As entrepreneurs, mentors and coaches come in many different forms and sometimes when you least expect it. In fact, many times you to do not realize the impact of that relationship until long after it may be gone or the moment has past., A college advisor and mentor of mine, Ed Loyer, once said, "Have a plan, and plans may change, but always have a plan."
Back then I figured he meant we should have an idea of what we want for our personal and professional life and attempt to make choices in line with those things. And while at the surface that is what he did mean, when I think about that quote as an entrepreneur it means so much more.
When Ed said, ‘make a plan,’ what he was talking about was looking forward to the end, living each day with a vision and purpose. He was talking about taking actions and making choices all based on the outcome you create for yourself and your life. He was alluding to the fact that you have to have focus on all that you do. As you journey down the entrepreneurial road there are many distractions, many things that come up, and many things that can lead you away from your plan. With focus you can keep laser like attention and get to where you ultimately want to go.
When he said the ‘plans may change,’ which they do, he was 100% certain. Despite us all having great ideas and vision for where we want to go, often life happens, variables change, things do not go as originally planned. And it is in those moments that you have an opportunity to really demonstrate what it takes to be successful. It comes in the form of being able to deal with uncertainty, to overcome obstacles and challenges. As an entrepreneur the willingness to take risks is key to creating success. And ultimately the willingness to be resourceful and pivot on a dime is a key to allowing things to change around you and still create success.
When he said ‘but always have a plan,’ I cannot help but think he was not talking about the plan, rather he was referring to an internal motivation. It is an internal motivation to continue moving forward, to focus on reaching your outcomes and goals that you laid out there, so long after the excitement around the creation of the idea of business.
While Ed is no longer with us, this quote resonates with the thousands of men and women's lives he touched over the years and I can't help but wonder how many times they say this quote to themselves.
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