The God is my CEO workbook by Larry S Julian, is a complete guide on personal business planning. I have to admit that when I initially started reading the book, I did not intend to develop my own personal business plan. Once I got stuck into the workbook, it was inevitable that I was going to develop my own personal business plan. In Part 1 of this book review, I shared that constructing your personal business plan is not about what you can do for yourself but WHAT GOD CAN DO FOR YOU. I also shared some of the lessons I learned from compiling my own personal business plan.
Here are the remaining lessons I learned:
1. The target market
Your target market are the people you are currently or wish to be serving (job, business and/or personal life). The more you know your target market the better you can serve them. The workbook encourages examining your target market at a micro level (the individual) and at a macro level (the collective that you are serving). What I enjoyed the most about this section is the underlying assumption of a servant mentality, it’s a non negotiable and one of the most powerful drivers of your personal growth.
2. An environment for growth
What kind of environment brings out the best in you? According to Mr Julian, finding an environment that brings out the best in you is necessary in realising your plans and your dreams. It was very interesting for me to note that although I do not mind working in a busy environment (music, people talking etc), which is what happens most of the time, I love silence. In silence I am able to systematically get through work at an amazing pace.
3. Products and services
Have you ever been in one of those introductory meetings with potential clients, you make what you think is an amazing presentation and the client looks blankly at you and asks how you can help them? Regardless of your professional position, one of the keys to success is to know thoroughly how your products and/or services benefit your target market. Taking this thought from the work book further, I would encourage people to be able to express not only how your products and services benefit your target market but how you as an individual can do so as well. By personalising your product or service provision you are more likely to gain the interest of your target market.
4. Your strategic partnerships
If you are in the consulting space, you know that strategic partnerships are always being offered by peers in your industry. According to the workbook, strategic partners range from close friends to informal advisory boards of trusted peers, to business partners who share your values. When I first started working I missed the fundamental purpose of strategic partnerships, which is growth. I have learnt the hard way and agree with Mr Julian that strategic partnerships are meaningful connections with people who will help you and your plan succeed.
5. Your personal, professional and spiritual development plan
Personal, professional and spiritual growth are critical in providing your target market with the best. Contrary to popular belief, for optimal growth these three spheres are not mutually exclusive. I used to think that in order to succeed you have to spend crazy hours at work and be at every client or associates beck and call. I did not realize that it was grossly suppressing my spiritual and personal growth. The workbook suggests excellent action plans for spiritual, personal and professional growth.
6. Sales and marketing plan
How does the world get to know about you, your products and/or services? Your sales and marketing plan should be a plan of action that directly addresses this issue. It is futile for you to offer an amazing product and/or service if nobody knows about it or you. The workbook allows you to examine how you are currently being position and perceived in the market versus how you want to be perceived and positioned. Ultimately, the gap between yourself and your target market should be bridged by applying your sales and marketing plan.
7. Your financial plan
Formulating a personal financial plan is a great way of ensuring that money serves you instead of you serving money. The workbook highlights that taking risks and being financially wise are both part of God’s will and plan. Furthermore, developing a financial plan for yourself will assist you in effectively carrying out God’s plan for you. A key lesson I learned here was to focus your vision and work backwards in determining the costs and remuneration linked associated with achieving your vision.
8. The fruit
The fruits of your personal business plan are all the seen and unseen benefits (however small or big) of your personal business plan. On a humorous note, one of the fruits of my personal business plan is to have the fitness level of a high school athlete and to sleep more. Not so far-fetched hey?!
You cannot effectively be of service to anyone if you are running on empty. I have also noticed that personally, reading the bible and listening to biblical teachings is like eating to me, it is not a luxury but a necessity. Roman 12:2 highlights this. Without the renewal of your mind, you are more likely to give in to worldly pressures, suffer burnout, rely solely on your own efforts. Because God is the word and the word is God, fulfilling His plan for your life cannot be done without you spending time in the word.
The God is my CEO workbook by Larry S Julian consists of 55 powerful pages. Not a long read at all. Please take some time this festive season to go through the workbook, you will be surprised how much you did not know about yourself and your aspirations. If you have read the workbook, we would love to hear about the lessons you learned from compiling your own personal business plan.
Gladys Chandia is a project manager and co-founder of Notable Beginnings Consulting (NBC). NBC provides business development and business linkages (FDI facilitation) services for companies that wish to penetrate new markets on the African continent. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org