“I already know what I need to do, so I don’t need a plan to get it done.”
“WRONG!” I want to shout, when I read this in Brian Moran’s book, The 12-Week Year. But maybe you’ve caught yourself thinking exactly that. I know I have. How is it we know we need to plan, but can’t bring ourselves to do it?
Over the last several months, including the coronavirus, I’ve had the most productive fitness routine of my life. Believe me, until the last year, working out could hardly have been less interesting to me. I hated going to the gym, and didn’t want to “pay the cost to be the boss” with my physical health. But I’m 60 years old now; some things last a lot longer if you take good care of them. Who would look at the season of life I’m having now, and not want it to go on as long as possible?
One thing that changed for me was realistic planning. I always felt, if I was going to work out, I would have to make a huge leap to pushing super-heavy weights and running 20 miles a day. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m an “all-or-nothing” kind of guy. But the men in my online mastermind groups persuaded me to take a “baby steps” approach, and I got hooked. When all I had to do was show up and start with one small amount of weight, and gradually increase it … I thought to myself, “I can do this!”
It was the same with the amount of time I spent in the gym. When I understood I didn’t have to spend six hours a day training, it suddenly made sense. I could start with just 10 minutes a day and grow it, little by little, each day. Eventually, I got to where I worked out three to four times a week, for one hour each time. Let me tell you, the health benefits and well-being I could feel physically were amazing. I have to thank my brothers in our mastermind groups; they’ve kept me going with encouragement and accountability.
THE SHORT TERM
In my fitness story, you might notice I touch on the topic of short-term planning. This is the “results” side of The 12-Week Year. In our masterminds online, we teach men and women how to “grind” their time down into little increments they can follow. This is what gets you results and “little wins,” with fitness or anything else.
See, what I wanted was “long-term.” I wanted to feel like I was in great shape, with a healthy heart, less extra weight and the most energy God would allow me to have. I wanted the capacity to handle what the average person my age can no longer do. That goal comes gradually, as you pivot away from idleness and the sedentary lifestyle into a more active model. So in my 12-week fitness goals, I built in “tiny” building-block steps, which my trainer told me would lead to those much bigger goals.
It will help you to remember you’re just twelve weeks away from visible, tangible gains in your mastermind business. It won’t take years, or even more than three months, before you notice the difference. In an age of uncertainty like the one we’re living through now, it’s great to be able to set measurable goals over a period like 12 weeks. Between The 12-Week Year and The Mastermind Playbook, which we created to help facilitators like you, there’s a lot that could happen between today and three months from now.
Even if you have three- to five-year plans for your mastermind groups online (and you should have them), The 12-Week Year can be leveraged to support them. Brian says you can make 12-week plans to drive “capacity” rather than results. This just means your 12-week goals move you into a better position to achieve the long-term objective.
Back when I was in the construction business, I knew enough about planning to set “hiring thresholds.” I would set an income goal for the business to determine when I’d bring on a new project manager. This is one example where, if you wanted to do a similar thing, you could “accelerate” the time for decision-making by using The 12-Week Year. If you need to earn an additional $50k in revenue to hire your first full-time staff member, you can use 12-week planning to see if it’s realistic to acquire the revenue in that period of time.
Even if the pace doesn’t quite fit 12 weeks, however, this planning timeframe is still useful. You can at least observe the pace at which you’re moving. So if you need $50k in revenue, but you’re only at $27k by the end of 12 weeks, you know you simply need to repeat the process. By the end of the second cycle - all else being equal - you should arrive where you want to be.
An important advisory about this kind of planning: don’t do it by itself. Always make sure you have some part of your 12-Week Year for short-term results, so you can get small wins along the way. In the business of masterminds, our highest priority after filling one group has usually been to start filling another one, with the waiting list we’ve gathered. It goes back to those basic business principles - create multiple streams of revenue, so that if one goes down, others can continue to pay the bills. You need to do that while you work toward long-term objectives.
Let’s make this very simple: 12-Week Year short-term and long-term planning comes STOCK with The Mastermind Playbook. Why not take all the guesswork out of the equation and just get to work building your group? Head over to our website today to learn more.