I love entrepreneurs! The way their minds never shut off, the passion they have for whatever they’re working on, the drive, the determination, the willingness to give it everything they’ve got, and the way they dive in without fear. Can you ever recall a meeting you’ve had with someone who smiled ear to ear telling you about their business or an idea? Did their contagious behavior leave you walking away from that meeting with your head spinning and wondering “What if?” If so, you’ve had the pleasure of meeting a passionate entrepreneur, and you’re better because of it! If there is one thing that time and hundreds of consultations have taught me, it’s that no matter how hot the passion is, or brilliant the ideas are, they run the risk of being useless unless you can channel all of that into an actionable plan. Your plan needs to be simple, specific, measurable, and effective. It must also be realistic, strategic, and dare I say: cost-effective to execute, or they will remain mere dreams. First and foremost, find your focus. Have you ever been surfing the web trying to find something specific, and suddenly found yourself clicking on everything EXCEPT what you set out to find? Yes? Then you will understand just how easy it is to lose your focus! Entrepreneurs tend to have a million great ideas to grow their business, and that’s great! But when your mind is trying to focus on many things, you’re really not focused on anything. And by not focusing on any one thing, you never move that needle or make those dreams come to life. Pick one or two strong ideas and focus on moving those forward. Develop a plan of action, ensure you have the proper marketing materials in place, milestones to hit, and measurable goals to meet. If you struggle with putting your ideas into an actionable plan, outsource it! But do your homework on who you decide to work with – this is a critical decision – but one that will get the ball rolling. It’s easy to understand why so many entrepreneurs with strong business ideas leap-frog the not-so-fun, yet necessary, planning stage of how to get from concept to result. Yet it’s also important to remember that growing your business is a marathon and not a sprint. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”; which is a good reminder that the more carefully and strategically you plan, the better chance you have of success for you and your business!