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How to Handle Questions About Strategy

Entrepreneurs are under a lot of pressure to "have a strategy." We spend a fair bit of time answering questions from everyone, team members, advisors, even random people you meet about our strategy. (Even when it's none of their business.)

These questions can get really stressful, I barely know what I'm having for lunch on most days, much less what my business will look like in 3 years!

The great thing is, nobody knows. People like to talk a lot about strategy, but things rarely ever play out in the way we intend them to. So I decided to give myself a break about the whole "having a strategy" thing.

Of course we need to have goals and a general idea of how we want to get there, but when it comes to the day to day of actually running your business, give yourself a break about how it actually will end up happening.

"Emergent strategy" is a business-ish term for when you integrate unexpected outcomes into your future plans.

Emergent strategy is a fancy word for "see what happens and roll with it."

So the next time someone is asking how you plan to scale, or keep your focus through growth, or how you plan to address expansion issues when X, Y and Z happen, just smile and say "While we have very clear goals and a defined strategic direction, we are very open to integrating emergent strategy as opportunity presents itself."

This is business code for "I know what I want and I have an idea of how to get there, but I'm just going to roll with it and see what happens."

For me, worrying about strategy meant I was thinking about the future, spending time dwelling on outcomes that were outside my control. So giving yourself a break about it can be great for your well being and even make you a little happier. Read more about finding reasons to be happy.

 

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