Strategy: what it is and how to create one right now!

In my previous article, I shared 6 super effective strategies to crush any goal you set. But some people may be wondering “what exactly is a strategy and can I create one for my life?” My answer is yes! Strategy is not just something we do for our business or when we play games. It can be applied to our lives as well. So in this article, I want to take my time and explan: a) what strategy is, b) why you need one. and c) how to create a strategy for your life.

I’m excited about what we are going to discuss today because strategy is kinda my thing. From school, to work, and in my business, I’ve supported the crafting of several corporate strategies as well as crafted several for my life and business. So, lets get into it!

What is a strategy?

According to the Strategic Management Guide, a Strategy is an action that managers take to attain one or more of the organization’s goals. Wikipedia puts it as a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty. Michael Porter defines strategy as “deliberately” choosing different sets of activities to achieve superior advantage. This is what he calls competitive positioning.

What we can see from the defination is that strategy becomes choice given the set of resources at ones disposal. Because time and resources are usually limited, companies have to take full advantage of the opportunities open to them, anticipate, and prepare for the future at all levels. This means companies will create different types of strategy at different levels to achieve a number of different goals. And companies will always choose the actions that generates the highest return on the investments made.

The same can be applied to our lives. Skills, information, time and other resourcs are usually limited, therefore we need to ceate a strategy that helps us focus on the activities that gets us the closest to achieving our goals. When a person chooses a strategy, the work becomes saying no to anything that is outside of the scope of that strategy.

Why do I need a strategy?

To be honest, nothing extraordinary happens by accident. If you want to live a life of meaning and fufillment, you need to have a life strategy. Here some reasons why you need a strategy:

  • Your strategy helps you define value and focus energy only towards the things that gets you closer to your dreams.
  • Your strategy will transform your dreams into goals, your goals into plans and your plans into action.
  • Your stratey will help you become a better decision maker because every choice can be assessed strategically.
  • Your strategy will bring order and direction to your life.

Have I convinced you? No? Okay, let me share a true story with you before moving on.

Couple of years back (I think it was in 2017), I worked at a Government institution and this particular year there was some retirement going on. However, the people who were being retired were actually shocked to find out. It was the saddest thing I had ever experienced. Imagine being retired at 60 years with no savings or retirement plan. I think it was the wake up call I needed. That whole experience pushed me into asking myslf very hard questions.

  1. What kind of life do I want?
  2. What am I willing to sacrifice to get it?
  3. How hard do I want to work?
  4. At which point do I want to retire from active work?
  5. What do I value and will not sacrifice?

Answering those questions really helped me get clear about the life I wanted to have and to also decide what I was willing to do to get that life. Since then, I’ve accomplished so much from my health to my finances, my family relationships and my faith. I am clear about who I am and what I want and because of this clarity I can make sound decisions that helps me win in life.

This can be you too. Strategy is not just for business organizations, it’s for everyone. Your strategy is the glue that’s going to hold your vision, dream, goals, plans and activities together. It defines what you are doing, why you are doing it and what result you will achieve as a result.

Below I will show you how to create simple strategies that can help you win in any aspect of your life.

How to create a strategy?

Creating a strategy generally involves defining a vision, setting goals, determining the actions required to achieve those goals, prioritizing, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions.

It all starts with vision, what exactly do you want to achieve? This can be as broad as your life vision or as specific as relationship with your children. In business, companies usually have corporate level strategy, then business unit strategy and then team strategy. They all work together to fufill the overall mission and vision of the company. This concept can also be applied to life. You can have a vision for your entire life and then specific strategies for family, career/businss, finainces, faith health etc. But to create a sound strategy, you must have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

What are you working with? You must understand the unique combination of information you have at your disposal. If your vision is having better relationship with your children, then you must know what your children desire from a relationship with you. Is it more time? Is it better communication? Can you provide those things in a way that doesn’t leave you unbalanced? Know what you are working with and then decide how you will act.

Understand the game you are playing. I like to say, life is like a game. Some games are short term, like checkers and some games are long term like monopoly. But every game has rules and every player has objectives. What game are you playing, whats your objective and what does winning look like? Building relationship with your kids is a long term game. Usually, the objective of wanting to build relationship with your kids (at least in my opinion) is so that they can have a support system that helps them grow into whole adults who are also able to maintain relationships with other adults. It’s not something that you will see immediate results with but it pays off in the long run. So, everyday you make small intentional effort to teach, nucture and support your child with the hope that it’ll take roots and grow. You decide on a parenting strategy and you use that to manage your children.

What does winning look like? Defining how you will win is probably the hardest part of a personal strategy. Unlike in a business where winning can be as specific as 10% increase in sales and as tangible as an account balance, a personal strategy will have several intangible wins. It’s very important to define what winning (success) is and how it looks like because humans become jealous and fraustrated so easily. With the huge number of people sharing their success stories and showing off their fancy lives online, it’s easy to start comapring your success to what you see online. A good strategy with a clear defination of what winning looks like will remind you of what “you” are working towards and keep you away from the comapaism trap. A good strategy will keep you grounded and focused on the bigger picture. A good strategy will also help you know how to maintain a win once you’ve accomplished it.

Finally, as you work towards building the life of your dreams, remember that strategy is flexible. The sole purpose of a strategy is to help you achieve specific goals. But if your current strategy is not producing desired results, you need to pivot. Pivoting is not the same as failure (although I am not against failing at something). When you pivot, you turn in a different direction than you were going before. This is a very common concept in business and entrepreneurship and you can read more about it here.

I hope you liked this article, and please don’t forget to like, comment and share with your network.

Published by Ade Suah

Hello and welcome to my site. My name is Christollie Ade Suah and I am a full time Mom, working a full time job and running a small business full time. With so much to do and so little time to do them, I constantly find myself struggling to balance different aspects of my life. So I created this blog as a resource center where health conscious professionals like me can find information and tools to help them balance competing priorities and achieve their goals. This blog covers topics around health and wellness, business, career and parenthood. My goal is to inspire you into taking actions daily that'll improve your life. If you would like to join a network of health conscious people and get notified of new content and products, click the subscribe button below. Thank you for visiting and look forward to growing with you.

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