This Episode:​ Step-by-Step, Down & Dirty Planning Process

This encore presentation of Real Retail TV revisits the ‘down and dirty’ planning process. While this episode may be a rerun, the planning insights I share remain as relevant and indispensable as ever for 2024. Embrace this quick and effective planning method to conquer your to-do list for the upcoming year.

P.S. If you’re eager to kick off the year with a bang, we’re offering a Year End Sale on the Retail Mastery System. It’s truly the most comprehensive resource for retailers, and today is the last day to save $500. Click the link below to learn more and secure yours before the clock strikes midnight. Cheers to an incredible 2024!

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Hey, it’s Bob Negen. And first of all, I hope that you had an absolutely fantastic holiday season.

I hope that it was filled with love and joy and family. And I hope that your store absolutely crushed it. We’re going into two thousand and twenty four And, so I thought I would bring back an episode of Real Retail TV that I first shot in 2020.

And, I wanted to do a planning episode, but what I found was I did that episode just about perfectly. So rather than reshoot it, I thought I would just share it with you here today. But before we get into the get it done down and dirty planning process, which is a great planning process for all of you who are intuitive planners. I wanna tell you that today is the last day for you to save five hundred dollars on the Retail Mastery System, our tax sale ends today.

So I am not an accountant. I am not going to give you accounting advice But I can say with fair certainty that if you invest in the retail mastery system today, you’ll be able to deduct it from your 2023 taxes.

So if you wanna make 2024 your best year ever. How do you do that? You become a more skilled, wiser more insightful retailer.

How do you become wiser, more skillful? How do you become better? You become better by building your skill set. How do you build your skill set?

You invest in information high-quality information that you can use in your business, and there is no higher quality information than the Retail Mastery System. So if you don’t have it yet, get it today. There’s a ninety-day unconditional money-back guarantee So if you aren’t thrilled, we’ll give you all your money back. You’ve got a whole bunch to gain and absolutely nothing to risk.

So having said all of that, enjoy the get it done down and dirty planning process.

I know that for myself, And for so many of the retailers I work with, the impulse is to create a great plan for the year and follow the plan and get all these things done. You know, hit those big goals.

But in actuality, the execution is more difficult because we’re busy because, we don’t know how to create that plan. So there’s the the understanding of the need to plan, but the lack of knowledge and time and energy to actually create that big plan. And that is why I created the down and dirty get it done planning process.

So, so you can get something down on paper. So you do have a road map to follow. Now if you want to go deep, if you want a, you know, a really, really great plan, there are lots of people in programs that can teach you how to do this. Right? I love the way that Michael Hyatt looks at planning and productivity.

But this is for all of us who Maybe might not be so driven or, it’s for the rest of us. Right? So well, excuse me. I’ve gotta pull up my notes.

So before we get into the the planning process, I have two words of encouragement and caution. And the first is a word of encouragement, and that is when you make this plan. When you think about your business in your life, think about your life too. Right?

So many people create business plans.

But they don’t take into account the fact that what you’re really trying to do with your business is build a better life.

So when you think about your plans, don’t just make it about what you want to do in your business. Think about who you want to be. What do you want to do in this next year? That will make you healthier. That will make you happier. That will build better relationships.

Because when you’re making a plan for your year, you want it to feature both what you want for yourself and your family and all of those things and your business. The two should work together because if you build your business at the spence of your life, you’re chasing fool’s goals. If all you do is build your life and not plan for building your business, you’re going to experience the stress that comes from not having a business that works the way it should. So that’s the first piece of advice. Those two should happen together. Life business.

The second is don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

This whole process can be done in a couple of hours. So in the next couple of days, I would I mean, I would encourage you to as soon as you’re done watching this. Put it on the calendar. Put two hours on the calendar and go to your favorite coffee shop. Go some place where you can get away from it all, put on some headphones, listen to your music, do whatever, but some place where you can just get it done.

That’s why it’s called the down and dirty get it done planning prime. And I guarantee you that if you just spend a couple of hours doing what you’re gonna learn here in the next ten minutes or so, you will have a really good start on your year.

Okay. Now here is the process. And then after I sort of give you the laundry list, then I’m gonna go back and sort of fill in the blank so you have a deeper understanding of how to do this. So, first of all, the first step is to look back.

