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Be the 2%. Why you need a plan - With Jeff Gosling
Chris O'Hare: Welcome to the Quick-Win CEO show. And I'm Chris O’Hare, your host. So what is this show about? Well, I have my own business and I just don't seem to have the time to get what I need done, and being an entrepreneur in general is really tricky. We're spinning a lot of plates. There are lots of jobs, and that's why I said about getting advice from experts on how to improve your businesses, but to do so in the quickest way that delivers results. And that's hence the title of the show. Quick win CEO. I made sure to stick around until the end of the show to get our experts three quick written recommendations. And we're on episode 24. And in this episode, we're talking about plans and why it's a hidden success secret.
And our guest today is an expert on plans. And in fact it's his job title, business planning and growth coach. His name is Jeff Gosling. When I first met Jeff, he just seemed to find the right words to motivate me. And his insights really impressed me, and I'm not easily impressed. His answers seemed to strike a chord with that entrepreneur side of me. So I know you're going to get a great amount of value from Jeff today. So with pleasure I'd like to introduce planning extraordinaire, Jeff Gosling.
Jeff Gosling: Hello, lovely introduction. Nice to see you again.
Chris O'Hare: And you. Thanks, Jeff. Nice to, to kind of hear, about how well you were doing before we got started on this show today. So let's get cracking straight away. Why do you think we need a plan and kind of what's the stats that show how that works.
Jeff Gosling: Okay. Hands up. If you tried planning before you've done a business plan, when you needed money from a bank and you've come up with the best intentions and then what happens, ends up at the bottom of a drawer usually. Right. So it's probably a lot of people sitting there going, I don't need a plan. I'm fine. So, Why do you need a plan? Well the question is, do you need a plan? But the, the mantra I always go by is the value of the planning is in the planning, not the plan. So. I'm more interested in people doing the planning than whether or not they, the plan might change, right. You're planning for battle. You could plan it all. And as soon as you go into battle, it changes, we don't know what's gonna happen in the future. We certainly haven't recently. Right. So what would I like to differentiate between is the difference between planning and like having a plan, like the outcomes, the most important thing.
And so the sort of numbers I've heard and that evidence I've seen, I hang out in a community of amazing people, of successful people, top people I get to hang out and talk to all these top successful people research has done. And one of the common traits, there's not many, one of the common traits of people who are super successful is that they do plan. They do actually write stuff down and set goals and write them down. Right. So, and the statistics are that if you want to replicate highly successful behaviour planning and writing it down is part of that.
Chris O'Hare: So this ‘Be the 2%’ that we've got as part of the title of this actual episode, why is it 2%? What is this 2% number? What does that mean?
Jeff Gosling: Well, if you imagine that again, when you're using these statistics, I'm going to be wary because there might be people on here who want to see the evidence and the data and everything else, but just taking it as a broad brush. There is another statistic that says most people, and you can determine some people say 5% or whatever, don't really achieve their potential. Okay. A very small percentage of people consistently work toward achieving their potential. And yet it's an innate part of as to want to do that. Okay. So people don't necessarily want to do planning, right? They want to get very excited about that. But generally the process of planning and thinking drives us towards achieving our potential and a very small percentage, 5% of it is bandied around, achieve our potential. I mean, how you measure that again, I'm not, not, not here to talk about that, the statistics, but likewise, when they do, When they interview, as you know, they do, they're always are interviewing successful people. What do you do? What do you do? Everyone wants to copy success. And it just happens that when you say the 2% it's, they're actually interviewing the people that have got to that point of beyond, you know, they're actually by any stretch of imagination, you'd say yes, in their walk of life or what they set out to do. They've been successful. The top 2% in politics. The top 2% in business, the top 2%, you can always say the top top people. So whether it's twos or fives, we're talking about vast minority. Most people get out of bed and react. Now it's about books all day, but most people in business who successful I've met all of them who I've met are learners and people who have a growth mindset, usually learning any type of book you read, like or ‘Seven habits by Stephen Cavey’, Right? Most people really implement that stuff. Say, it's good. You know, number one is be proactive. So be proactive. What does that mean? Well, to start with sitting down and thinking, right? So if you just remove the word planning and put away thinking in, and then writing it down in a, you know, in essence, do you think that the most successful people sit and have a bit of thinking time, work out where they want to be and why they want to be there and get clarity such that they can get there?
