A Business Plan for Self-Improvement
By: Lexi Smith
Last week, I attended a Biz Chicks lunch with guest speaker Christina Damiano, who was the founding executive director of the Diversity Business Resource Center in Pittsburgh. She provided insights on how to run, manage, and sustain your woman-owned business. I play with my side-business, and I went to get some ideas about how women thrive out there on their own. My take-away, however, was much more directed toward an interpersonal journey than how to get my business on track. The first thing she said was, “Imagine where you want to be in a year, and act that way now.”
With my schedule lately – I hardly know where I want (or need) to be tomorrow – much less in a year. Her directive caused me to think deeply about what I really wanted. Where do I want to be in a year? I didn’t even know I was feeling stuck and without direction until I tried to answer that question. And the answer was, “I don’t know.”
The next thing she said was “Believe in yourself and know the goals you want to go after.” I haven’t set any goals for myself since I finished my PhD in 2007. That sounds strange, but I really haven’t managed to set goals. At work, I create to-do lists. Those aren’t the same as goals – although we tend to get them confused. Goals are bigger – like – earn a PhD before I turn 40.
It’s a known fact that people who set goals and work toward them are happier. I know that I was happier with my life when I was working toward something; and, after a weekend of mulling it over, I decided that where I wanted to be in a year was too far out. I needed to start smaller. I set some goals for the summer – which included a huge list – these are my top three:
- Lose weight (of course)
- Decorate my office space in my new house
- Design layout for fashion journal I’m editing for Pittsburgh Fashion Week (due in August)
Damiano also suggested doing a SWOT analysis on ourselves after we set our goals to look closely at our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. (There are some great resources online if you have never done a SWOT analysis. I have completed SWOT analyses for strategic planning in business, but never on myself). Here is the one I came up with – along with an action plan – to get me started. I’m not out of the rut yet – but at least I have plan for managing the business of being me.
|Lose 10 -15 pounds||S – I’m not overweight – just heavier than I want to be; I’m disciplined enough not to over eat and to stick to a diet plan W – I don’t get enough exercise; I don’t like to get up early to exercise in the morningO – There are a couple of great Pilates classes nearby and the times are convenient; I have some girlfriends who will go with meT – Not enough time to eat right and to exercise||
Lexi Smith is a lifestyle guru for the woman seeking positive change. She is owner and creative director of Being Fabulous!, a consultation and personal shopping service designed to help clients achieve a higher quality of life by finding their own signature style.