When I went on the road last year, I had no plan. I had events and sessions scheduled in certain cities that required me to head this direction or that, but the rest of the time I was free to wander and drive aimlessly. I didn’t even know I’d be going camping until I arrived in Portland, Oregon and purchased camping gear there. Three to four weeks turned in to over four months. Without a plan.
Many days, I picked my itinerary based on my mood. What is nearby? What do I want to see today? Do I have time to drive that far, or is there something in the middle I should check out?
Other moments, my decisions were based purely on my whim. As I drove from Mammoth Lakes, California towards Death Valley, I pulled over to take a photo and discovered the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest was just an hour or so away up a mountain.
How could I pass that up?
Only problem was that it was late afternoon when I took off, and with the huge elevation climb I found myself in the midst of a snowstorm. That made driving a little tense. Do I regret going? Not in the least — but I wish I had planned it better.
Looking back over the past few years, my photography business resembles my road trip adventure. I had an amazing time, I did what I wanted to do but sometimes I doubled back on myself, had to do things twice, and I wished I had planned things better.
My business is successful by all of the standard measures, I just wonder how much MORE successful it would be if I had been more intentional.
Can the same be said for your business? Do you pick & choose what you will do each day based on your mood? Scrambling to make it to your next destination on time? Turning to focus on each whim as they come along?
Or do you have it so carefully planned out that when surprise opportunities come up, you ignore them because they won’t fit in to your plan? Do you leave room in your business for spontaneity? Do you allow yourself to change course quickly?
Where do you find yourself? Do you think one way is better than the other? Have you ever tried to be a planner when you’re naturally a whim-follower? Or spontaneous when you normally need a plan?
I don’t live life with regrets; I am always curious and willing to learn. As I’ve talked about before, I’m working on learning to plan. It does not come naturally for me, yet I can already see the results of it here on Vivid & Brave. Even though “INTENTION” is my word of the year for 2014, I’m still leaving room for the spontaneous adventure. I don’t think I could live any other way!