflection

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This week is a practical podcast. I’m putting my creative business coach hat on for you and guiding you through a planning process that is going to give you a yummy dose of clarity.

Download your She Strategy Audit Workbook

GET CLARITY

The #1 way to feel empowered & embrace success is to seek clarity.

Download your She Strategy Audit Workbook

If you are someone who struggles with indecision, overwhelm or harbors a not-so-secret dislike for being tied down by stuffy, overly controlling plans then listen up sista. This one’s for you…

I have a vivid memory from many moons ago. I am standing in my living room, probably wearing some thrift store get up thinking I am super cool and carefree, I’m about 24 maybe 25 years old and studying my second degree at university. I am pretty certain at this stage I am going to be a student for the rest of my life and probably travel the world if I can scrape a couple of bucks together, and my boyfriend at the time who has just landed a kickass job at a financial firm says to me “what is your 5 year plan?” I distinctly remember the choking, cringey feeling that came over my body. I was repulsed that he would even ask such a thing.

In my head I said something like “how dare you ask me that question, me the free spirit, the uncaged bird, the wild one, why the hell would I want to think about anything apart from this beautiful present moment” But what came out of my mouth was more likely something like, “oh uh I don’t really have one, do you?”

I remember feeling such defiance and opposition to the whole concept, judgemental of anyone who would have their shit together enough to even think about making a plan, let alone a 5 year one. Me? I did not want to be locked into anything…how stifling, what about my freedom, where was the creativity in a 5 year plan?

Now part of me had every right to feel those emotions well up, in this lifetime I value freedom, individuality and creativity and at the time my naive thinking had me feeling like a plan meant I needed to make decision that I would be locked into and there would be no room for spontaneity, growth or change. And I knew I wanted all three of those things in my life so I stubbornly blocked out any idea of a plan.

So I went about my life despising plans and shunning contracts and feeling as if I was somehow free and living…but certain themes kept creeping in

  • I would worry about the future, what I should be doing, how I was going to do it and what should happen next
  • I had visions and ideas for projects or businesses but because I was so blocked around planning I would just get overwhelmed and tell myself they would probably fail anyway and so I would never move on to the planning and action phase
  • life just started rolling along, no real action plan, no idea of where I was drifting to,

then I started my own business. I had all of the ideas, the skills, and contacts but I still dreaded making a plan. I remember I spent weeks, maybe months formulating and printing out a business plan. A formal document with all the right subheadings and projections, just like I had learned to do in business school, and it sat in a plastic folder until I moved house and was thrown directly in the garbage. not once did I look at it, I had proven to myself again that a plan was useless and I certainly did not need one

Then business and life got busier, I was suddenly making quick decisions, filling up my calendar with gigs and events randomly, I was getting by but knew I could do better and with no plan in place I was completely overwhelmed, I thought i was doing well because I was always busy but I had absolutely no direction, decision making became harder and harder and because I had no clarity in my business I was starting to wonder if I could stay afloat this way.

Soon enough I had one of those moments…yeah those ones…sprawled on the floor of my office, feeling chaotic, overwhelmed and really not sure how to get myself out of the mess like I was crumbling under my to-do list but still stubbornly refusing to create a plan for myself.

These kind of breaking points are so valuable like life gives you a kick in the pants, a storm rolls through and clears away all the build up.

And that is when it hit me. I was holding on to a version of planning that did not suit me, I was holding on to the lock-every-thing-in-for-5-years-and don’t-deviate-from-that plan and that terrified me. there was no space for spontaneity, freedom, play time. I needed to craft my own kind of plan, one that was an awesome road map, would take away the mounting stress but wouldn’t feel like shackles.

It had to be simple: I didn’t want to spend months putting it together only to never follow it
It had to be helpful: like a GPS I needed it to guide me
It had to be effective: it had to work for me

I also wanted it to be soulful in an enriching and playful kind of way. Forget dull and boring business plans.
It had to be healing. I needed the stress out of my life.
And it had to be energizing. Help to keep me motivated and tune me into inspiration

I called it my She Strategy.

Get it?
S for simple
H for helpful
E for effective

It is something that I now do once a year or every six months and it keeps me on track.

This week and next I want to take you through the step I do before I start planning. if you have been over to deannelove.com you will see that you can download the free she strategy audit. it’s a workbook to guide you through the reflection phase that is vital before you go in and map out a plan.

GET CLARITY

The #1 way to feel empowered & embrace success is to seek clarity.

Download your She Strategy Audit Workbook

If you haven’t already downloaded the workbook I will give you a quick rundown before we start…and so that you know you want to continue listening…this audit is created for you if:

  • you are feeling like something needs to shift in a project you are doing, your business or maybe just life
  • you are stuck in that interesting phase between idea generation and action
  • you are overwhelmed, got too much happening, feeling indecisive, or in a transitional phase
  • if you want to have a clearer vision of where you are going, you want to change, grow, expand
  • you need to take a moment and explore options

The first major part of the She Strategy is a reflection, we do it in a creative way. If you have downloaded the workbook you will see on the second page there is a mandala, you can also draw this mandala in your journal. it is basically a big pie, any flavor you like, with 8 pieces. Each piece represents a piece of your business, project or life that we are going to reflect on now

even if you don’t have the workbook you can take moment now to do the first part f the reflection

As I say the 8 pieces of the mandala I want you to reflect on them without judgment but honesty.

As a way of putting some energy into the reflection, I want you to give each piece a score out of 10
10 being the strongest, things are going well in this area and you are feeling empowered and sorted in this element, 1 being you need to make changes, need support or something really has to shift.

You might want to feel into what sensations come up in your body, how your energy shifts or what emotions are raised by each section

  1.  People/ Mentors/ Support
  2. Customers/ Clients / Audience
  3. $/ Cashflow/ Sales
  4. Website / Social Media
  5. Offerings/ Products/ Services
  6. Marketing Plan & Vision
  7. Leadership /Wellbeing
  8. Time / Focus / Energy

Because each of these segments may come with a lot of moving parts for you I want you to take some time this week to reflect on these 8 elements. Notice anytime you drop in to worry, self-doubt, concern maybe just give yourself some time to journal those thoughts and feelings and any time you feel a renewed sense of action, a creative flow or a lighter energy in any of the 8 segments when you reflect on them.

So that is the first part of the preparation phase for the She Strategy.
Next week we are going to take your reflections and turn them into some energised declarations to prepare you to craft a plan that is going to help you get really clear about where you are heading but give you the freedom to enjoy the present moment, to luxuriate in all of the joy and creativity of now by removing the clutter, the overwhelm, the indecision.

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DEANNE LOVE

Fierce clarity.  Wild creativity.  Spirited courage.

These three pursuits sometimes get me in trouble. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Are you with me? 

Let’s do the deep work together. Let’s find focus in a world of distractions. Let’s make change. Let’s connect to our inner wisdom.

Welcome.

You will mostly find me activating people to drop from their head, down into their body. That is where the real wisdom is. 

I made a commitment over a decade ago to awaken my deepest intelligence through creative movement and activated voice. Let’s dance. Let’s take up space together.

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