I didn’t learn how to be on time, how to be honest, or the value of completing a task with excellence from the Army. Many people assume I learned those principles from the military, but I can only give credit where credit’s due. I learned them from my parents as I grew up. I did, however, learn several principles and strengthen existing principles from my time in the military that I’m applying to my real estate business today.
As a helicopter pilot in the Army, I’ve spent countless days and weeks planning missions down to the minutest detail. My job was to keep the ground troops safe through close air support and engagement of the enemy. Those ground troops deserved every minute available dedicated to planning a mission that resulted in positive results. I didn’t always understand this principle. When you spend days planning a cross-country flight that you can easily accomplish with little to no planning, it gets very boring and mundane. But the actual job has life and death consequences. That’s where the importance of the detailed planning comes in.
No one expects the mission to go exactly as planned. As Mike Tyson said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Any military mission is the same way. The term “fog of war” references a reality in all military conflict. Precision and certainty are unattainable goals. The military employs planning, doctrine, and command and control systems to alleviate the fog of war. The detailed planning is a process that normally produces positive results. It allows you to evaluate contingencies otherwise left unexplored. The plan gives the freedom to adjust to adverse factors and promotes a mindset of overcoming obstacles. It allows for calculated risks, not rash decisions. Planning ultimately promotes greater operational freedom.
Entrepreneurs who take more actions during the strategic planning stage of a business help reduce the uncertainty surrounding said business. A good strategic plan allows for better decision making. Just the exercise of trying to foresee the near future can be helpful. Instead of looking at planning largely as an obligation imposed by external parties, focus instead on how it can help you generate new insights into your business. It can also help change your own views which will ultimately help the development of your business.
Strategic planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. This is the essence of why planning ahead matters. Many argue that plans do not normally work in our fast-paced world where everything is changing so quickly. Proper planning helps organizations to execute projects, reach their goals, and fulfill their vision.
This principle is important to me and one I take it very seriously. As a new agent for Tru Realty, I’m starting out by applying this principle as a building block of my business. Ultimately, “planning”, will lead to the success and freedom most of us are looking for in our careers. A structured agenda and following a diligent schedule gives me freedom later in the day to react to unexpected problems. It affords me additional time to deal with a complicated transaction and more importantly more time to spend with my family. Without the focus that a strategic plan can provide, we can all fall into the trap of unproductive busyness.
Many entrepreneurs, especially realtors think they’re extremely busy, but many spend time doing busywork with no real focus. My intent is to alleviate the busy work through detailed planning and develop a highly efficient business with time for my family.
“Failure to plan is a plan to fail”- Benjamin Franklin
About the Author
Ryan Hilbun is a realtor at Tru Realty. Ryan has a strong passion for helping people find homes for sale and knows that providing great customer service and treating people right is key to success. If you love helping others and think a real estate career is for you, please fill out the contact form below!