The Secret to a Business Plan that Works

“I can’t ___.”Photo Credit:

We all say it. Something sounds great. Ideal. Exciting. Life-changing. But I can’t do that. It’s something that other people do—people with X, Y, or Z, but not me.

The secret for executing any business goal has nothing to do with perfect grammar, stellar punctuation, or seamless transitions. While I’ll happily correct the technical aspects of a business plan, there’s an exercise that you must master before you attempt any writing.

If you think of an idea that you’d truly like to pursue, but find yourself saying, “I can’t ___,” make yourself accomplish that task.

It sounds trite. What does a positive attitude exercise have to do with a business plan?

When you’re figuring out what you need to do to grow your business, you’re faced with a lot of choices. Who’s your target audience? Where do you advertise? What’s your social media strategy? When can you expect to see profits? Those questions are the actual substance that make up a business plan, right?

All of those lovely questions, and the many more that you eventually need to address, are worthless if you first can’t envision what is possible and what you’re capable of achieving.

You must proactively battle self-limitations—that’s the difference between inspirational bumper stickers and steps that will produce results.

I gave this advice in Krishna De’s 100 Voices in Business project, and I practice it myself; almost everything that I’ve done during the past three years—from starting my business to writing guest posts on A-list blogs—happened after I uttered the words, “I can’t ___.” Who knows where I’d be if I let “I can’t” win?

“I can’t,” is often code for, “That would take a lot of work and time. I don’t even know how to get started.” Don’t confuse the two.

There are always reasons why you believe that you can’t do something, and many factors are valid concerns, but they are the details that you tackle on your journey to accomplish your task; they should not be anchors that prevent you from getting started.

Believe in yourself, define a target, and work toward that goal. Realizing that you can do it is the easy part.

–  Subscribe via email to get FREE bite-sized writing & editing support each week. –

Small Business Writing ConsultantStefanie Flaxman created Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services with your editing needs in mind.

Follow @RevisionFairy on Twitter and Google+.

About Stefanie Flaxman

Stefanie Flaxman is a digital copywriter and editor with an unparalleled eye for detail. She teaches better writing, disciplined creativity, and non-sleazy marketing. Get more from Stefanie on YouTube.