Guy Kawasaki said it best.
One of the best outcomes of writing a business plan is to get your act together, to get your team together, to get everybody on the one page, and to commit, and polish, and hone your philosophy, which is expressed in a business plan. However, that’s the theory. I think that it very seldom happens, and so people write business plans, and I wish that was the outcome. But the real outcome is a document, a document that it too long, it’s delusional, and everybody’s forecasting that in five years you’ll be a $75,000,000 to $500,000,000 company. So it has no real value. The value would not have been the document, it would have been getting the team together. But the team didn’t put this thing together. It was just something that they had to check off. It’s like writing essays to get into a school. You just do it, it’s not because it’s your heartfelt philosophies in life. So I think, now, that what matters most is that you have a great pitch. And in this great pitch, which is Keynote or PowerPoint, ten slides or so, you explain the gist of your company, and you go from there. Because everybody knows that business plans, the forecast, they’re absolutely meaningless, they’re just numbers you pick out of the air, and they’re just wishful thinking. And so it’s more about the, well, it’s about luckiness at some level, but it’s also that you have this perspective, this vision, this outlook, this hope, and it’s believable, that people can relate to it, it’s conceivable that such a thing could be. And you don’t need 50 pages to do that. Indeed, if you need 50 pages to do that, you probably don’t have it.
So the key is to have a great philosophy that every part of your company is built upon. Apple’s philosophy was: “People with passion can change the world.” Guy Kawasaki’s message is to “empower others”. My core message is to “inspire others to take action.” I feel as if many people are too scared to take action because they don’t know everything. They might have imposter’s syndrome. They might not believe they have the experience. They might not think that they deserve it, or that they would not succeed. Of my best memories in my past, zero come from things that I didn’t do. All my best memories come the actions that I took, the risks that I took. I remember the time when I went to events with dozens of people; I was always the youngest person in the room. I don’t remember sitting in front of the TV watching hockey. So if you have to choose between two courses of action, think about what would make you most satisfied at the end of the day, or at the end of the week. Pretend you are your future self; project yourself into the future by one week, and ask yourself: “If I look back, what is the best thing that I did in the past month?” And that is the thing that you should do right now.