Coming Up With A Plan To Implement
Let’s quickly recap. So far you know what you’re good at, who you can help, and you have a rough idea of where and what you need to make it happen. You have spent a lot of time doing some really good work.
Somewhere along the way, you should also think about how you’ll be paying for all of it. Money, money, money! This may include any equipment or supplies you need, possibly an office or meeting space to rent, and if this is going to be a full-time gig (eventually) you should also plan on making enough so you can pay yourself a salary.
That’s where step four comes into play. This will likely take the longest to complete as you really have to think on this. It is time to come up with a plan that you can implement and implement well. Let’s go back to our senior example. Let’s say this is something you do on the side and you don’t need to make a living with it. You just want to help out and you love the connection with seniors, talking to them, hearing about the lives they lived and the wisdom they have to pass on.
Let's say you are going to teach a class at the local community center, but sadly, the place only has one old computer at the moment. Plus you would really like to show them how they can use a small little device like an I-Pad for example to email, use Facebook and Skype or Face Time with their kids and grandkids.
You have a couple of options here. You can bring in your own IPad and work with small groups of seniors showing them how to do things and then letting them try it for themselves. This can be fun, however, it could be limiting depending on how large your audience is. Or you could open the class to people who will bring in their own tablets. Last but not least, you could reach out to your community and local businesses and see about getting tablet donations so you can not only teach these seniors how to use the tablets, but also send them home with one of their own.
Or you could open the class to people who will bring in their own tablets. More and more seniors are taking the plunge and learning how to utilize tablets. They typicallly only use it for the games Solitaire and Spades.
Last but not least, you could reach out to your community and local businesses and see about getting tablet donations so you can not only teach these seniors how to use the tablets, but also send them home with one of their own. There are many organizations that may want to help with this endeavor. The local library comes to mind right off the top of my head as they could provide access to grants and other support.
Now it’s your turn. Think about what you want to accomplish. Think about it in terms of where you would like to be at eventually. What do you want to do and what will it take to make that happen? Don’t be afraid to think big at this stage. Having this big vision will help you work strategically from the start and make it easier to scale up down the road.
Once you have your big plan in place, walk away for a bit, giving yourself permission to release it. Come back and look it over. What small piece can you start with? What is the smallest piece of the puzzle that you can work on right away? It is important to do this so that procrastination does not get in the way.
Another way to look at it is to find the bare bones you are willing to work with. For example, let’s say you’d eventually like to set up a tech center for senior citizens where they can come hang out, take classes, and borrow equipment they can take home with them. A starting point would be to grab your tablet, laptop and an old donated iPad and meet with three seniors from church at your local library so you can teach them how to use the equipment and get them set up with their own email accounts. This fairly simple process would bring a plethera of joy and excitement to those who partake.
Start writing down your plan and come up with everything you need right now to get started. Then get to work and start implementing. See how you like it. Maybe you discover after a month or two that working with seniors isn’t your cup of tea after all. Or maybe you enjoy it enough to start contacting local businesses and charity organizations about getting more equipment to use for your classes. Possibly, somewhere in between hating and loving it you find a nice common ground such as allowing the seniors to give input.
Make your plan and then start to implement it one little step, one little task at a time. Fulfilling your purpose can be a big task. Don’t get discouraged. It isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. Make small changes (or big ones) as time, finances, and opportunity allows. Just don't every give up on your vision. This makes you who you are and allows you to leave a legacy.
Keep your eye on the prize and stick to your plan. Life has a tendency to try to distract us from what’s important. Yes, plans can change, but make sure it’s a choice you make, not a response to the things and influences around you. Revisit your plan from time to time and make sure what you’re doing today aligns with your goals and moves you closer.