Steps to create an Action Based Plan

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edited December 2013 in Business Planning
EFFECTIVE PLANNING BRINGS GOOD RESULT

INTRODUCTION

Planning (also called forethought) is the process of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planning
 
Planning refers to a conscious effort at looking ahead and chalking out future courses of action to be followed. It is a preparatory step. It is a systematic activity which determines when, how and who is going to perform a specific job. Planning is a detailed programme regarding future courses of action.
According to Urwick, “Planning is a mental predisposition to do things in orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses”. Planning is deciding best alternative among others to perform different managerial functions in order to achieve predetermined goals. According to Koontz & O’Donell, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are today and where we want to go. It makes possible for things to occur which would not otherwise occur”.
SOURCE: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/pla ... nction.htm
 
Key Steps to developing a plan;

Set Objectives
Determine Planning Assumptions
Ascertain Alternative Courses of Action
Firm up sub-activities and actions of each alternative course of action
Establish Collaborations and co-operations required
Set stages and gates of implementation
Clarify picture of Success
Execute and Evaluate
Follow up and Appraise (remember to celebrate successes)

 
 
 

ACTION BASED PLANNING

 
A popular saying goes; “…failure to plan is planning to fail!”
 

Make Your Plans and take Action

    3If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. Eccl 11:4
 
Without us planning, little or no use will be made of the benefits, powers and potentials of nature (sun, wind, rain, rivers, seas, oceans, forests and mineral resources) and all other natural resources on our planet.
 
‘…where the tree falls, there it will lie…’ …till man decides to chop it up for firewood, saw it into timber or plane it and fashion it into furniture. The endless cycle of rain, sunshine, evaporation, condensation and rain goes on ceaselessly and repeatedly. Only man can plan to harness the rain, sunlight and river-flows for electricity, transportation etc.
 
What will be, will be?
A cursory look at Ecclesiastes 11:4 seems to suggest that what will be will. How erroneous it will be to go away with that understanding. To me it actually says that nothing will be if man does not take action. This is because; man can plan and execute plans that change or determine ‘what will be’.
 
People make a lot of excuses for not planning;

Uncertain future
Powerless position
Leadership needed
Lack of resources
Karma, fate or destiny

 
In the scriptures I find, Four Wonderful Planners in nature, who by their position/status should not be wise;
Proverbs 30:24-28
24 There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they lay/gather up their food in the summer (to prepare ahead for winter, and build their homes in the dry season ahead of the raining season);
26 The conies (marmots) are but a feeble folk, yet they make their houses in the rocks;
27 The locusts have no king (leaderless insects), yet they go forth all of them by bands (yet they advance together in ranks and they strip the field like an army regiment);
28 The lizard you can seize with your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces (they sneak past vigilant palace guards).
 
It would seem to me that these creatures read Numbers 14:28! I can almost see the Ants holding their meetings to plan after agreeing that no member of their community should:

Starve during winter
Freeze during winter
Drown during the rainy seasons

 
As such they will begin to plan

The layout of their new Ant hill due to population increase (any one who has had the privilege of walking in the bush or rural farmlands can testify that there Ant Hills of different sizes)
Estimation of food requirement for this new winter season
Accommodation space for community members, guests and storage space for food and equipment
They would review the flood paths, snow paths, migration paths of predators and the hibernation locations of predators.

 
Since a human being is more intelligent and more powerful than these small creatures extolled above, I see no reason why anyone should not plan.
 
 
In spite of the benefits of planning, many people still fail to plan due to procrastination
 

Dangers of Procrastination

It is estimated that 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we'll feel tomorrow, or the next day.
In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. In accordance with Freud, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrastination
 
Opinions may differ, but my experience is that Procrastinators;

Live in regrets of their vicious habits
Have very low expectations
Easily slip into mediocre comfort zones
Are insecure and Lazy
Are not respected by their peers nor superiors whom they have failed/disappointed time and time again
Are afraid of the unknown
Lack a sense of urgent
Have misplaced priorities

 

Planning with Faith

God expects you to plan.
Numbers 14:28 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:
 
God has plans for you. In His storehouse everything you need already exists. You only need to hear from Him, commune with him and align your own plans with His. Share your constraints and difficulties with Him. Is it sin? He can take care of that. Is it lack of knowledge? He has unlimited supply. It is a lie of the devil that any situation/individual is irredeemable.
 
Isaiah 1:18
King James Version (KJV)
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
 
 
Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..
 
God is interested in your progress, in your success and in your prosperity. So, God guides you to have seven sources of income so that you can be better protected from the vicissitudes of life.
 
This way you can experience Jeremiah 29:5-7(KJV);
5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
 
3 John 1:2
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
 
This is why you can go ahead and plan to;

Build houses
Settle down
Plant gardens and eat what they produce
Marry and have sons and daughters;
Then find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage
Seek the peace and prosperity of the city in which you live. This means that our blessings are not tied to our location/place of birth.

