Hello there! Let’s plan your business. Where do you even begin? If you start out blogging, you might consider the topic of your blog, the niche you want to target… but how do you monetize?

There’s a lot of business advice on this and I’ve taken a peek at online business schools from Marie Forleo, Kimra Luna, Melyssa Griffin and more. They follow the same advice as most small business books. WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN.

I agree that everyone should write a business plan, but here is where I get stuck. The business plan is the beautiful end product of a lot of messy problem solving. Business coaches present the business plan as if it’s just fields you can fill out.

What’s your mission?

I don’t know about you, but I really loathe writing out my blog’s mission statement. Uh, I don’t know? My core audience? Hmm whoever will read me? My ideal customer? People with money, I guess?

The problem to me is that the traditional route to creating a business plan is to look at a successful business, see all the pieces they end up with and then just aim at those pieces.

When I worked at a non-profit in my early twenties, we created a mission statement. It involved a weekend long summit with all the department heads and hashing out all of our core values, goals, projects, current issues and future ambitions. It was where we wanted to go.

That blank business plan does none of the actual work of figuring out those things (and you can see a standard one here with Melyssa Griffin’s “Bangin Blog Business Plan” http://www.melyssagriffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Bangin-Blog-Business-Plan.pdf

It completely strips out the process. It eliminates the important pieces of the puzzle.

1. What do you want to do with your life?
2. What kind of stuff do you want to create?
3. How much money do you need to make?
4. What already exists?
5. Who is going to buy this or how do you have to shift to reach those buyers?
6. How can you minimize duplicate work by focusing your product lines?
7. How does this all fit together?

We’re not going to just “dream up” some fantasy business out of thin air. We are going to solve problems.

Consider this process your business plan summit. Instead of just dreaming up answers to hypothetical questions, we’re going to solve real, practical problems, step-by-step and build your business around not just what you want to accomplish but how you want to live.