Do you have a driven mind like me?
Are you always bursting with ideas?
Well, my friends, this is a good thing, and a bad thing.
Ideas are nice, but they mean nothing if you don’t have the plans to back them up.
Well, this is what we’re talking about today.
I’m super pumped to talk to you today about implementing plans, not ideas.
Ideas are the spark that starts a journey, but it’s the planning that gets us there. People with active minds need to learn how to harness the idea energy into concrete plans for success by slowing down, creating strategic thinking time, and writing your plans down.
Let’s get planning to be our focus.
Ideas To Planning: Where We Fall Short
Now, obviously, everything starts with an idea.
But as driven minded leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, or thought leaders, we think about all the different things that bounce around in our mind.
If we run around and start taking action, bad things happen.
There’s an assessment called the Kolbe assessment, and they measure a few different things. One of the things that they measure is called Quickstart.
How high are you on a scale of one to 10 when it comes to starting quickly?
Some people want to do a little more research, get a little more information.
Some people want to sleep on it.
Want to think it through a little bit? Here’s a tip.
Kenny Chapman is a 9/10 on Quickstart.
Plans Vs. Ideas
Oh no. What does that mean?
That means that I got really good at implementing ideas rather than plans.
And that is so painful.
That’s fine if you’re a “solopreneur,” and the only boats you’re wrecking are your own.
You’ve got to get out of the idea mentality.
You’re not a dog distracted by the squirrels.
Oh, I think I’m going to go over here now.
Ooh, look at this new sales tactic.
You’re never going to get that much accomplished.
As a leader, you have people following you.
You have people counting on you.
Sticking with ideas drags them behind you in the boat as you wreck it. It’s worse.
Implement plans, not ideas.
Do you hear me yet?
I’m not saying that things don’t change, and the plans don’t evolve.
We’re talking about this during 2020.
Can I get an amen?
Or a hell yeah?
We’ve never been more clear about that than we are right now as we are going through this time together.
However, it’s about creating a plan to implement ideas, not implementing the ideas.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
This became very, very clear to me back in 2018.
I met a gentleman by the name of Keith Cunningham.
Keith Cunningham happens to be one of the rich dads that Robert Kiyosaki wrote the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad about.
As far as rich dad’s go, Keith Cunningham was one of those gentlemen.
This is a man who lost a hundred million dollars in the market crash back in the 80s.
He leveraged real estate and banking and different types of funds and lost a hundred million dollars.
I want you to let that sink in for a minute.
When I was talking to him, he said something like:
You know, sometimes I feel like I’m the dumbest guy in the room because I was able to lose a hundred million.
You can find all kinds of people who lost 20, 30, 40, 50, a hundred grand, 500 grand, a million.
But a hundred million bucks?!
That’s almost hard to do, to lose it all.
The good thing for Keith and for you on with me here today is that he figured out how to earn it all back.
Now he’s got multiple businesses doing nine figures.
He’s an incredible man. He’s very inspiring.
And he helped me tremendously because I realized that I was implementing ideas.
3 Powerful Strategies For Implementing Plans, Not Ideas
I would have a great idea. I would think:
Man, that’s amazing.
I’m going to go ahead and make this happen.
Then, it flops.
I’ve had that show up in various ways in business, in personal relationships, and in life.
I’ve had businesses that I’ve started on an idea. Partners and team members have joined me on ideas.
But I know now, implementing plans is the long-term way to substantial success.
This is where these 3 concrete strategies for implementing ideas come into play.
I’m a driven minded individual.
I know I’m creating value in the world.
And I know that I’m leading my team as effectively as I can.
But what if I just got off that hamster wheel a little bit?
What if I stopped squirreling around?
What if I stopped bouncing around like a pinball in a machine as I write about in the Six Dimensions Of Change, 2.0.
The first thing I want you to do is to slow down.
You and I, we’re drivers.
What’s next? Let’s go!
I accomplished that; now, I want to do this and that.
That’s part of being a driven minded leader, but that can create chaos if you don’t take a step back and slow down.
How many of you right now can look back at poor financial decisions, business decisions, relationship decisions, or more?
I would not do that today. There is zero chance I would make that decision.
I wouldn’t even change the past.
Nope, I wouldn’t change anything in my past.
That’s what brought us together.
It’s what brought me to this point in my life is what gave us the opportunity to be together here today.
As we share this story, valuable time that we have together, however, moving forward, I don’t want to make the same mistakes I made in the past or get the same education that I’ve gotten in the past.
Another one of my Keith Cunningham stories is about his idea of a “dumb tax.”