 
Things means that our success and blessings are not necessarily tied our place of birth, station in life, ethnic origin or ancestral lineage. God alone knows where we are meant to be at any point in time and He directs our path. So He speaks to us physically, through his word and servants. Sadly, many attempts by God to speak to us are usually not getting through due to our inability to hear, nor realize that really God is speaking to us. Little Samuel had a firsthand experience.
 
1 Samuel 3:1-9Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision.
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had dimmed so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place.
3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was lying down
4 When the Lord called, Samuel! And he answered, Here I am.
5 He ran to Eli and said,here I am, for you called me. Eli said, I did not call you; lie down again. So he went and lay down.
6 And the Lord called again, Samuel! And Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, Here am I; you did call me. Eli answered, I did not call, my son; lie down again.
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed to him.
8 And the Lord called Samuel the third time. And he went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you did call me. Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.
9 So Eli said to Samuel, Go, lie down. And if He calls you, you shall say, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
 
 
He heard the call but;

Thought the call came from Eli
Never realized that God actually wants to have a conversation with him
Probably never knew that God can actually call/speak with an individual loud and clear
He had never had a one-on-one with God before
The circumstance, the environment and sinfulness of men around Israel then had dimmed human senses to connect on the higher frequency of heaven
When God calls all you need do is answer ‘Your servant hears Lord…’

 
The good news here is that regardless of time and circumstance, if you are truly ready to hear from God, He will connect with you. Like little Samuel, just be on the right frequency (obedient and yearning to hear from God) and Jehovah will surely show up.
 
1 Samuel 3:10
10 And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel answered, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.
 
This is so touching that I recall one of my favourite hymns, “Master Speak Your Servant Heareth”. If you know the song sing it with all your heart, sing it with all your soul yearning to hear from God! He is never far from you.
 
Acoording to the song, God can speak to you, by name to make you ready; to your heart even though His voice may come lowly or loudly, you will know that God is speaking to you. This then will form the basis of your plan.
 
As you plan with faith, remember to;

Commune with God
Focus on opportunities
Follow God’s directions
Exercise your faith
Find ways around obstacles
Leverage all your assets to build synergies for success

 

Building Synergy

Unity of purpose is stronger than anything on earth, that it takes God to come down Himself to neutralize it, if it is used negatively;

In the garden of Eden when Adam agreed with Eve to sin, God had to come down.
When mankind agreed without wavering to embark on a project that takes them straight to heaven without authorization, God had to come down to stop the Tower of Babel

In situations where unity of purpose is used positively, nothing is able to stand in the path of mankind.
 
That is why the bible says that whatsoever two or more of us agree to on earth is bound in heaven. What an awesome power man has. It is therefore sad that heaven watches where two or more people can collaborate for a good cause, yet they keep struggling as separate individuals!
 
Inability to build synergies stem from any, some or all of these;

Lack of trust
Greed
Ignorance of benefits
Lack of Christ in the lives of individuals involved

 

Planning Your Multiple Streams of Income

Multiple income streams come from the myriad talents, skills, competences and creative power that God has deposited in every human being. Two good examples in the bible are Bezalel son of Uri and Aholiab son of Ahisamach.
 
Exodus 35:30-35 (see Exodus 31:3)
30 And Moses said to the Israelites, See, the Lord called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;
31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and wisdom, with intelligence and understanding, and with knowledge and all craftsmanship,
32 To devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze,
33 In cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, for work in every skilled craft.
34 And God has put in Bezalel’s heart that he may teach, both he and Aholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
35 He has filled them with wisdom of heart and ability to do all manner of craftsmanship, of the engraver, of the skillful workman, of the embroiderer in blue, purple, and scarlet (stuff) and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of those who do or design any skilled work.
 
Wow!
God knows you, gives you all the talents, skills and competences you need to succeed in life. On top of that He will seek you out, talk with you and go ahead to create the appreciation among the users of your talents, such that they begin to patronize you. This is in consonance with another scripture;

Jeremiah 1:5

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations
 
The parable of Talents told by Jesus in Matthew 25:14-29 has a lot of illumination to the discerning mind;

Talents are very valuable for wealth creation. In 1 Kings 16:24 the Bible gives us a rough estimate of the value of one Talent. What is the worth of a talent? Half the land needed to build a city. http://www.businessdictionary.com/defin ... z2Lw4GCkMN
Money: We all know this as a medium that can be used for the exchange of goods and services and is used as a measure of their values on the market, including among its forms a commodity such as gold, an officially issued coin or note, or a deposit in a checking account or other readily liquefiable account. Money we also know as the official currency, coins, and negotiable paper notes issued by a government. In a more advanced form it refers to assets and property considered in terms of monetary value; wealth.
Experience; Familiarity with a skill or field of knowledge acquired over months or years of actual practice and which, presumably, has resulted in superior understanding or mastery that enables one to earn income. SOURCE: http://www.businessdictionary.com/defin ... z2Lw83lafE
Mind: The human consciousness and uncosciuosness that originates in the brain and is manifested especially in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory, and imagination which controls human endeavour and income generation.The collective conscious and unconscious processes in a sentient organism that direct and influence mental and physical behavior.

