How To Create and Complete By Using Strategies


A strategy is a plan of action.  It’s a method for creating, doing or accomplishing something.  We often hear of Marketing strategies, Business strategies, Brand strategies, etc., but the entrepreneurs and businesses owners I work with in my small business coaching practice mostly need Creation and Completion strategies.

The marketplace rewards completions.

In 10 years of business coaching I’ve developed several effective strategies so that my clients can follow through and complete what they say is important to them.

In an effort to stick to a more reliable posting schedule, look for a small business strategy every Thursday.

In previous posts, many readers commented on my challenge of telling the whole truth to yourself about yourself.  It’s an essential component of playing a bigger game.

Well-engaged strategies encourage radical honesty.

When used correctly, a strategy offers us four gifts that unplanned creation does not.  These gifts are, approach, focus, intention and game plan.

1). Approach is the access or entry point for the strategy.  More than half the battle is getting started, and certainty of approach allows us to hit the ground running.

2). Focus allows us to create an environment and a structure most conducive to successfully carrying out our strategy.  With focus we can simply drop everything that does not advance our chosen strategy.

3). Intention dictates our overriding posture while carrying out the strategy.  Lightness, flexibility, urgency and intensity are all examples of a guiding intention.

4). Game plan is the procedure, plan, process or system that’s all laid out for us in steps to follow.

GO DIRECT is this week’s strategy.

When business owners aren’t completing or creating programs and projects, I’ve found that fear is needlessly complicating their efforts.  They’ve fallen prey to distraction, procrastination, avoidance or perfectionism.  When any of these are in play, owners often fear the very action that would set them free.

The GO DIRECT strategy lasers in on only the actions that most directly help secure what we want.  But since we’ve needlessly complicated things, we have to first drill down to identify what we really want.

Step One is > Identify precisely what you want.

I’ve had clients tell me they want to “get the word out” about their small business. In coaching, I’ll ask them “what will that do?” They’ll say, “It will help us to be seen.” I’ll ask, “What will that lead to?” Their response “Well if we’re seen, we’ll be an option when prospects are looking.” “Looking for what?” Finally they say, “to hire us to (fill in the blank).”

You see where this is going? They don’t really want to get the word out, to be seen, or even to be seen when prospects are looking.  What they precisely want are clients.  So why not GO DIRECT to securing clients?  Social media, blogging and other forms of marketing can be less than direct means to get a client.  So my coaching client and I will agree to a number of very direct client acquisition actions.

Step Two is > Describe exactly what you want, in vibrant detail, so you’ll know it when you see it.

If you want clients, somewhere the client you seek is seeking you.  If you can describe that client, understand her needs and think about serving her, you are actually using strategic intent to increase the probability of being hired by her.

Step Three is > … actually Step Three is to use a different effective strategy for daily completion, which I’ll share next Thursday.  Many strategies play off one another to create the business you most want.

Do you routinely follow-through on what you say is important to you?

If you don’t follow-through, then take charge by working a strategy that works for you.  Strategies are deceptively simple.  But don’t let their simplicity keep you from using them.

Strategies can save your life and your business.

Do you use creation and completion strategies in your life or business?

Want a test drive coaching session where we tackle your biggest business challenge and agree to the most effective strategies to get what you want? All you have to do is ask.


  1. Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

  2. Tom,

    I liked GO DIRECT. Even though I’m no longer seeking clients, I think what you’re saying is useful in any endeavor. I can see how I can use it in my writing. I think it’s helpful to envision the people I want to reach with my writing. I look forward to next Thursday’s lesson. Thank you for this post:~)

    Saras last blog post..The power of make-believe

  3. Tom,

    Very interesting insight on strategies. I think just as it is important to plan and put together strategy, it is equally important to define measures and how you will determine if you are moving in a successful direction. Benchmarks should be identified as well as milestones. Contingencies should also be planned in case a milestone isn’t reached, or the strategy isn’t as successful as it could be.

    Great post!

    Matt Thomass last blog post..Why Failure Isn’t Bad

  4. Hi Tom,

    I love this advice to go direct. This applies not only to business but life. Often I meet people who tell me they want to strike the lottery. When I ask why they say they can retire and travel the world. Then I ask if they can get a job requiring travelling, all expenses paid, and they say most likely they can. And then their dream seems much closer at hand then some unlikely event like striking the lottery.

    Daphne @ Joyful Dayss last blog post..How To Find Happiness in 5 Minutes

  5. When we know exactly what we want it makes it so much easier to attain it. When you go straight to what you want and ask for an answer you may get the response you desire. That may mean cold calling.

    I know that cold calling gives me the creepies until I talk to someone that is interested then it’s all worth it. It may be the 10th person and I quickly for get the previous 9. That’s when it’s good to have a bad memory.

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Nows last blog post..You Are Awesome

  6. Love your bullseye image, Tom! Thanks for a really comprehensive article about using strategies to our advantage.

    Robins last blog post..Happy Birthday, Let’s Live Forever!

