It was the sweet sweltering carefree summer of 2005, and I parlayed an opportunity to study abroad at the University of Amsterdam Law School into a three month romp around as much of Europe as I could see before going broke.
It was certainly one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life and a major milestone in my personal growth.
Because my time and financial resources were limited, I knew I had to be strategic about where I would go, how I would get there, and what I would see along the way.
Although there were many variables out of my control (trains on strike, hostels at capacity, and bad directions); I knew I’d only get the most out of my experience if I had some kind of plan.
That image you see above was apparently the best I could muster in the moment. Nevertheless, it served me very well. And, although unexpected circumstances forced me to take last minute risks, ditch some stops, and navigate sketchy waters I managed to see 11 countries, view art I had only read about, and visit wonders of the world some people will never know.
Looks like I planned my way, but the Lord guided my steps, and it all worked together for my good.
There is real power in planning, which brings me to the second P in our 9 P’s of Profit which is Petition.
If you missed the introduction to this series, and the first P of Profit, you can find them here:
Petition is the first spoke in our wheel diagram below, and it’s the point in our business development where we take the vision we created under our first P (perspective) and create an action plan.
I could have called this second P of Profit planning, since it easily sums up the point.
But I chose to call the second P of Profit Petition, because a petition is defined as both a request to do something (a plan of action), and a form of prayer.
And since the second P of Profit isn’t just about planning, but also about asking God for His wisdom, guidance, and blessing before we plan, I thought Petition was a perfect fit.
So often we have a tendency to ask God to bless our plans after we’ve made them. It should be the other way around. We should ask God for help as we plan, and expect for Him to help us execute those plans successfully if that’s His will.
Side Note: If this notion of “God’s Will” is foreign or strange to you, you may want to check out this post for more insight on the subject.
The planning process won’t be the same for everyone, but I’m going to layout my process for planning (and give you the exact questions you need to ask to plan for business success), so that you can see how to apply this second P of Profit to your own business.
How to Apply “Petition” To Your Business
First, I start with prayer, and it might sound something like:
“Father God, I believe you put this is vision for my business in my heart. Help me to take steps in faith that this is your will for me. Show me the way that I should go, and if this is not the way to go close doors so that I won’t. And, if this is the way I should go, fling open the doors of opportunity so that I can boldly step into your call for my life. I trust that if I make a misstep or mistake, you will guide my path and work all things together for my good. Amen.”
Don’t forget that prayer is a two way conversation. You might not hear from God in an audible voice, but if you take time to be still and listen – God will speak. Most of the time it’s not right away, and usually it’s through other people, His word, circumstances, and the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, you might not “hear” anything at all. Don’t let that stop you. Remember to trust that He will reroute your path if you chart the wrong course.
Don’t allow the belief that you haven’t heard from God, or can’t hear from Him, keep you from taking steps of faith towards your vision.
Ninety percent of the time that is fear, laziness, or doubt masking itself in spiritual clothes to keep you from fulfilling your call.
Second, I write out a plan.
Planning is different from casting a vision because casting your vision establishes your big picture, while planning sets forth the details.
Once you’ve completed a written vision for your business, you want to start thinking about the steps you will need to take to make it happen.
This is where a lot of traditional business coaches will start getting into the nitty-gritty of textbook style business plans, but being that I’m non-traditional…I’m not going to do that.
Personally, I find traditional business plans to be useless to online business owners who aren’t seeking venture capital or bank loans. They are extremely tedious documents to create (even with software), and they are so jam-packed with info you’ll never actually use it to help you execute activities in your business.
Instead, I’ve created a powerful yet simple one-page business plan that you can use to plan everything necessary for successfully getting your business of the ground, or getting it back on track.
I like using the one-page business plan because its brevity allows you to use it as a living document.
It’s something you can reflect on frequently and change easily. And, it hones in on the key areas of business that are most important to small business owners making a go of entrepreneurship without funding from outside sources.
In working with clients I’ve discovered that the most common reason online business owners don’t have a business plan is because it seemed to complicated and time-consuming to complete.
This worksheet (The One-Page Business Plan) eliminated that problem for good. (Right-click and select Save As to download your own copy)
Third, I schedule it.
Every year I purchase a dry erase 12 month wall calendar, and plot my plan out from month to month. This helps me bring my plan to life. Once I can see my objectives for each month it makes it easy to execute my specified activities for the same.
Before I started doing this I would have a lot of trouble sticking to my business plan. Months would go by and I realize I hadn’t done something I wanted to, or I had missed an opportunity because I forgot about it.
Having a wall calendar makes it easy to stay on task and keep your plan in motion. You can usually pick one up at your local office supplies store or snag one here on Amazon.
The Cycle of Petition
The second P of Profits is one you will revisit frequently in your business. I recommend you do it quarterly at a minimum, and I believe you should also apply this planning process on micro level.
As your business grows you will plan often, and you’ll always be blessed by presenting your plans, decisions, and ideas to God before you move on them.
Think of God as your supreme business coach, a coach who has knowledge of (and access to) all things. Who wouldn’t want a business partner like that?!
Now that you know what the process looks like, apply it your business today.
Whether you’re in the startup stages of your business, or if you’ve been in business for the past three years, having a solid plan of anointed action is necessary for you to reach your maximum potential as entrepreneur.
What are you waiting for? Get started now.
Click here to snipe your free copy of the One-Page Business Plan this minute.
Then, meet me back here next week to cover our third P of Profit – Passion!