As an equestrian turned entrepreneur, I am continuously finding parallels between navigating my riding career and my business. About a year ago, I heard performance horsemanship trainer Warwick Schiller’s teaching motto “stick to the damn plan.”
Not only have I found this short piece of advice to bring transformative results when I am in the barn, but also to be the perfect reminder when making business decisions that will impact my brand.
As an equestrian, it may be easy to think about your brand as your jumping course, your dressage or reining pattern, or your trail map. Your brand serves as your guide and brings a direct focus so that you can clearly communicate why you are in business, what you offer, and who you offer it to.
Making decisions without your brand strategy in mind would be similar to entering a class at a show without a predetermined course. When we go off course at a show, we get disqualified, but when we go off course in our businesses, we risk confusing and losing customers. In his explanation of “STTDP” Schiller states, “start at the start, get that good then go to the next step. Do not skip steps and think it will save time, it won't . Do not do something until it’s poor, then go to the next step to save time. It won't.”
Certainly, just like with riding, there will be times that necessitate an adjustment or a change of methodology, but the end goal remains the same, finish the course, build a purposeful and profitable business.
To make sure that you stay on course when it really matters, we’ve created a free workbook to help you determine your brand strategy plan. Consider this the time you spend in the warm up area or reviewing the pattern in your mind before heading into the arena to compete. When we “stick to the damn plan” it brings focus to your entire business, attracts clients that are the right fit for your product or services, and builds credibility around your expertise.