Most business coaches and consultants recommend writing out a business plan, complete with the following; your vision and mission, your goals and intentions, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and proforma profitability estimations.  Yes, this type of planning is useful and usually required to obtain financing but how often is a business plan actually used as a navigation tool. I would assert that most business plans (as well as life plans) are drafted with the intent to follow them but the documents are usually tossed in a drawer or filed away, never to be seen again.  Why?  We are simply too busy and overwhelmed with information. Even if we do glance at a business plan occasionally, does it really have an impact?  Usually not.

So, what is the solution to setting the sail of a business to guide it successfully toward our envisioned destination? The solution is found in a word.  Not just any word, but a word that distills down the pure essence of what your purpose is and what you want to contribute to your market. Words are powerful. Words can inspire, motivate and encapsulate an ocean of personal meaning. Words also have resonance.  A powerful word can attract similar energy and bring it into our realm.  A failing salesman focused on the word “love” and the focus and energy created by that word allowed him to connect to his clients authentically and more deeply.  His sales exploded.

How do we find our word?  It takes time and deep inner processing.  Your word must come from the quiet depths of your heart. What inspires you? What do you really want in life? What truly makes you happy? What impact do you want to leave in the wake of your life?  These are good questions to begin with but the answer won’t come unless you get quiet. Get away and unplug from everything and ponder what powerful word will you live by and build your business on?

My word for this year is SERVE.  I truly believe that every time I serve another and every time my company renders unselfish service, we share in the benefit.  When we serve, we add value and we build trust. My word also provides an acronym of words we intend to follow; Solutions – Education – Resources – Value – Expertise.

My word has totally shifted our focus.  We don’t sell, we serve.  We don’t open up a connection unless we are in a position to serve. My word feels good and it feels right.

The power and beauty of the one-word business plan is its simplicity.  As we focus on our word, we attract the elements and energy imbued in the word. We also engage our body’s reticular activator and we begin to bring into focus elements that will support our word.  It’s like when you buy a blue Mini Cooper and you begin to see every other blue Mini Cooper on the road.

What will your word be?

Enter into your sacred quiet space and your word will find you.