Having developed a number of business plans for projects of varying sizes, I was intrigued by the God is my CEO Workbook by Larry S Julian. The funny thing about thinking strategically about your life and yourself is that the level of analysis can be quite an invasive process (very uncomfortable)….even if it is being done by yourself! Larry S Julian requires you to dig deep in each section of your personal business plan. Despite feeling a bit raw at times, I am grateful and thank God for the Holy Spirit compelling me to read the workbook, I have learned quite a bit and am honored to share some of the lessons learned.
The workbook begins by sharing 3 principles and 1 promise that should form the foundation of your personal business plan. In summary, they highlight that constructing your personal business plan is not about what you can do for yourself but WHAT GOD CAN DO FOR YOU. I could not have asked for better foundational tools and realized that as I progressed with the business plan it was necessary to remind myself of these foundational tools. Here are a few lessons I learned from developing my personal business plan:
Your Situational Analysis
Your situational analysis (SWOT analysis) allows you to paint a picture of where you are currently at by reviewing your past year’s work. It was easy for me to write down strengths and opportunities. Weaknesses and threats however, were a different issue. Writing down weaknesses and threats was like admitting defeat. I therefore had to adjust my thinking and view weaknesses and threats as identified opportunities for God to show Himself as my provider, my counselor and my protector.
The workbook wisely reassures us readers that as we grow closer to God, He gradually reveals His plan to us in small doses. It is therefore okay if you do not have a clear vision. Hear that ladies, IT IS OKAY NOT TO HAVE A CLEAR VISION! As working women there is a lot of worldly pressure for us to get it together at home and at work, knowing exactly where were are going and what we will be doing in 5, 10, 15 -20 years’ time! The workbook recommends that you seek God and act on His guiding instructions one at a time and your vision will become clearer.
Your Core Values and Principles
When integrity, personal satisfaction and fulfillment occur, you are living according to your core values and principles. For some reason, I thought that defining my core values and principles would be difficult. However, if core values and principles are identified within the context of what anchored your decision making process in the past, it is easy to make a compile a list. In addition, I viewed my core values and principles as “deal makers” and “deal breakers” in any given situation. What is very interesting to note is that my core values and principles have not changed much since childhood; the major change in the list is God now being the focal point.
I am writing this book review the day after the death of Nelson Rolihlalha Mandela (Madiba). If anything, Madiba’s life should make us realize that we were all created by God with a specific purpose (Romans 8:28). In discovering your mission the workbook encourages one to look at the “clues” life leaves you over the years. What are you passionate about? Ideally, what would you like to spend your time doing? Professionally, what do you enjoy doing the most? Essentially your mission should explain why you do what you do.
We all need something. Even the man that seemingly has it all needs something. I believe that when Jesus commanded for us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, He was essentially asking us to be a blessing to those around us. As much as we like to think we are independent, the reality is that interdependent and this too is OK. The workbook says that a substantial aspect of your calling, is to discover the need you are meant to fill. Once you have discovered this, it is easier to make adjustments in both your personal and professional lives. By making these adjustments, you are positioned to be more of a blessing to those around you.
Our unique quality
Your unique qualities distinguish you from others. I believe that your unique qualities are always at the center of your achievements. They are not so much about what you are good at, but more about how God has used you in previous achievements. I don’t know if it is the same for others but my business partner and I are always talking about what makes our consulting firm unique. At least once every two weeks it pops up in a conversation in which one of us is sharing a testimony. In isolating your unique qualities the workbook highlights that your unique qualities are what give you “authority” to help other people.
The God is my CEO workbook presents a unique way of mapping your future. In part 2 of this book review I shall share lessons I learned on a number of other themes including financial planning, marketing and sales, products and services, strategic partnerships and your personal, professional and spiritual development plan. A copy of the workbook is available here, start reading it now. We would love for you to share your own insights and experiences in developing 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