The Creative ‘Trep Chronicles: “E” Stands for “Endgame”

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Strategic Plan Hustle Worth It (revised)

You’re ready to take a vacation. You want to go somewhere you haven’t been before and decide on Canada. You live in New York and have decided to drive. You don’t have the best sense of direction and, being the adventurer that you are, you’ve decided to not map out the trip–you know you’ve gotta go North and figure you’ll manage to find your way there. After all, the only thing you can really think about is how excited you are to go to Canada. You throw your stuff in a bag; hop in the car, and take off. “This is going to be an amazing vacation!” you say to yourself.

How you THINK your trip from NYC to Canada will be without a travel plan in place.

How you THINK your trip from NYC to Canada will be without a travel plan in place.

Except clearly it won’t be. While you might eventually make it to Canada, your decision to not map it out will result in some wrong turns and incorrect exits, making the time to get there longer than it needed to be. Plus, without mapping out your journey, you’ll probably miss several points of interests that you would’ve really enjoyed {or that may have even helped you in your journey} because you didn’t take the time to figure out what things may come across your path. Moreover, your decision was just to go to Canada–you neglected to figure out whether you were going to Toronto; Ottowa; Winnepeg; Montreal; Vancouver; or Quebec. This vacation is looking less and less fun like a good idea by the minute.

How your trip from NYC to Canada could look without a travel plan in place. {image courtesy of brittanyesther.com}

How your trip from NYC to Canada ACTUALLY looks without a travel plan in place. {image courtesy of michaelmove.blogspot.com}

Womp, womp.

Many of us say we’d never plan a vacation this way, yet that exactly what many of us inadvertently do when embarking on our passion projects; visions; entrepreneurial dreams; and business ideas. We operate purely based on the enthusiasm we feel–we’re excited; we let those emotions overtake us; then, before we even realize it, we’re off and running!

Think about it for a minute though: have you really given full thought and consideration to how you want these projects, visions, dreams, and ideas turn out when all is said and done? Have you figured out what the ultimate result is that you want to have? Simply put, what, my dears, is your endgame?

 

Setting the Goal meme

As my previous little travel analogy pointed out, figuring out what the endgame is can’t be as broad as saying “I want to go to Canada.” A plan need to be in place to determine what stops you need to make; exactly where you want to go; and what you’ll do once you get there. So it should also be with our entrepreneurial pursuits as well. Just like it’s difficult–and at times even impossible–to successfully make it to a location without a real sense of where you’re going, it’s equally as difficult to reach your dream or entrepreneurial destination without having an idea of how you want to get there.

So when I ask you “what’s your endgame,” I want you to dig deeply for answers that require contemplation, visualization, and planning. Creating specificity in your endgame plan is what will help keep you focused and provide you with the biggest chances for success.

In keeping with the Canada trip theme, let’s breakdown a hypothetical endgame statement in terms of travel:

Mapping Your Plan (revised)

Instead of saying “I want to be a millionaire,” instead say “I want to create an app for “X” {whatever your idea is}; develop it; then sell it to a tech company for $7-10 million dollars because I don’t want to run the company. I do, however, want to remain on the board so that I can have a 6-figure salary. With that money I will move to a tropical destination  with the goal of having ample financial resources to sustain a lifestyle filled with travel; high-end scotch; and vintage cars.”

DESTINATION: Selling my business for $7-10 million after 3 years

DIRECTION OF TRAVEL: Developing the idea for creating an app

STOPS TO BE MADE ALONG THE WAY: Selling the app; remaining on the board

POST-DESTINATION PLAN {Endgame}: Living a tropical lifestyle with enough funds to support it

So what’s Creative Counselor at Law’s end game? I’m glad you asked! You see, I put my money where my mouth is, and that means I wouldn’t challenge you to do something that I haven’t done myself.

That said, here it goes: “My endgame is to create and successfully run a company that inspires, educates, entertains, uplifts, and validates my clients (DESTINATION). This company will be comprised of products, services, events, and travel and will generate income both actively and passively (DIRECTION OF TRAVEL). This company will enable me to live a lifestyle that includes: (1) global travel opportunities for both business and pleasure; (2) flexibility with my day-to-day schedule; (3) income levels that will allow me the freedom to invest as well as spend on some of the things I want; (4) the ability to pick and choose projects based on what will make me the happiest; (5) ample time to spend with my spouse and loved ones; (6) and drinking copious amount of champagne on a regular basis (STOPS AND ENDGAME COMBINED).

See?  I told you.This lovely lady’s got an endgame strategy, and I’m gonna work it until the post-destination plan is in place and fully operational. Now I want to encourage, inspire, motivate {it is Motivation Monday, after all}, and challenge you to do the same thing. It’s time to put the strategies in place to get after these brilliant dreams of ours! But we need actual strategies before any can be put into place.

Need a bit more assistance with figuring out your endgame? Here is a nice general article on how to define it. And here is another one for the entrepreneurial set from Inc Magazine.

Goals, strategies, plans, and the endgame. What will yours be?

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