  7. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says

    Clear, precise and to the point – excellent ideas! Cutting thru to the end result is something many business clients desperately need.

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coachs last blog post..Want Gratitutious Amounts of Energy? Enter Warcraft and Lion King and …. PowerThirst!

  8. Tom –

    Great post. I especially ADORE the phrase :

    The marketplace rewards completion!


    Long ago, I fantasized about a device that would incinerate the vehicles of drivers who annoyed me on the road. (Through years of therapy, I resolved those anger issues and then in a positively karmic twist – I moved to Florida – a state renown for bad drivers!)

    Imagine my ANGUISH when I saw a device advertised in a catalog that simulated my fantasy device. No, it wouldn’t ACTUALLY incinerate the other car – but it provided a stimulating array of lights and sounds when you pushed the button inside your car.

    I thought about it – someone else DID it. Because they DID it – they get the economic and emotional rewards.

    I guess that’s why your phrase “The Marketplace Rewards Completion” resonates with me so completely. I’ve had tons of “great” ideas – ideas that others have taken and completed and found success – because they COMPLETED the idea with action.

    Ah – but was creating a toy for drivers my PASSION? That is the question. Is that what I wanted to be known for throughout the land? No – and that’s why I didn’t complete it. Because building toys and novelties wasn’t my passion.

    Once again – another masterpiece post Tom!

    Kathy | Virtual Impaxs last blog post..An Open Letter to a Desperate Business : You’ve officially lost my trust and therefore my business!

  9. bloginsane says

    That requires a lot of concentration and goal visualisation

  10. Very well put.

    I agree – the marketplace does reward completions.

    There’s a lot to be said for completing. I remember when I showed my Dad one of my books and he said, good job, you finished. He added, a lot of people never finish what they start. Finishing is often more than half the battle.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Win the Heart the Mind Follows

  11. Hi Tom. It’s been too long since I’ve commented on your blog. Action, Action, Action! It is all about taking action. Baby steps or large steps – I don’t think it really matters – as long as you are moving closer to your goals and dreams.

    Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series – Part One

  12. Great post! My business strategy has fallen apart, come back together, and been revised so many times in the past 3 years.

    Grogs last blog post..Traveling Safely

  13. Sara – Yes it has universal application. We’d all have a lot less clutter if we used GO DIRECT more often.

    Matt – I’ll agree with the value of milestones but I say to hell with contingencies. I’d rather wing it and adapt of the fly. One closed door is just an indication that another is open.

    Chrystal K. – Thanks for stopping by.

    Daphne – Your lotto example is beautiful. We need more folks guiding deep exploration. Well done.

    Karl – Believe it or not I’ve discovered even more direct ways of getting clients than cold calling. Much more effective as well. 🙂

    Robin – Glad it hit the bulls eye for you!

    Barbara – Darn right they do. Cut through it and deliver. It leaves more time for fun. 🙂

    Kathy – My wife at the time, bought me that device. It had imaginary whistles and torpedoes and all kinds of fantasy explosions. It was perfect for the type-A wacko I used to be. 🙂
    Toys may not be your passion, but the creativity and desire that lead to that idea is connected to your passion in someway.

    Stacey – Action is so sweet. Without it there is nothing but so many just remain frozen in fear.

    J.D. – Your Dad was very wise to recognize you for the completion. I agree finishing is way more than half the battle.

    BlogInsane – next give me a little insanity in your comment.

    Grog – At least you’re still at it. Nothing wrong with makeing adaptations.

  14. Wow Tom, this reminds me of your last group coaching call.

    During the call when you gave each of us time for some intense strategic coaching, you really helped me figure out what my fears are with my next project and how to over come them. I realized that a lot of my fears were some baggage from my last job having meaning to me that it shouldn’t have. Thanks for showing me how compare what I “believe” with what I know”. This helped me to trash the lies I was believing because what I know is where the truth lies. Now I know I can pull off this project and have been working on it this morning with enthusiasm instead of doubt.

    People, if you haven’t gotten in on one of Tom’s group calls, they really rock!

  15. I agree with Stacey – it’s all about the action, no matter how big or small. That said, this is my last blog distraction for the morning and now off to complete something!

    Fear nearly killed my business until I learned to understand it’s purpose and it’s roots. I totally get that short paragraph you wrote about fear. That was my life during the first year of starting my business.

    Stacey Shipmans last blog post..The Importance of Practice

  16. Hi I just called in to see what you are up to.
    I like what you offer people and the way you go about it.

    Best wishes Ribbon 🙂

    Ribbons last blog post..Six Word Saturday

  17. Laurie – You are a quick study and a joy to coach. You’ve mentioned the Believe/Know Distinction strategy which I’ll cover here in an upcoming Thursday lesson.

    Stacey – Bravo! You are living testimony to the power of moving through ones fears.

    Ribbon – Thanks for the visit, pop in anytime. 🙂

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