Look back at the last year. The next step is to do the positive focus exercise. Right? That’s part of looking back.

But then we’re gonna look far into the future. And build a vision statement. And not don’t don’t don’t become intimidated by this. You’re gonna build a vision statement that’s all ten years out or so, then you’re gonna do some three year, you know, just one of the big chunks that you wanna have happen.

Then you’re gonna do a year, and then you’re gonna do a quarter.

And so now this is why it’s so important. This is why it’s called down and dirty. Get it done. Because this isn’t a big complex plan.

This is the milestones. This is these are the big chunks. That you want to have happen. Okay?

So look look back, look way out, Look a little closer in, move closer in, and move closer in. And again, don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. Find two or three things, maybe five that are super, super important to your success.

Results are a function of activity.

So if you do what what are the the the big things that will make the most difference. What are the things that will make you healthier, happier, more prosperous, more productive?

Make more sales. All these things. Okay? Are you with me so far? So first of all, let’s look back.

You can, you know, it’s just important to sort of clear the air of the last year. I mean, in a good way, Right? If bad things happen, just take a look and just sort of see what happened in the last year. I went through my calendar. You know, I keep my calendar on Google. And, you know, it just made me realize we had a really, really busy year, but, I wanted more depth before I actually moved into the planning process.

And, if you know, I did a real retail TV on, that was titled, and that the episode was titled my best habit, and it’s about my journaling habit. And because I wanted, I I really wanted more context before I started planning forward I went and I got all of my journals. So last year, I I I finished five journals.

And I am in the process of reading them right now. It’s super interesting to me to see what problems are still I mean, it’s just super interesting to me. I mean, great things have happened in the last year, but it’s just interesting to me in seeing what happened in the last year.

Helps me is helping me with my planning going forward. So once you’ve reviewed the last year, the next step is to do the positive focus exercise.

So this would take more than a couple hours, but going through your calendar, going through your planner, you know, let’s just say twenty minutes, half hour. Then you spend ten or fifteen minutes doing what’s called the positive focus exercise.

So looking back is seeing everything, but the positive focus exercise is you set your timer. Let’s just say fifteen minutes.

And you write down all the good things that have happened in the last year.

You know, my My my kids did this. It made me really happy. My me and my husband did this.

This good thing happened in our business. We got this thing launched. We put a new website up. Think of all the positive things that happened. And don’t stop. Just right, right, right. And what’s happening when you do the positive focus exercises, you are putting yourself in a wonderful positive emotional mental state to go forward and do the planning.

You know, one of the things that, I know about being an entrepreneur and working with entrepreneurs like you is we tend to dwell on the things that didn’t get done. But when we stop and think about and focus on the things that did get done, it’s always surprising that We got as much done as we did. So the positive focus exercise is step two.

The third step, like I mentioned, is to go way out. And, I’m just encouraging you to spend about fifteen or twenty minutes working on your vision statement. Your vision statement will probably be a work in progress for a couple of weeks, but I cannot tell you how powerful it is to have a vision statement that goes about, you know, I don’t know, ten years out.

If you have the master plan advantage, program that we offer, there’s a whole lesson on building a vision statement. If you don’t have the master plan advantage, you can Google vision Zingermans.

We learned about visioning from friend, Ari Weinsweig, who is the co founder of the Zingerman’s family of businesses. And he’s been the keynote speaker at the summit. I don’t know. I think four or five times now more than anybody.

But, you know, he he really, really explains how to create a vision. The process is simple, but it’s super, super powerful.

Your vision is your north star.

Your vision is that thing that pulls you forward.

And having that vision keeps you in a straight line. You need to know the mountain you want to climb if you’re going to get to the top of the right mountain. Your vision statement is that thing.

Then we’re gonna do back, come back, bring it in a little closer, and just, you know, spend fifteen minutes, say, talking about three years from now. What’s important for you three years from now? Maybe it’s that you don’t have any debt. Maybe it’s that you have the best possible team working with you. Maybe it’s you have the best possible team so that you can travel, ten weeks a year. I don’t know what it is, but say if my vision is this thing out here ten years, What would I have had to have done personally and professionally to feel like I’m making progress?

