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The Yesterdayā€™s Road Method: How to Write a Business Plan That Turns Potential Failure into Future Success

How to Write a Business Plan

I want to share with you the exact steps to take to achieve your goals and become more successful, both personally and professionally. My unique approach is called “The Yesterday’s Road Method”, and using it to write a business plan has helped me and many of my key clients to avoid failure and achieve success. Are you ready to become more successful? Then get ready to take a trip down Yesterday’s Road.

The Yesterday’s Road method is a major tool in my toolbox of success. I use it to get total clarity over my current situation and to know for certain which actions will lead to the achievement of my goals. Let me give you the background of the idea…

My Yesterday’s Road to Success — Designing the Method

Many years ago, I was running a leasing brokerage called Compass Leasing PLC. The business was built up over a five-year period and became very successful, employing 65 people and earning a healthy profit. .

When I decided to sell up, I made a deal with the purchaser on a one-year earn-out basis. I would receive 1 million pounds up front, plus 1.6 million in shares, and provided I hit the turnover and profit figures over the first year, I would receive an additional 1.6 million pounds after the earn-out period.

Halfway through the earn-out year, we lost a major client, who moved out of the leasing industry. There was a significant risk that we might not hit the earn-out figure, which would have cost me an incredible amount of money, so I gathered my team of five directors and came up with a plan that would help us to hit our targets despite the challenging circumstances.

And So The Yesterday’s Road Method Was Born…

I said to my directors, “Let’s imagine that it’s the 31st of March next year and we have not hit the earn-out figures, and we are not going to get the second tranche of the money.
“We’ve got to really feel this, we’re not going to say, ‘oh well, not to worry, we didn’t do it.’ You’ve got to be angry, upset, you’ve got to be so emotional about it.
“When you’re in that emotional state, write down this statement for me… ‘if only I’d…’ and then follow those three words up with whatever comes into your head during the next half hour.

I sent them off to complete the task, wrote down my own thoughts and we all reconvened thirty minutes later.

The rest of the day was spent writing a business plan that covered every single day between that day and the end of March the following year based on the insights gained from each of us about potential failures that could derail us on the path to success.

From that day onwards, every day when we came into the office, the directors and I would look at the business plan, and the only things we would do each day were the things on that plan.
At the end of the earn-out period, we had soared through the figures, and we got the second tranche of the money — the other 1.6 million pounds. Since then, I have refined the process to make it even more powerful. I’ve been using it now for well over 25 years, and it works.

Getting Started with The Yesterday’s Road Method — How to Write Your Business Plan

The Yesterday’s Road approach to writing a business plan requires ownership, honesty and really feeling the potential positive or negative impact of your future choices.

To start with, sit down and think about the goal you’re trying to achieve. Imagine you’re at the point in the future where you should, could or would have achieved the goal, but imagine that you haven’t.

Get annoyed about it. Get upset about it. Get angry about it — you need to feel whatever emotion comes to mind and gets you focused on the task at hand.

When you’re in that emotional state, write down the words “if only I’d…” then write down everything you should have done because remember, you’re in the future, having not achieved the goal. Think about potential missed opportunities, bad decisions and missteps — write them all down and leave nothing out.

Then when you’re done, relax, change state, maybe get up and walk around, and have a glass of water. When you’re ready, come back to the task at hand.

Now, go forward into the future again, except this time imagine you’re at the point where you should have achieved the goal and the end result is positive.

Say to yourself “yes, I achieved the goal because I…” and write down the positive steps the future you has taken to achieve the goal — the decisions you made, the actions you took and the milestones you reached.

Now you have two versions of the same timeline — you have the away version, a catalyst for action, and the toward version, which leaves a positive impression in your mind.

When you are happy that you have written down all of your potential positive and negative movements, milestones and outcomes, all you need to do is to take those insights and turn them into a prioritised timeline of actions that highlights any potential problems and eliminates them, guaranteeing your future success.

Now all that’s left is to start to take action!



When Can I Use The Yesterday’s Road Method?

You can use The Yesterday’s Road Method to create an actionable plan that will help you achieve any goal — professional, personal or social. You can use it to gain success in business, become fitter or lose weight — whatever it is that you want to do in your life.

The Yesterday’s Road Method will work for you because you know you better than anybody knows you. You know all your inner thoughts, your demons, your angels — everything about you. You know and, therefore, when you ask yourself these two focused questions, your mind will tell you how to overcome the obstacles in your path and achieve the success you deserve.

Here’s the downside of the idea.

The downside of The Yesterday’s Road Method is that it’s so darn good that you don’t have any excuse for not taking action.

Here’s the pitfall…

The only potential pitfall is that you edit your answers to those two vital questions we discussed earlier and limit the insight that they can give you.

That’s the only potential pitfall I’ve ever found, and I’ve shared this for over 25 years with people who’ve taken it away and been amazed at how well it works for them.

Here’s the next step…

All you need to do is take action!

Wishing you every success.

Peter Thomson

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