If you make a mistake, the cost of the mistake is the dumb tax.
Like real taxes, sometimes they’re used for a good purpose, and sometimes they disappear.
What are you doing with your dumb tax?
He paid a hundred million dollars in dump tax, right? But he sure as hell learned a lot.
Hopefully, you don’t have to pay that much.
One of the ways that we stop paying so much dumb tax is by taking a step back and slowing down to reflect on what we’re doing.
We stop and make a plan.
Create Strategic Thinking Time
Literally, block time in your schedule for “strategic thinking time,” as Keith taught me to do.
You’ve got an idea.
You’ve got a concept or market you want to go into.
Maybe you want to hire a new sales manager or go into a new direction with your business.
You want to lead your team through the current situation.
Well, after you slow down, put an appointment on the calendar with yourself and call it strategic thinking time.
This is the time you spend being and planning on leadership.
Not generating ideas, but thinking through the steps.
How will this work?
You need to make the time to work on you and on your plans.
If you’re not working on the number one in your world (which is you), you might be missing some massive opportunity.
Learn how to protect your most valuable asset, your mind.
We pay dumb tax in two different ways.
We pay dumb tax by making quick, ill-fated decisions.
And we pay dumb tax by not maximizing opportunities.
Both of those things are areas that we can maximize.
First, we slow down.
Second, schedule some strategic thinking time and block an hour off.
Whether it’s while you’re at home drinking coffee or sitting in your office.
Get out a writing pad, iPad, notebook, or whatever and start jotting.
This is different from journaling, which is also critical.
Check out my 4 tips for effective journaling.
Both slow down our incredibly driven minds with the subconscious that’s running like crazy.
Write Your Plans Down. Ask Yourself The Questions
It begins as an idea.
Then you slow yourself down from diving in right away.
You block off some strategic thinking time and plan.
Capture it. Write it down.
Only then do you start thinking about getting started.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes these amazing ideas come in the middle of the night. Sometimes they come when you’re getting ready in the morning.
Sometimes they come when I’m doing my best to meditate.
You have these things come up, but you need to force yourself to take a step back. Slow down, create time, and write your plans down.
Let’s write about why we really want to hire a sales manager.
What would they do?
How will I find, hire, and train them?
Make sure that there is proof that there’s proof that you need to make this change.
How I Use These With My Live Events
One of my companies does a ton of live events.
We used to do a ton of in-person events until 2020; that completely got changed.
Why do I need to change my strategy?
Well, now it’s illegal to have them the way we used to have them.
That’s when you go to the second question:
Who is going to help me with this?
Who’s going to be responsible for getting involved in this?
Who’s going to be a champion with me?
I could have panicked. I could have started jumping on my ideas as they came to me in early 2020.
But I knew these ideas could mess with my team mates and me.
We deserve better.
I slowed down, scheduled time, and wrote down my plans.
I asked the questions and came up with answers.
Are they perfect? Heck no, but at least they exist.
Now I’m working with plans, not ideas.
The Big Questions
Who is going to help me?
Why does it need to happen?
What needs to happen?
How are we going to get there?
When will this happen?
Where does our energy need to be focused?
Put it into some calendar, project breakdown, timestamps, and off to the races you go.
One more note, though, friends:
Be crystal clear on the “why.”
The why of your idea, then plan, is the driving factor.
The other pieces will fall apart or need adjusting as you go; it’s just the way it is.
But the why is the glue that holds the whole plan together.
It’s the guiding star for your plan on its path to success.
Spend much of your time there and have answers for the others as well.
It is about implementing plans, not ideas.
Driven-minded leaders always have ideas.
I’m an idea machine, and I bet you are too.
But it’s what we do with these ideas that define true leadership.
Slow down, schedule time to think strategically, and write down your answers to the tough questions.
When you do, your ideas evolve into plans, and you’ll find your business is 100% better for it.
Thank you for reading with us today.
Join other leaders on our stellar Facebook group.
Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic week!
About Kenny Chapman
Kenny Chapman’s mission is to help driven leaders build their ideal lives and careers (even if they don’t know what that looks like yet). He is an award-winning authority on helping people discover their true potential and make the simple, though not always easy, necessary changes.
Kenny is a professionally trained speaker, consultant, columnist, author of The Six Dimensions of Change 2.0 and In-Home Sales Acceleration, and host of the Leadership in a Nutshell podcast. He is an entrepreneur at heart, building multiple successful companies, most recently the Blue Collar Success Group. His teachings have inspired individuals worldwide to reshape their lives and organizations, creating sustainable change, happiness, and personal fulfillment.