All plans look good on paper. And they are always created with noble intentions. However, to make any plan deliver the desired outcome, the key ingredient is the rigour with which it gets implemented. How well one is able to operationalise the plan, manage the complete implementation process and monitor the progress on regular basis, ultimately defines the success or failure of any plan.
We are not talking about an overnight get rich plan. Ours is more like a journey, a long-term plan focused on helping us achieve our goal of entering the “Crore Club”. The 5 Point Action Plan that I advised you to prepare in the last part of this Blog is also meant to be implemented over the next few years. In fact, we are talking about a journey spread over 10 to 15 years within which the objective is to earn an “Eight Figure” salary. While operationalising this plan, it is critical that we keep in mind certain factors, certain considerations, that would help us to be on track, not lose enthusiasm with which we have prepared this plan and course-correct ourselves if there is any such need.
With this challenge in mind, I have created a set of 5 core principles or guidelines that I want to share with you in this Blog. These guidelines will help you take out the maximum benefits from this Blog series and also ensure that your journey towards an “Eight Figure” salary does not get derailed midway or hit a roadblock.
- Any long-term plan is not easy to implement. While the initial euphoria lasts for the first few months and one is able to achieve some decent amount of success; as the time progresses, it becomes more and more difficult to keep oneself focused and not lose track because of other short-term priorities.
My suggestion to you is to mentally prepare yourself for the long haul. Keep in mind that this is a test match, not a T20 one. It may get monotonous at times, but it is still the purest form of cricket. The mental stamina, the rigour, the upskilling – all that what is required for you to play this game must be a part of your core preparation drill. Otherwise, there is no merit in playing this game. I have seen many people in the corporate world who in the first few years of their career show lot of promise, but overtime fade into oblivion. Our idea is not that. You must prepare yourself to become an evergreen player.
- The second principle or guideline is – this is not a one size fit all plan. Depending upon where you are in your career journey, your approach must be different. In the next few parts of this Blog series, I will demonstrate it more clearly. But to give you an idea, I would ideally like to use three buckets or categories to differentiate the approach that one should take while operationalising this action plan.
The first category is of people who are in a way starters. Typically, the ones who have either just started their careers or have completed a maximum of up to 3 years in the corporate world. The second category would be of people who either have reached the mid-management level or are in the striking distance i.e., typically people with 4 to 10 years experience. And lastly, the matured professionals, people with more than 10 years experience.
- Since our goal is an audacious one, we are not going to achieve it without making few changes in the way we operate in normal course. If we keep doing what we have been doing in the past, the results will not change. That is why some behaviour modifications need to be carried out at our personal level. And it is not easy.
I always advise people to carry out a Start, Stop, Continue Analysis to make this process simple. List down a number of things that you will Start doing to achieve your desired results. Then list down the number of things that you need to stop doing. Things that are not giving you desired results or are making you unproductive need to be stopped. And lastly, all the things that are working for you and you must continue doing.
While the third one is easy, the first two are not. They require behaviour modification, and you must condition yourself to go through a process of change while implementing your Action Plan.
- While operationalising any long-term action plan, it is very difficult to track progress unless you break the larger plan into small parts. I always advise people to break their plan in 90-day periods and then track progress. This way it becomes easier to keep track of things and course-correct if the progress is not in line with expectations.
In fact, I tell people to go even further down at the micro level and break each of the 90-day plans in 30-60-90-day format. One month is a good timeframe to get visibility of what can be achieved and what cannot. So, if you have broken down your action plan at two levels – first into a 90-day time period and then to three periods of 30 days each, your ability to track progress becomes much higher and you will be able to proceed with a much sharper focus.
- Finally, if you are thinking that you will be able to manage the implementation of the whole Action Plan on your own – I can tell you that this is not the best approach to take. It is extremely difficult to be your own critic. It is also very difficult not to get swayed by your immediate needs, wants and desires. And both these things will throw your plan off track. Your journey has the risk of getting derailed if you are planning to play the role of both the driver and the navigator.
I would strongly recommend that you must have a Coach, Mentor or an Accountability Partner working with you while you are operationalising your Action Plan. This is a long journey, and you need to have somebody who can have a right to question you, advise you, guide you and most importantly is available to talk to you. This principle or guideline is absolutely critical to your success, and you must ensure that you have someone alongside you in this long journey.
As you would have noticed, we are moving in a very structured fashion. First, we understood the theoretical aspects of our journey towards the “Crore Club” and then created our 5 Point Action Plan. In this Blog, I helped you go further deep into understanding the implementation process of this action plan. By taking you through these steps, my idea is to increase the probability of your success. If we are prepared well in advance, chances are that the next part of our journey would become more enjoyable.
In the next few parts of this Blog series, I will be taking up each Action Plan separately and breaking it down further for you to understand it better and master it perfectly.