Ever been in line in McDonalds and you’re stuck behind someone who is looking over the menu like it has suddenly changed for the first time in its 150-year history as a company?? It’s McDs! Nothing changes! That’s the beauty of the chain! Here’s my order: Burger, extra pickles, small fry, diet coke. Step aside, indecisive, because I know what I want! Can I get an amen??  

If you can’t order at McDonald’s, how are you going to order your career, your life, your relationships? What do you want? 

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know the importance of knowing yourself and what you have to offer. But what about what you want 

Imagine selling the boss on all of your skills, your accomplishments and your passions then he or she asks, “You sound amazing, what can I do for you?” and you don’t have an answer. Or the professor agrees with your impassioned speech about statistical analysis then asks, “What will you do with that fine idea?” And you don’t have the foggiest idea. Or the neighbors agree with you about the need for resurfacing your street then ask, “What’s the next step?” And you don’t know.  

So, the first step to succeeding is to know what success looks like to you. That requires some thought. That requires planning. It’s the whole key to getting someone to give you something, to do you a favor, to say “yes” to a request or to simply help you out. 

It’s the key to making life sales —those everyday transactions with other people that can result in getting what you want.  

Here’s 3 steps to get you on the road to knowing what you want and making a plan: 

  1. Know what answer you want. Obviously, you want a “yes,” but get specific. Do you want a raise? Ok, for how much? Starting when? Do you want a date? With whom? When? To go where and do what? Do you want to publish your novel? Ok, with whom? For how much? With what kind of contract? You get the idea. Map it out! 
  1. Narrow down your choices. Make a list of pros and cons for each of the choices. Include really specific details like potential timelines, outcomes and even future life sales opportunities from each choice.  
  1. Buckle down and focus. Keep your end game in mind at all time. Put a sticky note on your dashboard or inside your bathroom medicine cabinet or on your fridge. Make the wallpaper on your phone a photo of your goal so you’re reminded of your commitment continually.  

Remember the old adage, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” You can do this! You just need a plan!