Snowboarding isn’t Olympian Shaun White’s only passion these days. He’s involved in so many different projects in fact, that in 2011, he created Shaun White Enterprises as a way to consolidate all of his business interests. He lends his name—maybe “leases” is more like it—to clothing lines and snowboarding accessories. He recently produced a documentary about himself. He plays lead guitar in a band called “Bad Things.” He’s the owner of an Air & Style Show franchise. Oh, and he still competes in snowboarding competitions.

His secret to soaring success both on and off the slopes? A good strategy.

“The whole strategizing thing is what does it for me,” White told Elizabeth Weil in an interview for The New York Times. “That’s what I do on the hill. I’m always thinking: Well, if this could happen, then that could happen. It’ll leave me in this position, it’ll create these opportunities.”

The same is true for the writing life. In addition to a little serendipity, a life of words benefits from having a blueprint that envisions how each piece fits together. If my goal is simply to write, I could spend a lifetime of words on just my own blog writing whatever I wish. In fact, if I don’t even want an audience, I could buy a journal and get to work. But if I would like to have some readers, amass a few publishing credits, earn an income, or possibly hit the bestseller list, then I need a strategy.