For many years, I’ve offered a CEO Planning Day or some type of mastermind strategic planning session early in the New Year.  Sometimes it was live and in person; other years it was virtual. No matter the format, I always felt it was an important step in a business owner’s year!

However, I’ve made the decision NOT to offer this planning day this year! 
And it’s not because I don’t believe it’s not important however, I’m going to share with you 3 reasons why I think it could be better.

From my own experience, and what I’ve seen with other coaches, consultants and professional service firms, these planning days haven’t brought the business owners the highest desired outcomes!

For the most part, I think these strategic planning days have been somewhat flawed – in other words, I realize that many of the participants (myself included) made these mistakes:


1.  Not leaving their own office or environment and getting into a more creative space. Certainly, when it comes to doing planning virtually, most business owners stayed in their own offices!  A good thing since there was no travel involved, etc.  However, our creativity is sparked when we GET out of our normal environment.

This past October, I went on a business retreat!  There was an agenda but it was the alone time that truly benefitted my strategic thinking! A new environment was just the ticket!

If I remember back to my retail days, I always took 2-3 days a quarter and left the store, left the kids, left home – to get inspired and do my planning!!! I’m going to start doing that again!

How about you? Do you leave your office space and find a more creative environment? This coming fall, I’m going to host a retreat (Castles & Champagne) where business owners are able to relax, rejuvenate, and get re-inspired!


2.  For the last 5 years, I’ve used the same old planning system during our planning sessions. And yes, it worked to some extent. Everyone set goals but what was the weekly, daily or even quarterly follow-through?

This year, I’m trying something COMPLETELY different.  Personally, I’m going to be using a new system, Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt. Why you might ask?

A couple of reasons! First, this business aligns with not only who I am as a person but with what I’m helping entrepreneurs achieve – a growing business that you can walk away from and it keeps growing.

Secondly, I’ve been watching other successful business owners that I admire use this system and they are rocking their businesses. When I asked them about what kept them on track – they told me it was this system!

Good enough for me!!

You might want to read: Free to Focus – A total productivity system to Achieve More by doing less!


3.  The CEO Planning Days (and many other strategic planning sessions that I see out there) have not taken into account your business VISION. While it’s true, these sessions outline goals and perhaps some strategy to achieve those goals – most business owners do not have a clear, written 3-5 year vision for their business!

If Simon Sinek says everything starts with why – that’s true but for business owners, it starts with your VISION (which includes your why – your purpose).

Years ago as I was starting my coaching business, I reached out and spoke with several professionals whom I admired. Only one in ten had a clear, written vision and purpose for his business AND IT WAS SITTING ON HIS DESK where he could see it daily.  Do you have one that is front & center for you to see daily?

Even more recently, at a networking event, the breakout room question was: What is the purpose of your business? No one in my ‘room’ could articulate their purpose or their vision (except myself). I could – only because I’ve spent time developing it and have it clearly written where I can actually see it daily.


4.  Another reason I believe that why most planning sessions don’t work is that they don’t go deep enough. In a large group, there isn’t time to dive deep into each business OR the strengths of the individual business owners. No strategic planning should be done without consideration of the true zone of genius of each of the business owners. Working from your strengths, your zone of genius, is what makes owning a business not only profitable but also joyful!!

What is your ONE zone of genius?

How can you incorporate this into your strategic planning?

So that’s why I’m doing things differently this year!

  • I’m going to start with VISION.
  • Then add YOU – your zone of genius.
  • Then set goals that are strategically aligned with your VISION and your zone of genius!

That’s what we will do in VISIONARY GPS – a 2-day workshop on January 5 & 6!


  • Craft your 3-5 year Big Picture Vision for your business
  • Identify your zone of genius
  • Then craft goals in alignment
  • Then design a strategy to achieve those goals

This isn’t a cookie-cutter workshop!!! It’s about YOU & YOUR COMPANY!

Join me by registering here – so you can achieve your BEST YEAR EVER!

This is the starting point to become a true VISIONARY leader of a well-oiled business machine that generates sustainable profits and that you can have ample time off!!


Top 5 Proven Client-Getting Secrets

Get new clients, easily, with my FREE GUIDE that teaches you the 5 proven client-getting secrets that my clients use to make their marketing easy.


Download now and get immediate access!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Diana Lidstone Coaching and Consulting

Client Appreciation Workshop - Register Here!

After you register you'll receive an email with the zoom link and any handouts.

Success! You have registered for the workshop, please check your inbox for all the details!