Learning to apply my business skills to personal life

The power of written plans in business is one of the most fundamental things to accept in virtually any sized entity. It’s obvious that goals will be better realized if they’re universally understood and reviewed from time to time. In a group of more than a few people a common understanding is doubtful without written plans.

But there’s more to the value of a plan than just clear communication. Once it gets laid down on paper, it’s open to question and doubt as to the written objectives of the plan. Are they realistic given current assets and projected sales? By the way what are those? How valid are the cost and income estimates? What are the contingency plans if we face unanticipated problems? etc. etc. Addressing all these concerns leads to digging into problems that may not have even been well identified without first driving a stake in the ground, and then questioning that move in subsequent rounds of review and discussion.

But what about written goals and analysis in my personal life? I would tend to dismiss that as not worth the time before. But this dog is learning new tricks. It’s a little weird I would not have seen the value before now. I’m a very experienced and capable software developer, so I personally understand even more, the value of well-validated plans. And for reasons not mentioned yet. When you design and write a computer program, you’re teaching the computer how to solve a problem step by step by step. Every problem has a series of “sub-problems” that seem to go on and on. Think of the computer program as a plan for the computer to follow. As any programmer will quickly agree, if that plan is not exactly right with respect to the instructions the computer follows, the computer won’t somehow figure it out anyway – it will crash or perhaps worse, give you the wrong result less obviously.

Working thru some hard problems lately, I decided to take it on faith that I might get my arms around things better if I dedicated a web site to it so I could develop and organize the information better. Now I’ve expanded this little private site so it captures my future life plans. That includes my lifetime financial plan, budget, expected income, along with goals, what-if risks, etc. It wasn’t until I really started building this, that I could more and more appreciate the value of it. With all the good plugins for WordPress like the 3D Flipbook and Document Embedder I can easily integrate data from PDF files, excel spreadsheets, etc.

For anything with a scope as broad as your whole life, you can’t expect to give it a good sanity check in one sitting. And with almost every read, I see new things to consider – none of it evaporates like a stream of e-mail messages tends to. Things get captured and investigated and then reviewed and leveraged in a dedicated medium that I can revisit and modify as things unfold. Always with a clear view of where we have been, and at least an outlook on how to best steer from here.

WordPress is Great!

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