Introduction: Strategic thinking is way to process information mentally that leads to strategic planning. A strategy is a well-thought-out design for action. Before you can develop your plan of action, you have to develop your thoughts for that plan. The plan comes out of your thinking. That's why it is essential, as you follow your path to becoming a millionaire, that you get your mindset ready. Think of it this way. What you are about to do will come out of that brain in your head that sits on your shoulders. You cannot afford to proceed into the process without that brain ready to do the work effectively.
A study of the brain, and the research with brain scans, have helped us understand and use the brain more efficiently, revealing that different topics of thought happen in different parts of the brain. Most of us become focused on one area or topic in life and use little else of our brain. If you know how the brain works, you can use it to your advantage. So learn how the brain works. All the research is there, waiting for you to read online, for free.
Further studies have been done to show that getting a group of people together from different sectors of a business or manufacturing plant is like opening one whole brain. As the various people share their ideas, their views in their skill area, a whole picture emerges. But what if you are the only person currently in your business? How do you get your brain to function like a whole team? How do you get your whole brain activated?
There is a phrase, not attributed to anyone specifically, that describes stagnant thinking as "analysis paralysis." It means that a person who uses only a small part of the brain, which is most of us, cannot get past the same old thinking and doing things in the same old way. Most millionaires have figured out how to use most of their brain and the more you practice, the better you become at it. Eventually it is a habit and you don't have to work at it. This is directly connected with what has been discussed as the mindset of the millionaire, or the characteristics you need to develop to become a millionaire.
That is why it is so important to get yourself together and ready to think like a millionaire at the beginning. The sooner you get your head together, the sooner you will produce the wealth you anticipate. Strategic thinking will automatically become your mode of operation and strategic planning will, eventually, become a natural occurrence for you. When you get to that place, you are on your way. More than half the battle in thinking like a millionaire is getting your head in the game. Take that seriously and you will be successful.
The Brain of a Millionaire: The funny thing is that the brain of a millionaire is not any different from that of anybody else's brain. It comes down to how you use that brain in processing information. This is where a study of brain research comes in. The brain is divided into two main sides, four main quadrants and that's where thinking happens. There are other sections. The lower back operates our vision, the frontal lobe supports executive decision making, and so on. We cannot change the way we see without an appliance like glasses. Nor can we work and change the way we hear. Our brain also produces chemicals, which can be altered by diet and exercise to some extent, though there are people who have such a chemical imbalance, medication is required.
The good news is we can change the way we process information. There is a whole part of the brain where all of that happens and we use very little, often merely 20 percent. If you understand a few facts, you will be more apt to develop some changes. Your brain basically does two things with information. It receives it, and it expresses it. That happens in various ways. We receive information through our senses. We see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the world around us, and our nervous system transmits all that information to our brain. It is processed and stored there. On the other hand, we also express information. We usually speak, though we can express ourselves through motion, touch, a look, etc. If you know about Montessori schools, you know that they are based on the fact that learning is done best when all mods of our senses are awakened. Incoming information is processed more effectively, and in smarter ways, when you get it from more than one sensory mode. Translate that to thinking like a millionaire, and you become aware that merely listening to someone, or something, is enhanced if you have a visual to go with it; and you can even further entrench it into your mind if you are given a chance to voice it aloud. When you can't think of a word or phrase you want to use, talk to yourself about it aloud and you will find that your brain more easily recalls it. If your sense of smell is aroused during receptive language, more of your brain is activated. Use what research has made clear.
Many people know they learn better when there is music or a television going in the background, but they never thought about why. Some people like to toss a ball or think better shooting baskets. It is because it keeps more parts of your brain activated. Some people will learn better if the information is associated with visual input. Others seem to do better if they are not visually stimulated externally, but are allowed to form pictures in their brain. This opens the same area, but with more activity, because you are producing the picture, as opposed to just looking at one.
How often do your feel the need to touch something to get a better idea of what it is about? There are theories that people have different learning styles or modes. They say you are a visual learner or an auditory learner. The idea, though, that a visual person needs to have everything visual, or can only learn with visual props, is missing the point. If your visual processing is stronger, then use it, but work on development of the other parts of the brain. The more processes you activate, the more strategically effective your thinking will become.
To develop the thinking of a millionaire, you have to think strategically. That means finding ways to open your whole brain. Some people find that lying prone and closing their eyes brings a flood of ideas that are totally creative. If you've ever hear the phrase, "thinking outside of the box," you can understand that it means out of your fall back mode of processing. To shake up your brain, you have to be intentional. Go for a walk, listen to music, use scented lotion, or light a scented candle. Read something way out of your interest, watch a movie that is not normally your choice. Do things in a different order. Don't let yourself fall into a static place mentally. Do some artwork, learn to play an instrument, take a course in Japanese, or whatever it takes to get your whole brain moving and working in different ways. The payoff will be great. It is what creativity is all about. Creative people have learned to take risks, step out, be independent, and buck the system. Their brains are fully active most of the time.
What does strategic thinking really mean? Thinking strategically leads to strategic planning and action. You now understand how to wake up your brain, be more creative in your thinking so the next step is to exercise your brain processing on a regular basis. As you do, you will find yourself developing ideas or thoughts that are far to the right or left of your "normal." That's a good thing. That means you are moving toward thinking like a millionaire. Don't stop now. Your next step is to simply spend time reflecting or thinking about what you are doing, where you are going, and how you will get there, all using the whole brain. When you give time and importance to this task and open your whole mind, you will begin to see different paths to work around problems, and to progress toward your goals. You will eventually be able to see problems before they happen as your imagination is unleashed and you allow your brain to be free flowing. When people get together for brainstorming sessions it, in essence, is an activity that begins to push people to look at another way of thinking, and opens the minds of all to be more creative. Each person spurs the other on. But you can do this by yourself, if you are willing to work at it.