The answer is yes. You know, that's common sense. So hopefully that moves it away from the kind of challenge on not your challenge, but a challenge around why it's 2%. Maybe you want to be in the top 10%, top 20%. It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, most people, the vast majority of people don't set goals and write them down, sadly, despite the evidence that most people who achieve potential or get close to potential do.
Chris O'Hare: And so it's one of those two traits that make people successful. What you know of interest what's the other trait that makes people..
Jeff Gosling: I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me that question, I’ve forgotten. Good question, I imagine there, I can check and, um, what was the other main? There was two or three. There are two main ones, definitely setting goals and writing it down, which is relevant for today. Um, my experience, if I was a guessing, man, although I can go back and check, It's the ability to bounce back, resilience. Keep coming back. It's very, very rare that you meet successful people who haven't taken a number of knocks and got their overnight successes. Very rare.
Chris O'Hare: Mm mm. That's definitely. That's what it feels like to me. It's that they just keep going, that relentlessness. In fact, I was listening to, really interesting podcast the other day and they basically said it's, eh, the story was that, Why does some people just not go that extra mile to kind of keep going and keep getting that success and why? And the other minority or majority of people, it depends how you see it, um, tends to get knocked back and then they give up and then that's it. That's the end. So I'm not surprised. Um, that's the majority of the successful people, because there's a lot of unknowns in this world and if you fail, You know, and you get knocked back then you've got to step back up and get, get cracking with it. So that's a really good point.
Jeff Gosling: Well that viewpoint, which comes back to planning, um, that viewpoint of, it's not a thought, will I succeed or fail? It's a line – fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed, right? That's how it works. It's fail faster, um, finding the right direction and fail small as wherever you can. And that thinking. Thinking of what ifs, what might go wrong, you know, the whole plan for, I hope for the best plan for the worst is a, is a good adage in life. Right?
Chris O'Hare: So, Yeah, absolutely. Um,
Jeff Gosling: if you want to plan small, think, think planning.
Chris O'Hare: Yeah, I get that. And that's really interesting. So why would you say that a plan would give you kind of a competitive advantage against, um, other people who essentially don't plan, uh, maybe as detailed or as well? What would you say? That's…
Jeff Gosling: Ah that’s a really good question. And probably I can think of a number of answers. I’ll keep it common sense and brief.
When you plan, you set your compass, you articular activating system in your head, you do it for an actual reason. You've got a computer, get the best out of it, and you'd know more about computers than I do, but, um, our brains are a complicated thing, but they've also got a lot of very old hardware. Okay.
And, um, I'll give you an example, a little story on that to show you is how simply practle it is. Um, went on holiday, got given a Citroen cactus car as a hire car. Didn’t ask for one didn't even know what one was. Didn’t know if even sold in the UK. Right. Get back to the UK, driving around on the M25. What'd think I see everywhere.
Right. This car, I didn't even know existed. Your brain. Can't take everything in. Right. You've got a compass. You've got to set the compass. So do you think, for example, that the best, most successful businesses and CEOs. Set direction. Leadership is leading people on a journey, right? Well that doesn't come up by chance.
You've got to think about these things, right? You've got to adapt. So one competitive advantage is businesses that have high engagement with planning, with vision, with clear goals, succeed faster. Okay. Even if they don't succeed, they're assessing what hasn't worked and replanning in a direction. Do you get competitive advantage from having direction and a purpose?
Yes, you do right in the mission. Number one. Um, what other advantages does it give? Well, Hey, guess what happens when you do thinking, especially in groups, planning, et cetera, et cetera, what happens? That's hugely valuable time. Ultimately, most businesses are more successful competitively. They come up with great ideas or they think of what might go wrong.