 
Usually people engage in one occupation or another to earn an income (i.e. job, vocation or profession, endeavour).
 
An occupation becomes a profession when it is a type that requires special training or skill; especially if it requires a high level of education/training. Good examples of occupations that are called professions are the medical/legal/teaching fields of endeavour.
 
A profession is a vocation when it refers to a type of work or way of life that you as the practitioner believe it is especially suitable for you; like a calling. Most people in any vocation believe that they have been chosen by God or that they uniquely created to do the particular type of work they do.
 
A fact of life is that one or more of our skills, talents, competences and creative powers become most dominant over all others. This does not mean that we cannot still benefit from our less pronounced or less dominant skills, talents, competences and creative powers.
 
This is why we need to diversify our income streams using the diverse skills, talents, competences and creative powers that God has given each of us.
 
Diversified Income can be broadly categorized into one of or a mixture of both, Passive or Active incomes.
 
Active Income refers to the regular compensation that an individual receives in the form of salary, wages, tips, commissions, and/or any other source. For example, rents and dividends are not considered active income because an individual does not need to do anything repeatedly, in order to earn them. An individual earns (active and passive) income in order to pay for personal expenses, such as a mortgage, debt service, groceries, medical bills, transportation, utilities, education, clothing, vacation, hobbies, furniture, communication, celebrations, philanthropy, charity,religious obligations (tithes, offerings, sacrifices) etc.
 
Active income is necessary for an economy to function.
 
Passive Income on the other hand refers to Income from a venture in which an individual does not directly participate. The most common types of passive income are rents and income from a limited partnership. Some analysts consider income derived from securities such as dividends and coupons to be passive income, while others put it into a separate category as portfolio income. Passive income is taxable, but it is often treated differently than active income.
 
In all there are four sub-groups of income types;

Passive Income:

This group of Income Streams includes; interests, dividends, real estate income, royalties, residuals, annuities, intellectual properties, or royalties from patents.

Residual Income;

This is a type of Passive Income that was only once active but it continues to be generated after the initial effort has been expended. The residual income means that you do your work once, received initial payment on completion and then get paid over and over again for that same work e.g. royalties from intellectual properties, or from patents.

Portfolio Income:

This is a type of Active Income derived from paper assets – easiest to manage. The most successful portfolio investors actively monitor the stock and financial markets to in order to decide to buy, sell or hold.

Earned Income:

This is Active Income generated by continuous/repeated efforts of the earner; once you stop doing that work, the income ceases e.g. Salary/Paycheck – highest taxed type of income; Commissions earned (finder’s fee, Agency commission, Brokerage fees, referrals), speaking honorariums etc.
 
Balancing Your Income Streams Structure
Everyone that intends to have multiple sources of income has to carefully balance or structure the combination of income streams.

Types of Income from the Active and Passive groups
Sectors of the economy to forestall economic vicissitudes
Immediate, Short-term and Long-term income time frames
Time required and the ration of income contribution

 
Critical Issues
Developing multiple streams of income is not a very simple challenge. There are serious barriers that different individuals may face (outside of procrastination) depending on their situation/environments. These are a few;

Knowledge gap in the various other activities, specializations or line of work that can be additional streams of income
Conflict of Interest; where your profession currently require you not to compete with your employer (while in their employ), where your personal gain from that same line of work will create lack of integrity
Time Allocation; additional sources of income that reduce time available for your main source of income can jeopardize your livelihood especially when the new sources do not add up to much

 
Many people see no value in certain types of income streams that can be generated from almost everyday activities. These have been taken for granted. The amazing thing is that such income streams come from things we already do. For a brief list of examples, consider;

Deciding to let your pets breed so that you can be making money from selling their off-springs to people like you who want to keep such pets.
You can also decide that your personal dwelling place can be constructed, repartitioned or designed in such a way that you can let out half or some significant part of it.
You can decide to invest your money (instead of just spending what you earn) through
Money market instruments
Equity participation
Venture capital investments
Forex trading
Shares and stocks trading/investments

Take a bank loan (temporary debt) to develop and invest in real estate
Pay back loan with income or proceeds (rent, lease or sales proceeds)
Earn Rental or lease income after loan is paid off
Develop and sell-off (retaining profits from proceeds)


 
 
 
 
 
Read More on the book titled 7 STREAMS.
For further enquires on 7 STREAMS,
 Contact; [email protected]
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