Coming and Going

People use the phrase “Five-Year Plan” all the time. While it refers to the future, no one said you had to define which five years. I wonder if you have ever taken the time to consider that a “Five-Year Plan” could be a two-way street.

I have been managing some publicity efforts recently for the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program. Pauli Mayfield’s reign as Miss Iowa 2010 came to an end about a week ago. She earned the title on her fifth try. This fact led to a humorous observation by Mayfield at a kickoff event for pageant week.

“Someone told me since I tried five times for Miss Iowa, that I now have my Masters in pageantry,” she joked. “But, really, each time I learned something about the process and myself.”

At the same time a new Miss Iowa was being selected, friends of mine were saying goodbye to their loved one.

Tom Lagomarcino, Sr. owned a confectionary that bore his family name. I had been in a family business myself when I was younger so I have always felt a special bond with them.

It wasn’t until 2000 that Tom Sr. stepped away from an everyday presence. At the visitation, a spouse of one of his children now running the business joked with me that Tom had taken early retirement at 84. Lagomarcino’s continues thanks to three of his six children who run it. Their father’s legacy is visible in everything they do.

But, in reading his obituary, I learned he was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and a sister. As a small business person, how would you have continued knowing the family business now relied solely on you?

You would continue with the knowledge you gained in your revolving “Five-Year Plan.” Certainly, his family will use the same approach moving forward into year 103.

I advocate planning at all times. While you don’t need to live in the past, it’s OK to benefit from it. A plan can be like making a return trip on a stretch of road you traveled on recently. It’s the same road, just a different perspective.

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Catch Driver provides marketing and communications services/consultation for small to medium size businesses and non-profits. The "Your Ideas...On Track" slogan means helping organizations and business owners with projects they want to do, but lack staff and time to execute themselves, and working to drive them to a successful outcome. See more at www.catchdriver.com.
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2 Responses to Coming and Going

  1. Dave Wellman says:

    Glenn – I agree with you completely. Planning should always has a retrospective aspect to it. Knowing what has worked in the past coupled with the cutting edge opportunities visible in the future will give a business the best opportunities for success and stability available in the present.

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