Shawn Fink | Brave YES Business Playbook

🔮 My Unconventional Business Planning Strategy

published3 months ago
5 min read

Welcome to the 43rd Issue of the Brave YES Playbook, a weekly newsletter by me, Shawn Fink, with musings on courage, business strategy and having the capacity to play bigger and live your best life. I am SO glad you are here. These issues are published on Sundays all year long -- except for some US holiday weeks. You may want to allow for images to show up in this edition for a better reading experience.

Hey, hey ... Dear Friend!

Yesterday, I hosted my second 🌳 Forest Therapy 🌳 walk with a group of local friends.

Forest therapy is something I have become super passionate about and LOVE to lead for my stressed out, nature loving friends.

But, here's the thing: It isn’t hiking.

When you are hiking, you are following trail markers and moving ... you are rushing through to the next turn, the next climb, the next boulder, the next decline … moving forward to get to the destination -- the end, wherever that may be.

Sure, you might stop from time to time and check out a view or a wild thing or a Bluebell rising up through the thawing earth but it's the completion you're seeking.

You're there for the exercise and the outcome.

Forest therapy isn’t anything like that.

It’s about presencing, grounding and savoring -- and connecting with the earth. It’s about honoring.

There is no rushing to the next thing.

In fact, the first part of a forest therapy walk is called Pleasures of Presence, a focused time to ground into the place and space, to notice and savor everything going on. You're whole job is to just BE.

If you've been following me for many years, you know I've been obsessed with coaching people into more being, less doing -- more flow, less control.

This idea carries so well into growing a business and the work I do with my clients.

It pains me to see so many new business owners fall into the trap of over-planning themselves to the brink of stress, overwhelm and super high expectations that aren't achievable.

Often, what we really need is to embrace the moment and understand that the only certainty in growing a business is uncertainty.

What we need more often -- that we aren't already doing -- is to stop, listen, and ground into what's happening and stop "nexting" ourselves.

Nexting ourselves is a business phenom. We're constantly moving on to the next and next (tactic, strategy, program, offer) and not settling into and grounding into what is already in place, what is working, albeit slowly and not in a super sexy way.

Oh, I've been a nexter myself.

I've been a fighter ready to move onto the next thing, better thing, more sexy thing.

Notice this pattern at all?

For many years, I would plan out an audacious business plan in November/December prior to a new year -- I'm talking big, big plans down to the dotted Is and crossed Ts.

Then, I'd get to the New Year and not feel energized to do any of what I had planned.

After doing this many years in a row, I got smarter, wiser. I realized my Old Year Self isn't able to see the forest through the trees and SHE plans like she has a corporation behind her — like she can do anything IN THE FUTURE.

But, my now self -- my New Year Self -- is more grounded, more realistic. She plans a powerful year of impact THAT IS REASONABLE because it's rooted in right now, the year I'm in, the current calendar year.

I have a Brave YES Blueprint for my business that I mapped out that includes a list of brave life and business goals for this year, including writing a book and launching a program or two. I know what I want to accomplish.

But the how -- the strategy and tactics, the YES projects I’ll work on to get to my goals — that’s what I'll need to presence into each new month and week to figure out because it all depends on my energy, my mental health, and my life circumstances -- not just what's on paper.

Presencing is an unconventional business planning strategy that I support 100 percent for my clients --and myself.

Presencing allows for uncertainty. It allows for the bends of life. It allows for time to slow down and breathe. It allows for time to rest on a rock and watch the ripples of goodness to catch up to your mind. It allows for dreaming to unfold. It allows for pauses to relish and savor the success you've already experienced.

If you're not sure if I'm talking about forest therapy or business right now, you're not wrong.

In Forest Therapy tradition, we notice where there is movement and where there is stillness.

I encourage you to do that right now in your business.

What is moving, what has energy? Can you put your finger on the pulse of what's got movement?

What is still and feels spacious — and what feels stagnant and lifeless? Can you edit out something -- or does it have potential to come back alive and unfurl in time?

In Gratitude & Peace,

Shawn Fink (she/her)

Business Strategist & Courage Coach

Book a FREE coaching exploratory call with me.

Listen to my podcast: Brave YES Business Show.

P.S. My Guiding Word for 2023 is Unfurl. You can likely expect a whole lot more nature metaphors this year because nature writing is a passion of mine and I see patterns between the way the natural world grows and how we can grow our businesses with ease and organic power.

P.S.S If you like this newsletter, you can support it by ...

1. Forward this newsletter to a fave entrepreneur you know could use a weekly courage boost ... suggest they start with my FREE financial wellbeing check-in as a way in the door because it's my favorite tool right now as tax season hits.

2. Refer a business bestie to my private, customized business coaching. I offer business design strategy & courage coaching and am holding coaching exploratory calls for March start dates as my calendar is full this month. Learn more here. (Deep gratitude)

3. Hit REPLY and tell me ONE thing YOU are feeling right now in your business! Or, just say HI and let me know you are here and that I am not speaking into the void. :)


WHAT SELF-APPLIED LABEL IS HOLDING YOU BACK? "Labeling yourself has risks. Give yourself space to change and grow." Here's a great reframe on how to talk about yourself -- and to yourself -- when it comes to who you really are.

WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO ABOUT AI GENERATIVE WRITING? "GPT3 is back in the news, because, as expected, it’s getting better and better. Using a simple chat interface, you can easily ask it a wide range of questions (write a 1,000 word essay about Clara Barton) that certainly feels like a diligent high school student wrote it." -- Seth Godin -- > And, what it really means: "It means that creating huge amounts of mediocre material is easier than ever before. You can write a bad Seinfeld script in about six minutes."

WANT TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL? Work on being happier -- and try this daily gratitude practice with me for the next 21 days. " READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

"The simplest thing you can do is a two-minute email praising or thanking one person that you know. We’ve done this at Facebook, at US Foods, we’ve done this at Microsoft. We had them write a two-minute email praising or thanking one person they know, and a different person each day for 21 days in a row. That’s it. What we find is this dramatically increases their social connection which is the greatest predictor of happiness we have in organizations. It also improves teamwork. We’ve measured the collective IQ of teams and the collective years of experience of teams but both of those metrics are trumped by social cohesion."

Have a wonderful week! :)

-- Shawn