When your thinking is free to develop a wide spread of ideas, you are thinking strategically. Again, you have to be intentional about making time to reflect, evaluate, and plan in your mind. Only then are you ready to put your thoughts on paper, bounce them off someone else, and do some research to see if any of those ideas are plausible. This activity of thinking has to become a natural part of your rhythm, your mindset, and your characteristics. You are continuing to shape yourself into thinking like a millionaire.
Moving from strategic thinking to strategic planning: As you begin to think strategically, you may take notes, or not. You may speak your ideas into a tape recorder. You don't want to lose these creative thoughts and don't depend upon remembering them. Your natural mode will try to close off that creative activity, and you will lose it. When you have done it for years, your mind will learn to stay open all the time. For now use a note pad you can carry around with you or use your smart device, but get it down. You won't at first, thinking you will remember; but after forgetting several good ideas, you will learn to jot them down.
It is so easy when you want to accomplish great things to want to get out a chart and develop a strategy, a plan of action. Don't do it. Make yourself take several days to open your mind and just think creatively. You will be so surprised at how much better your plans will be. Then when you have put your plans on paper, you will notice that there are things you didn't think of. Go and think some more, and then go back to the plan. Think of it like a chess game. Begin to see the next few moves ahead and anticipate all the possible results of each move.
Planning, reflection, evaluation, adjusting is all part of the process of a business that is aimed at success, however you might define that success. Don't skip parts of the process, or you will revert back to your old ways, your old habits, and your old ways of thinking. Your business will suffer if this happens. Be alert to slipping up in small ways. Have someone close at hand who is there just to keep you accountable to your own decisions. Check yourself often. Look in the mirror. There is a song from The Muppet Movie called "Am I a man or a Muppet?" You want to be a Muppet. Muppets are accepted for their off-the-wall ways.
Getting your plans down on paper or on a computer chart is important, but only when your mind is ready. Don't start down an important road without having the necessary tools. You don't have to be perfect at all of this, but you need to be pretty strong. If you start toward planning with bad habits, lack of energy, or without doing your research, it will take you twice as long to reach that target and it is probable that you won't reach it at all. You will meet with frustration and wonder what you did wrong.
Your plan needs to be where you can see it at all times. Actually putting it on chart paper and taping it up on a wall is not a bad idea. Throughout the day or night, you may have an idea that you want to put on the chart for consideration later. Don't let any idea get lost.
Summary: Strategic planning requires strategic thinking. Strategic thinking means thinking smart. To make this happen, you have to understand how your brain processes information. It will help you to work smarter if you are able to open up your whole brain. Figure out how to open your brain. What frees up your thinking? Develop a habit of using all of your senses, as often as you can; talk to yourself, draw pictures, listen to music, or lie down. When you figure out what works for you, go with it for a while, but switch it up before your brain becomes complacent again. Get outside your comfort zone in different ways. Read a strange book, go to a concert that you would not normally attend, or start a new hobby, like growing indoor succulents. The point is to jump into the deep end and wake your brain up.
Once you are thinking effectively or strategically, you will be ready to plan. Your plan is putting the goals in order as steps and ideas that you want to pursue. It will resemble a pathway full of goals and the action needed to reach those goals. Don't worry about putting it into a nice computerized chart. Just put it simply, on big chart paper so you can adjust it at when you see something you did not think of before. Get others to look it over and give you their ideas. You don't have to use them but it might awaken a new line of thought for you. Don't get set and be afraid to move things around, try something new, break out of your mold, or derive a new path. The more creative you get, the closer you will get to that million dollars.
When you get your plan down, work hard to make it happen -- learn and study along the way, discover new things, and broaden your world. Travel, join a club, or take a class and keep yourself involved physically and mentally with whatever is beyond your door. You have to know what people are thinking about, what they are using, what their problems are and to be an entrepreneur who is always growing and expanding the business. If you want your business to stay small, there is nothing wrong with that, but if you want to make millions of dollars, you are going to have to look into the future and read the tea leaves.
Example: Senait had an idea to invent a new kitchen tool. She fashioned a prototype from another tool, applied for a patent, and took it to a local manufacturer to see how he might make it. She worked with him until they had it perfected, but the cost to make it was too much. Senait went home to think. She spent several days thinking while she went for walks, listened to music, and went to visit a nursing home, taking some flowers from her garden. She began to get some ideas about how she might be able to make the tool cheaper. She made a list and then researched some of those ideas. As she researched, she had some friends over who were willing to discuss her ideas.
One of them remembered something from her past, when she had been overseas, that seemed to resonate with Senait. Senait began corresponding with a French chef about her invention, and as she did, she made still more changes. He invited her to visit, and she did. The chef was so impressed with her idea, he offered to let her use his name in her marketing. She offered him a royalty on each one sold once in production. It was a win-win situation. He recommended a manufacturer that made most of his tools and got her in to see the owner.
From there, she got a small business loan to fund the first production and set up her web store taking orders. It wasn't long before stores that sold kitchen supplies from all over the world were in contact with her and ordering. She began to think about diversifying, by using her brand to produce other kitchen products that she improved upon.
1. Any planning you do for your business, to become rich, or to develop a product, will rarely succeed if there is not strategic thinking before the planning. Action without thinking is never a good thing.
2. A quick online study of current brain research is free for the reading, as so much learning is on the Internet. Use what is available to you without costs. You are building equity in yourself.
3. If everyone activated their whole brain, the world would be full of very creative people.
4. If you activate your whole brain, you might be able to accomplish more at your job, in your career, and be able to demand a higher salary.
5. Everything it takes to become a millionaire is free for the taking; opportunity, learning, being creative, and living frugally. It's all about the choices you make each day.