How to actually turn your business plans into reality

Cover art Samantha Gonzales
Starting May 29, we will be running a column by the bestselling authors of I Wish They Taught Money in School, Sharon W. Que and Clarissa Seriña‑de la Paz. The column will come out every Money Monday.

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Lifestyle Upgrade 101

What is your goal for the next five to ten years?

Any dreamer can answer, “I’d like to have a very successful business by then,” BUT: Talk is cheap!

It’s great to have a vision and a goal for everything we want to achieve in life. However, without action, a goal will remain just that—a vision, or worse, an illusion—if we don’t start mapping out the steps in order for us to achieve them. As they say, plans are only as good as their execution. So, how then do we turn all these blueprints into an actual successful business someday?

We’ve listed down five steps to guide you in turning that business plan into a reality:

Art Samantha Gonzales

Before you start planning your business’ short and long‑term goals, think about your personal ones first.

Be clear on those you’ve set for yourself. Similar to how the steps of a ladder lead to the top, these goals will serve as milestones that will eventually lead you to your desired results.

Sharon: Have a money goal and share it with someone close to you. Work on this goal and always keep yourself in check. Make sure that all your small decisions along the way are aligned with the goals you’ve set. Allow the person you’ve shared your money goal with to be your support system. Have him or her keep you in check as well if things start getting difficult and tricky.

Art Samantha Gonzales

Define a budget that is workable and realistic. It may be easier said than done but believe that it is possible.

Sharon: Create a budget and be disciplined enough to stick to it (even if there’s a 3‑day weekend sale or there’s a pair of new trainers that you’ve always had googly eyes for). I know it sounds cliché but live within your means. Trust me, the rewards of being able to do this are manifold.

Art Samantha Gonzales

Part of sticking to your budget is managing your expenses well. Exercise control in spending and carefully plan how you will allocate your money.

Clarissa: After each 15th and 30th, pay yourself first. When you receive your income (monthly paycheck, bonus, 13th month pay, etc.), automatically invest 20% and live with the remaining 80%. This one habit will change all your other money habits. You will get to avoid unnecessary spending and this will discipline you when making all your other future financial decisions.

Sharon: Credit cards could be our best friend or worst enemy. Make it a habit of using your credit card only if you can pay it in cash at the same time and only if it’s within your budget. Refrain from impulse buying and follow through on the set budget.

Art Samantha Gonzales

Being a good manager of your personal finances is only step one to becoming a successful businessman. Your personal budget is only training ground for your future business’ budget. Businesses require a lot more understanding and knowledge of the ins‑and‑outs of the financial world. So, be open and push yourself to learn more about it.

Sharon: Investing is only risky if you don’t have enough knowledge about it. Attend classes and read more books. Then, decide to just do it. Nobody started as an expert after all. If ever you fail, fail forward. Do an evaluation of what has happened and get the lesson out of it. In the end, you’d love the freedom and independence knowing that you are capable of growing your money in the different investment vehicles available.

Clarissa: Get out of your money comfort zone. Put an end to an era where you are risk averse and are unconsciously making financial decisions.

Art Samantha Gonzales

Bringing all your plans to fruition will require you to really step out and take the leap. Equip yourself and muster enough courage to Just. Do. It.

Sharon: As narrated in our book, “I Wish They Taught Money in School So I Can Start My Business Right Away”, I started doing business at the age of 10. I sold shirts, rubber shoes, cologne to my classmates at an early age. My knowledge of the business world continued growing in my teenage and college years until I ended up taking advantage of business opportunities that led to my business taking full flight. Had I not started when I did, I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am now.

While we’ve listed down some how‑to’s, we know that one’s road to building their dream business differs per person. Some people may take 10 years while others may only need 10 months. What matters is that from the very beginning, the goal is clear and the commitment is strong. After all, how a person manages his business is always a reflection of how he manages himself.

Clarissa Seriña‑de la Paz and Sharon W. Que are financial literacy advocates and the bestselling authors of “I Wish They Taught Money in School” and “Money Grows on Trees” Check out their books at Get 10% off, plus a free notepad and bookmark, by sharing this story with the hashtags #MoneyMonday and #SparkUp. Remember to make your post public!