You know, when people interview for, the platinum mastermind group, people who apply an interview for to get into the platinum mastermind group. I always ask that question. You know, three years from now, what would you what would have had to have happened both personally and professionally for you to feel like you’ve made real progress.

And, inevitably invariably, there’s lots a conversation around, you know, I wanna spend more time with my family. I want to travel more. I don’t want to feel so, shackled to my business, you know. I all of these things, I don’t wanna feel the stress of having debt and all of these things.

So it’s both personal and professional. So just ask yourself three years from now, what would have had to have happened for me to feel like I’ve made real progress? Again, you don’t need to make a plan. Just what do I feel like Where what what what’s the road?

What’s the straight line? So that’s three years. Then we bring it back to a year. Not starting to get a little more real.

Now we’re starting to talk about what am I going to do? Not where am I gonna go, but what am I going to do to make real progress this year.

I encourage you to not have too many goals you know, have three goals. Maybe four goals. Maybe five goals. I love Gary Keller’s book.

The one thing, one goal. What is the one thing that’s gonna make a huge, huge difference in your life. And then ask yourself, you know, what what what are some goals? What are some goals?

Pick two or three or four goals for your year and then think about the habits you need create to meet those goals.

And, you know, I did an episode. In fact, uh-uh, an episode called I flipped the switch on, my goals in two thousand and twenty. And I talk about the fact that, I wanna have three habits this year. Three habits.

I understand the goal of having a para, the, my intention is to create three solid habits, things that I do now, but I need to make into a habit. And they are daily meditation, moving every day and writing every day. And you can watch the whole episode, and and hear more about that. But really, What are you gonna do every day or many times a week to move you forward in your goals.

What’s gonna make your business better? What’s gonna make you happier? What’s going to make you healthier? What’s what do you need to do to move forward.

Again, we’re moving towards our vision with this planning process.

And then we move it down to a quarter. Right? So, my my one of my mentors, his name is Dan Sullivan. He, you know, really contends that if you’re going to be an effective business person, you need to live your life in quarters. Right? It gives your years rhythm.

And so then you ask yourself, what am I gonna do this quarter? What habits am I gonna drill down? What things do I need to do this quarter to really have a huge impact on my business and my life.

So that’s really it. And then, of course, you know, then then you’ve got your work to do every quarter. You can make your monthly goals. You can do your weekly goals. You can do it any way that you see fit, but I just wanted to share with you that planning process. Again, two hours, you know, hour, two hours, but just the the process of thinking about what you want out of your business and your life will give you the direction you need to move forward in a meaningful way. Dwight Eisenhower, who is, past a late president of the United States and was the supreme, commander of the allied forces in World War two.

A guy who did if if you’re running all of the allied forces in World War two, There’s a lot of planning going on. Right? And he had a great quote. He said the plan is nothing. Planning is everything.

And that’s what I’m encouraging you to do. I’m encouraging you to sit down. And if you have the time and the energy and that’s the kind of person and and you’re the kind of person who needs a deep reach rich detailed plan by all means. Create it. But if you’re not, just do this work.

Down and dirty. If it ain’t written, it ain’t real. When you write it, you’re setting an intention.

And that intention, if you just keep coming back to it, will come true.

Well, I hope that you are inspired to at least do the down and dirty planning process. You know, if you wanna go along, if you wanna go deep, if you wanna go detailed, by all means, but get something down. If it ain’t written, it ain’t real. One of the beautiful things about making the invest in the Retail Mastery System is that so many of the things that you need to do to achieve your goals in 2024, the things that you need to learn to become to fulfill that ten-year vision are already in the retail mastery system.

The marketing module is filled with the information you need to drive enormous amounts of traffic if that is one of your big goals. If one of your goals is to have a stellar team, all the information you need is in the staff development module. If you wanna get control of your inventory, or get control of your store. There’s the inventory management in the store operations module.

I won’t go on and on and on. But I just wanna say to you, if you don’t have the Retail Mastery System and you liked what you heard about planning the Retail Mastery System, is the perfect place to get the information that you need to get to your 2024 goals. Alright, everybody. I’m Bob Negen. If you haven’t ordered yet, click down below. Get it down.