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Plans > Actions > Results

By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
Photo by: Dana McGrath | Bria Hammel Interiors Team at Interior Design Summit

“Action expresses priorities” – Mahatma Gandhi

Are you satisfied with the current state of your design firm or are you looking for different results, yet not quite sure how to make that happen?

First of all, if you are satisfied to remain right where you are – beware! That view turns into complacency and a quote from Nigel Kennedy is a great reminder to us all. “I hate complacency. I play every gig as if it could be my last, then I enjoy it more than ever.”

If you agree that to get different results you need to do something different than what you have been doing then congratulations. The first step toward change is to realize that the plans and actions taken in the past have created your current results. So if you want different results, you need to revise those plans and take different actions.

The second step is to change your thinking. Often a limiting mindset can hold you back from taking the actions necessary to achieve different results. In the words of Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

A warning: If you want to change your mindset and make the changes to your plans and actions in order to get different results, don’t expect it to happen overnight. Research has shown that on average it takes over 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic. So help you change your mindset and behavior, put reminders on your calendar to help hold yourself accountable and get an accountability partner.

Now let’s address your plan. Start with the results you want to achieve and work backwards. Identify 3 specific goals you would like to achieve within the next year. Remember a goal is a long-term outcome you wish to accomplish or destination you wish to reach.

Then break down the next 12 months into 90-Day segments and set your action plan accordingly. Identify 3 objectives to achieve in the next 90 days that will have the greatest impact. Objectives are specific, measureable steps needed to accomplish an outcome or reach a destination; they are the measurable actions needed to achieve your goals. The key word here is “measurable” and must answer the question “what do you want to accomplish?” If your objective relates to marketing, an objective might be to increase your ideal clients by 20%.

Next identify your strategies – what you are going to do to reach your objectives. For example, if your objective relates to marketing the marketing plan itself is your strategy.

Then list the tactics or action steps needed to support each strategy which, in turn, helps achieve your objectives. A tactic might be to complete the ideal client profile and another might be to identify referral partners who already work with your ideal clients.

Remember – start with a plan, but then put it into action to achieve results, or in the words of Peter Marshall, “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned!”

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