Right. So, you know, fairly simply if you don't invest the time, because you're too busy doing stuff, reacting to the next client or whatever else, then what's going to happen. You are going to have the competitive disadvantage. If your competitor is clever enough to sit down think and systemize that planning and thinking and reviewing on a quarterly basis, et cetera.
So, um, there's another competitive advantage people's ideas. I mean, how is it that companies like Nakia start out in the paper industry and ended up in the phone industry? It was income somewhere along the line. People sat around and said, well, you know, what's the problem and what do we need to solve as planning
The other major competitive advantage? Um, most, I love a lot of business owners, all different types of profiles, everything else I suggest remind experienced at a high proportion of people that set out there. Uh, reasonably optimistic because if you weren't optimistic, why would you go into business? Okay.
Statistics are against you. So you'll have the community of the population. You are probably more tolerant, tourist and stuff. Also, a lot of people who are in entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs, I meet, they're looking, they're excited by new things, right? So a couple of tendencies I see all the time, which is what I think love coaches.
Is including me, by the way. Um, one of the things you see is that people are easily heading off in a different direction. Oh, I've met this person. This has happened. I'm going to go off and do that. Okay. Um, so shiny object syndrome. What are the other things I see is they have an optimistic view of something.
So they'll take the risk, but they don't look at all the, what is so having folks. Staying on task and saying, that's what I want to get to. Will this shiny object get me there faster? Or is it just the shiny object? Being able to check if I go down there, what am I, if I do that, what am I not going to do?
If I invest there, what am I not going to invest in all of those conversations with a planning? That's just planning. It's literally saying, is it where I want to be? Is it going where I want to go? So it keeps you on track. Also, if you then know what the most important thing is, it gives you. So all the people I meet in business, you tell me they're too busy.
They're trying to do too many things. Can't do it. Oh, it's only so many hours in a day. So what's the highest value. If you don't plan, you don't know. So clarity is the other main thing that I think my clients certainly, and everyone I work with, he does be planning, gets from it, including me. And I think a business with clarity is going to succeed faster than a one without.
Chris O'Hare: So would you say that the competitive advantages, the main ones?
Jeff Gosling: Well, yeah, as I say, the main ones, are you, your business is your team primarily, which is direction, engagement, good leadership. You've got clarity as a business and staying on track and you've got the avoidant. Uh, the idea of the positive side, which is coming up and new ideas that can get you there faster, and then avoiding the negative, which is not properly thinking of what might go wrong and planning for it.
Chris O'Hare: It makes more sense. I mean, um, I think the shiny object syndrome is the, I'm probably one of the best things I've seen stopped from a plan. So it's that idea that. There's this new idea that's popped in because entrepreneurs are full of ideas. We always want to do lots of things and we never have the time to do them.
And so we see potentially the direction we're going in the moment is about heart and we're thinking right there must be an easier way. So we're looking at, you know, the. Other solutions that we could get, essentially the same end result, which, whatever vision that that might be and something new comes in and you feel like, oh, that could be an easier routes of where I want to get to.
And that's that feeling of. Oh, I might be missing out potentially FOMO, um, might be missing out by not, you're not necessarily following that direction and therefore, you know, it knocks you off of, um, your plan, so to speak. And I, and I guess the plan just reminds you to kind of keep going and keep moving forward, no matter what new things land on your lap.
And I I'm definitely. Who has done that many times in my career as I've kind of gone through in my business.
Jeff Gosling: Yeah. It's that? Do you do a load of stuff badly and jump about, or do you give something long enough? And that's one of the hardest things in business for all of us, it's kind of marketing or, or a team member, you know, you, how long do you give that?
Or how much do you do that? If you chop and change too quick, you're not giving anything a chance. And if you leave it too long, Potentially deluding yourself that it's going to get better when it's not. And that's why, again, I keep coming back to it. If you've got planning, forces you to put good planning, forces you to put numbers in, but, um, and that includes accountability.
