Life Lessons – A 40-Year Plan

Almost forty years ago, I assembled a plan of where I wanted my career to be as I matured throughout my professional years. I know, I know–life never turns out the way you plan it. But try telling that to a 20-something who has overwhelming ambition to blaze his own trail.Ivan at CTS Circa 1982

Right after college, I sat down and wrote out my vision of where I hoped to be as my career progressed. Now, you’ll have to imagine a recent college grad, diploma in hand and ready to take on the world. As I tossed and turned at night, wondering as we all do at that age where my life might end up, I created a list of what I hoped might happen.

Here’s what I came up with:

20’s: The learning years-pay my dues. Be prepared to work crazy long hours and be a sponge for learning.

30’s: Establish myself in a career. Pick a professional lane and move forward.

40’s: The growth years- build my business. Create a reputation. Continue with life-long learning while accelerating the growth of my business.

50’s: Be at the top of my game professionally. Hope to have built a positive professional reputation and a successful business.

60’s (and beyond): Elder Statesman. Spend time working in my flame and providing strategic leadership in my business.

Well, here I am. Today is my 60th birthday and I’ve arrived at the later phase of my list–and I have to say, I’m very excited about it. This life has taken me places I never dreamed I would go; I’ve met people that would forever change it’s course, I’ve seen things that would alter my perspective in profound ways and learned to expect the unexpected. To this day, I’m still amazed how setting a vision helps create a reality.

Today, I look forward to the future.  Thank you to everyone who reads this blog.  I appreciate you very much.

9 thoughts on “Life Lessons – A 40-Year Plan

  1. Happy birthday Mr.Ivan.On this occasion wanted to really appreciate the wonderful business platform and system that you have developed which in my opinion no business school teaches.Givers gain is a wonderful philosophy ….which I can easily relate to.It’s like ‘karma’..”what goes around comes around”..
    I got into BNI hardly 4 months back..still learning the system and process but undergone enormous learning.Really hoping to do good business and perform better in my architectural design profession.May you be blessed with good health,happiness, success and peace.warm rgds sharada

  2. Hi Ivan,

    Wish you a very Happy birthday and many more happy returns of the day. We at BNI learn a lot. You are a source of inspiration and treasure of knowledge. Keep leading us towards success.

  3. Happy Birthday IVAN! I couldn’t agree more with your idea about vision. Had I read this 3 years ago I would have had a different opinion, however today I have prospective. Two years ago, I sat down with Lois Weinblatt with True North Business Development and craft my 3 year vision. By going through the process and staying focused on my goal and dreams, I have seen a 40% increase in my business and have been able to reach goals that I felt were actually 3 to 5 years out in under 2 years. Crafting a realistic yet challenging vision will take you places.

  4. Happy birthday Dr. Misner!
    I’m nearing 60 myself and have been in business for over 25 years. I’ve been in BNI now for one year and it’s inspiration, lessons, and stories like this that have reinvigorated my outlook for the future.
    The organization you’ve built is second to none as it pertains to networking, social skills, and learning. Keep up the great work and set more goals! You are a true inspiration!

  5. Happy Birthday Dr.Ivan,
    No one has influenced my life and business as the way you did.
    Great to be a part of this wonderful concept called BNI !!

  6. Happy Birthday Dr. Ivan!! BNI has not just brought positive changes and growth to our businesses but also to our personal lives.

  7. Thank you Dr Misner, thank you for time and your knowledge, I have learned a tremendous amount from you in the past year. Take a long lunch and enjoy your birthday. Most importantly spend this time with those you love. JP #gwinning

  8. Hi Ivan,
    I’m an advocate – no risk there. The BNI model is a fantastic mechanism for getting your business heading up, up, up!!
    I enjoyed this short, sharp video and the message it contained. Again, simple, sensible advice.
    I do have a question though. But first, some background to put my question into the right perspective.
    I had worked as a Manager in companies involved various industries for over 20 years. I have met some of the shrewdest Business Owners along the way and like the greedy “child” I was, I absorbed so many lessons on good management practice.
    March 2019 I was informed by my Employer that my position was no longer tenable for the company during a transition from father to son. So, I decided to start my own business as a Consultant and Network facilitator (not being sinister here but it was fertile ground for new BNI members, as well). It has in the ensuing 9 months taken on several iterations as requests for my services have broadened – copywriting, coaching and so on. I have now become something of a “jack of all trades” and frankly, I’m loving it. My first goal of “survival” at the first anniversary seems to be on point.
    So, onto my question. As I am now 58 years of age, the “R” word is now more present in planning. Given the relatively short existence of my business, is there any particular thought I should give to help accelerate the sustainability of the business? Even if I were to set an end time of 70 years of age (I’m fit and healthy), I don’t believe this would be enough time to make the business an attractive proposition for a buyer.
    I should add that I live in a regional city of 130k population in Far North Queensland, Australia (would be a wonderful location for a world conference IMHO).
    I have set the date in my calendar to post my progress through 2020 and I wish you and yours a prosperous new decade.

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