Chapter 6

Fact 4: Planning Is About Preparing for the Future, Not Predicting It

Imagine that you’re standing in the middle of an intersection with cars coming at you from every direction. It’s obvious that you’re in danger and that moving from the intersection is your only option. The problem, though, is that the landscape looks the same no matter which way you turn, so it’s impossible to tell which road will take you where you want to go. That’s what planning is about—it points the owner and the business in the right direction.

Every owner stands at this dangerous intersection, not once but many times. Some of them never make a choice, stay at the intersection, and watch their businesses die. Some guess which road to take and only find out they are on the wrong one when it’s too late. And some guess right, have some initial success, and then lose their way. But there are still others who anticipate the intersection and determine beforehand which road to take, what to expect along the way, how to avoid the dangers and capitalize on the opportunities, and how to recognize and correct errors. This last group is the planners, the ones who realize that planning is one of ownership’s best tools, as well as one of the best ways to put the odds of success in their favor.

Of course, most businesspeople realize that they should plan. However, the majority of owners don’t do it, primarily because it’s hard to do, because they don’t want to put themselves in a position in which they are accountable, ...

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