So you can make more black and white decisions we'll give until then. And then that will happen. Otherwise, you find things have been dragging on for months, or like you just said, you haven't given it long enough and you jumped off. So yeah, I mean, again, I'll just come back to the same point, you know, planning is really just thinking, but also with it written down with some clarity so that you can benchmark, um, because ultimately business numbers, right?
So other numbers game.
Chris O'Hare: But seven days for me, it's about reminding me of where I'm going and actually why I'm doing the things I'm doing and why I'm slogging to said she gets a, a and go. Um, I'm putting the plan in place, just breaks that down and makes me feel a bit more in control, I would say. Uh, and that I'm actually achieving something and I'm take in each taken a bite out or a little chunk of.
Jeff Gosling: Ah, well, you've just raised, that's the point. I meant that clarity you've given. That's a really good thank you that that's why men buy clarity. It's too big on its own up there. What do I do now? Planning gives you that next step and not just a coach in the morning. That's basically what you end up in a, in a, in a session you said I've got this thing I need to achieve.
What do I do this week? What do I do this week? Simple first step. Oh, okay. Write that down. Do that each week.
Chris O'Hare: I mean, I've never really done a plan until I met you. So when we first spoke, I, I, um, thought I'd been doing plans, but actually what I've been doing is glorified to do lists with no set deadlines and no set timelines. And I think that's a really core component of a plan is. Right. Instead of having lots of things to do you have things to do in a certain amount of time.
And I mean, there's that principle that, um, you know, your work has to fill the time that you have. That's a really good one. And I think a plan kind of its rates and improves, um, the more you work on it, but that was the biggest thing for me. So when I first worked with you, I felt like. I hadn't broken down my task well enough for me to actually deliver them in a time-span and be able to do them within a weekly or monthly or a yearly cycle.
And that's the end of the day. What we're talking about is consistency. Right? It's just moving towards something consistently. We'll get you the obituary and the plan just gives you that tool or framework to do that.
Jeff Gosling: Yeah, especially when you put your personal development goals, um, in that plan. So you can plan in this window of time. I want to get there. What do I need to be better at? Or what habit do I need to build? Um, and you know, most breakthroughs come from building a new little habit change and those little things compound. Um, and that's definitely evidence. Okay. Again, it's difficult to know what to focus on, which new habit you need to build or what you need to learn.
If, if everything's important too much, um, get good at one thing, build one habit and it's that next to the next, the next, you know, um, I love the mantra. You know, life by the yard is hard life by the inches of sink. Um, besides. Uh, without, uh, like, as I said, I'm not naturally my profile. Like you, I'm not a planner, but I've learned and built the habits and skills over time and it pays back.
It doesn't take any, just to be clear, it takes no time to plan. And one things, I got time to plan. Now, the reason you haven't got time is because you're not doing it right. You only. Whenever you invest. And I say, invest in planning, in thinking in, coming up in building these habits, whatever you invest in that is highly leveraged.
You'll get it back again and again, and again, think of times when you rushed off and done something and you thought about it, you wouldn't have wasted time and money. Think about the times when you've been overwhelmed and I'm worked very effectively, cause there's too much on your plate or you know that that's the time sink not sitting down and thinking about it.
Chris O'Hare: So we've kind of understood why a plans are important, but what should a plan consist of in terms of the main components of what that looks like? So it's not to do less, it's something more than that, but how can you, me
Jeff Gosling: obviously, a big conversation about business plan, what should be in it and that, you know, people can reach out and, and raise their hand, I'm sure.
Through you or through whatever. And we can, we can sort of point them in more detailed direction. And there are softwares out there and everything else. So I'm not going to go into the weeds. I'm keen on just giving you the high level for the purposes of, as you said, a quick, quick CEO, um, situation, um, people generally in a business plan and I'll talk about a business plan.
