What Is a Strategy And Why Do I Need One?

Strategy is not a subject that’s taught in school, nor is it a university course. It’s something that you learn through your own life experiences and that of others.

The more battles you’ve fought in life and the more experiences you have gained, and the more knowledge of other people’s successes and failures, the  better strategist you become.

Everybody has life experiences to draw from – aren’t they strategists?

To a small degree yes, but unless you have made it your life’s work, your passion and you have studied it at a professional level, then you can’t be classed as an expert strategist.

Just like listening to music doesn’t make you a singer, having lived, doesn’t qualify you as a strategist.

An army or a football team will have a strategist on their side, a play maker, or military strategist that will deal with the planning, conduct and movement of the campaign.

Many strong teams have won crucial games during the year, yet they did not come home with the end of season trophy, and old battlefields are littered with bodies of the stronger side defeated by a ‘David’.

Victories are not “accidental “they are the result of planning and strategizing amongst many other crucial ingredients.

You have to ask yourself: are you playing because you enjoy the game?

Or are you playing to WIN?

As I strategist I have seen and studied the outcome of many peoples financial decisions.

People who have acted on “information” only and proceeded without a strategy – I’ve seen the outcomes of those decisions.

I’ve made it part of my life’s ‘work’ to understand the risks of action without strategy.

3  Important Pillars You Need And How To Use Them :

Knowledge + Strategy + Action       Positive Result

Knowledge + Strategy                      No Result

Knowledge + Action                         Risky

Knowledge                                        No Result

Action                                                Very Risky

 

So you can see if you leave any one of those 3 pillars out

You reduce the chance of a successful outcome.

You may convince yourself through the comfort of your research and discussion with other like minded people that you have made the right decision – however that’s not what out comes are based on.

Why do you need a strategy?

All wars, football games and the like are won  with strategy

When everything is equal – strategy becomes the decider

Of course, this doesn’t lessen the value of the other things in the equation

How can we apply this to investing?

Most people have a plan. Just ask anyone

‘We plan to retire’

‘We plan to travel’

“We plan on getting married”

“We’re planning a family”

The best laid plans of men and mice

We are a nation of planners!

So what’s the difference between a PLAN and a STRATEGY?

They are two completely different concepts.

The Plan
A plan will normally outline a list of steps taken to achieve a goal. A plan addresses questions like how, when, where, who, and what? A plan is a good thing to have. In fact, it is vital to the success of almost any effort. However developing a plan should not be the first step in addressing a task.

The Strategy
A strategy is bigger than a plan. Strategy tackles the question of why? It has a larger scope and looks at the end result as well as the many paths to the desired outcome. A strategy looks at every possible influencing factor, both seen and unforeseen and comes to terms with the whole situation, not just one end result.

Plan vs. Strategy
A plan says, “Here are the steps,” while a strategy says, “Here are the best steps.” Strategy speaks to the reasons why, while the plan is focused on how.

In a perfect world the strategy always comes before a plan and shapes the details of the plan. A strategy is the overarching wisdom that coordinates all of the plans in order to effectively reach the goals.

Conclusion
Remember, having a plan is essential, but developing a strategy should always come first. And whatever you do, don’t try to fit a strategy around existing plans. Rather, develop the right strategy and create the appropriate plans around the strategy.

Strategy drives the plan toward the goal. A plan alone wanders aimlessly.

A Strategy is like the foundation is to a structure that everything is built upon.

Build your future on the right strategy!

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