Whether you’re seeking a promotion, transitioning careers, or looking to start a side hustle, setting your sights on the future is exciting – and perhaps a little scary. It’s also likely that when you’re planning to grow, you’re primarily focused on the tasks required for growth, not necessarily preparing for growth. “Wait a minute – isn’t preparing for growth the same as doing the tasks required to grow?” you’re probably wondering. I remember that I once thought that way too, but after more than a decade of coaching clients to transition careers and start businesses, I’ve realized that preparing to grow is much different than planning to grow. While planning requires analysis, strategy, and a task list, preparing is mostly about mindset, resources, and relationships.

Growth Mindset

According to Harvard Business School, “Someone with a growth mindset views intelligence, abilities, and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. On the other hand, someone with a fixed mindset views those same traits as inherently stable and unchangeable over time.” If you’re going to grow, it stands to follow that a growth mindset would be helpful. But growth mindsets don’t just happen – they have to be developed. And even if you have one, working on developing it can make it even better. Because a growth mindset will help you with your growth plans, I recommend you start examining and working on your mindset before you start tackling your growth plans. (I’ll talk more about growth mindsets, how they can help you with your job search, and how you can develop one in my next blog.)


When most people think resources, they think money, and it’s true that your growth plans might require cash. If you’re starting a business or a side hustle, that’s likely to be the case. But even a better job or a promotion can require money spent on professional development, personal development, or skills improvement. (However, I like to advise my clients to work with their employers to secure funding for these types of improvements.) Money, though, isn’t the only resource. You’ll also need time. Thinking about how much time you have to devote to your plans before you develop your plans can help you allocate tasks effectively. Progress is possible even if you only have a few minutes per day, but if you get discouraged and decide to throw in the towel, you won’t get anywhere. Certain projects require other resources. You might realize that you need to improve your health, secure a babysitter, or get faster wifi before you start your planning. Regardless, preparing for growth by securing resources can help that growth go more smoothly. 


Who will your growth affect? Your children, colleagues, partner, friends? Planning for a promotion might impact your partner if you plan to spend many nights at home studying for a certification exam or if you will be traveling to professional networking events. That promotion might also impact your partner positively when the increase in salary comes in. Leaving your current position will impact your colleagues. Spending extra cash on your new side hustle rather than on a vacation might impact the friends you travel with each year. Of course, your decision-making is ultimately up to you, but if you think about relationships before you start planning, you’ll be more likely to maintain positive ones. 

Planning for growth is important, but it’s also important that you prepare. If you’re prepared, your plans are much more likely to be successful ones.

If you’re thinking about growing and you’d like to do some talking about what that means for you, feel free to schedule a free call.