Um, actually I won't, I'll reference personal as well in a minute business plan. Most people say what they want, so they go to the bank or an accountant and they draw up what they want, what the revenue, the profits, the numbers. Okay. Good. All right. What do you want it to look. Okay. So the, what is important, um, especially if you're to borrow money, but you know, a business plan is not the numbers you get to the bank, that isn't a financial plan and it's what you want, or this many clients that margin doing that, delivering that.
Right. So most people understand that you need the walk, um, breaking that down to your point. As I mentioned clients, I mean, soon as I double my revenue this year or quadruple my rate, that's not a plan. You know, that's a wishlist, that's a finger in the air. So when you do your, what, what does that look like?
I mean, what's the average value of a client? What type of clients you would work working, obviously average value of one of them. How many do you need? You know, because what that does is enables you to think of that. How I, so how are we going to do it? No, you don't just get into the weeds and you don't have to plan exactly forever.
Right. As you know, cause you've joined me for it. You know, the critical missing link in that ladder from long-term planning to yearly planning to what I do today or this week is quarterly planning. So. You might want a kind of reasonably that's what I want in terms of what for the next five years and one year, and this year's targets and this blah, blah, blah.
And he'd go break it down. What are we going to do this quarter was the first step, right? Um, likewise with the, how you don't necessarily, there's no point planning how you're going to do stuff in year three of a five-year plan, no point how much more are you going to know in three years or the next quarter compared to now?
So you're in the house you're really only looking at well. Okay. So how are we, how do we think we're going to get. And that's usually linked in business to something like a marketing plan, a strategy, most businesses, big two things like deliver value to some people. So you've really only got two things to worry about, right?
How are we going to deliver value? Is it valuable now? And then we're going to deliver it to and how we get. Right. So that's the two things you need to think about in terms of your house, keeping it real quick and simple, and that tends to come around your marketing plan, your marketing, et cetera, et cetera, how detailed you go down to you.
You know, some people have marketing people do that or help people with it. Um, but yeah, so that's the how the final bit, which you mentioned and referenced earlier, which is where I start to bring it towards personal is the why often people miss the why out there planning, um, The purpose of your business really important.
As we know Simon Sinek, start with why people stay at retention of staff direction. I mean, it comes, so why is your, what's the purpose of why you're doing it now? That's business. Yes. It's also personal. I do with business owners, primarily the business is there to give you more life. What do you want that to look like?
First thing, like they were clients. When I started working on my coaching program, he spent afternoon when I'm doing what we call in alignment, which is the set of business goals and a person. And you make sure they are aligned and how we know that's not done properly, where people end up climbing this ladder of business, reaching success, and then you talk to them as I do all the time and they don't feel successful because the business hasn't given them what they wanted in the first place.
And they didn't even know what it was. They hadn't planned. Right. So. You know, just having something, I think mommy's lying around, but just having that, I know there's loads of stuff out there, how to do it, the vision boards plan, what you want life to look like now there's mine completely handed. All right.
That's not to be a big detail plan as one piece of paper. In fact, a lot of people would say that the best plans can be put on one piece of paper, at least summarized on one. So I have the longer term. Five years and forwards want doing it all family and everything else. And at 12 months, which is on the wall, here was only three or four things on there.
Then a quarterly, I mean, a few things on there. And you've been through that process and then a weekly and then a daily, that's it in a nutshell, um, so conscious of time, but that's it. You've got what you want to do, numbers where you want to. How are you going to do it, which is I'm going to deliver these value and services to these people.
So I need to be able to deliver on, and you've got to get clients. And why are you doing it? What do you want out of it? What's your life to delight on? What do you want your business's purpose to be? What does it do for the world? Well,
Chris O'Hare: that's, that's just really useful for me to hear cause, um, that's, I mean, as I'm going through that plan, I mean, it's like a muscle that I need to learn.
Jeff Gosling: Yeah. People come planning once. I mean, oh yeah. I've thought about planning while they do it on their own. And I've got a plan. Trust me. This is, I'd worked with people for years. I'm still working on my first client. I see the progression for me. And then you do this year after year after year, you look at your plans.
