I attend a few conferences each year and I just love the energy of everyone in attendance. It always leaves me with a renewed energy for my own business and a lot of new ideas. In addition to those intangibles, I also notice a recurring theme that I get to take home, too.

I don’t mean the theme of the conference, that’s a given. I am talking about a topic of conversation that recurred throughout the conference. Is it that I noticed the theme because I am aware of something lacking in my business and it keeps popping up as a constant reminder that I haven’t fixed it yet? Or, perhaps others are subconsciously seeing this missing piece in me and it reminds them to talk about it?

I haven’t figured that part out yet, but it happens every time.

This week was no different. I spent the past three days in Miami with Autotask for their annual Community Live event. Besides my own QuickBooks presentation, I managed to sit in on only one other session on Live Reports, which was really quite good. I spent the remainder of the time talking to various groups of people on a variety of topics. Each one reminded me in one form or another that I do not document my processes very well.

I write reports without creating a “mock up” of what the report will look like. A simple mock up would probably save me hours of, “oh man…that’s not at all what I wanted” redos. I create custom integrations (and I know my coding/developer friends will laugh at me for this) without ever drawing a flowchart. It’s really little wonder why they fail so often. Perhaps, if I spent just a few minutes drawing the information flow, I would see where the flaws are a lot faster.

Then, there was this one conversation where I was asked about the direction of my business. Where was I heading? Did I have a plan or am I just going through my work day working without any gauge on a goal?

Wow, this one hit me upside the head. No, I guess I don’t have a plan. I have ideas. I have implementation of those ideas, but a plan? Written or even outlined? Ummm…not so much. I think I need to change that. I mean, I tell others to do this annually. And, I used to do this annually, but somehow somethings got away from me, and I suppose this is one of them.

It is so simple, and really does not take much time at all if I review it regularly and add or subtract items as needed. I spend so much time running from one project to the next, there is little time to see where it fits in the final goal. I look at my financials to make sure I am not going broke, then move on to the next project. I need a better plan – or some plan.

As it turns out, another person, not related to this conference, invited me to a vision board session. Before I knew it, I offered to host it at my home. There is at least a step in the right direction – to place my thoughts and ideas on paper, even if it is poster board.