Are you, when did you call it the panic? Seven, eight, nine, ten times. Oh, then you're getting the hang of it. You get great at something doing it once.
And I do it again and again and again. Get better at it.
Chris O'Hare: Yeah. So some people are going to be listening to this and they'll feel they're overwhelmed and they won't be able to create a plan and nevermind to stick into one. So kind of what's your three quick wins or hacks that tell these people when it comes to a plan, you know, what are those things that could deliver the most impact in the shortest amount of time?
Jeff Gosling: Uh, yeah, so. Number one, as I said, don't start planning your financial business or anything else until you've gone through an exercise on your own with books with someone else, doesn't take me, but people like me, there are people systems reach out. If you need them, they can help you go through a process to get clarity on what you want out of life and where you want to get to.
Because building a business is hard work. You want to make sure that you get the reward. So number one, Where do you want to be in your life and what type of business do you need to give it to you? That doesn't have to be some big business expert thing that's personal and emotional attachment to a bunch of stuff that you really want to do it for.
Okay. People as well, no point losing the people around you cause you're working too hard and not seeing your kids grow up. Right. So number one, start there that doesn't have to be technical business or anything else. Um, number two. Learned before you earn. If you're not very good at planning and you're overwhelmed, learn a plan, ask, get help.
Like you would with anything else. Scalp, read a book to me, come to a session, talk to Chris, reach out to go to someone, investing in, getting good at this is going to change your life. Why wouldn't you invest in it? Right. So number two, get help. If you don't know how to do it, there's plenty assistance out there.
Learn before you earn and number three, keep it simple. You're not trying to come up with some massive baby plan forever. Start off simple and maybe develop it over time, navel gaze for everything. And I don't know the outcome that's going to happen in five years. Time get so far and then move on. What do you generally want to be in five years?
What are the most important things for the next one year? Okay. What do I need to do? Two or three things this quarter, right? Break it down. As you said earlier, sounds easy. If you were to get better at that process, get help. If you can follow that process. Um, people can reach out as well, or there's things like vision or bits and always one page plans.
And there's plenty out there. I don't want to, you know, particularly, um, advocate one, it's different people find different ones, but there's, you're not doing anything that hasn't been done before. Right. But if you keep it simple, try to get it down on a page. Okay. John quarterly or page on weekly or a page on daily, um, page for your future.
One of our, and my vision summary, then it's there. It's on the wall. That's the other thing I'd say, don't do this stuff in shoving. It's not fun if you don't, it's not working for you. Don't
Chris O'Hare: using. And that's the biggest one for me though, having in front of me.
Jeff Gosling: Yeah. I've got larger clients, who've got these technical things and they do all this and they do all that.
And I laugh and I just, I can show you my plan for bits of paper, so strong. So if that overwhelmed you for bits of paper, then you just need to learn how to do.
Chris O'Hare: Great. Well, thank you for your, uh, your quick wins, Jeff. And, um, I think everyone's going to get a lot of value from that. So really appreciate that. And thanks for your time today.
Jeff Gosling: thanks for the opportunity. And my, my vision is to build a business outside of business owners, more than delighted to have been able to, um, thank you for the opportunity to
Chris O'Hare: yep. And I will share your contact details with the audience. Um, so if they want to get in contact with you, they can. Contact Jeff Gosling
Chris O'Hare: Great. So thank you for listening everyone. And like I said, I'll post Jeff's contact details in the comments. And if you want to hear about our next episode of quick-win CEO, make sure wherever you're watching this on LinkedIn or YouTube that you click the subscribe or follow, or if you're listening on a podcast, just hit again, the subscribe or follow, and you'll be notified the next time we go live and get one of our quick wins shows, to help boost your, business for that month. And www.quickwinceo.com is also where you can subscribe by email. But in the meantime, I'm Chris, O'Hare your Quick Win CEO signing out.