Start with a Dream, End with a Goal…
If you are looking for a plugin named ‘Entrepreneur’, your search has come to an end. Not because you can find it here but there is no such plugin to install and wait for the magic to happen. An Entrepreneur is the one who chooses to face problems and reality over shortcuts. It takes an enormous amount of hard work, and with time those problems start turning into opportunities in reality. At every point, you have a decision to make and the right choice helps you grow, refine things and sort out variables. These hacks below will help you to keep on track.
The movies, the poetry, and the seminars say to “dream big dreams.” I think they are right — we should always be dreaming. Dreaming is a sign you have hope. Dreaming is a sign you still think you can win. Dreaming keeps you young.
We wake up in the morning and have two ideas over coffee, three more on our morning run, and six more dreams/ideas in the shower, and we haven’t even gotten to work yet. Dreaming is the lifeblood of people and organizations that are alive and thriving. If you haven’t been dreaming lately about something new, something huge, and something better, this is your reminder to start.
You can’t just have dreams, you have to do something about making them happen. You must get up, leave the cave, hunt something down, kill it, drag it back to the cave, cook it, and then you get to eat. Roast duck does not fly in the window precooked.
You must hunt the duck, kill the duck… you get the idea. I am amazed at the number of people I meet who think they get a pass — that they have found a formula for making roast duck fly and fly into their window. Nope, the process starts with waking up early one morning and dreaming of ducks and how great they taste.
Vision is the ability to see. When someone goes blind, we say he lost his vision, and that is true in
life as well. Helen Keller said, “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.” Being able to “see” is a skill that must be present or developed in an Entrepreneur.
With no vision in your organization, you perish… die… roadkill… dead chicken in the sun. Perish. You can’t make payroll, your “team” becomes just “employees,” morale goes down, turnover goes up, sales go down.
I have watched lots of businesses fail for this reason only. They blamed other things that were all really just symptoms when the real problem was the loss of, or lack of, vision.
You have to share your vision with your team early and often. It is impossible to talk about it too much.
I have seen too many mission statements on company walls and in brochures that looked more like a wish list or a history lesson of how they used to be but the true mission of the company differs. In other words, they were not true or didn’t ring true. Companies that have lost their soul, their real reason for being, cannot fix that by merely putting together some internal committees to develop a mission statement. So to me, a mission statement was often too bogus to have credibility.
Goals are visions and dreams with work clothes on. This is where we leave the theory and go to the practical. This is the stage where we leave the strategic and go to the tactical. Enough talking — it is time to kill something! Goals force practical steps into your life to make your dreams come true. We have dreamed the impossible dream, clarified it into a vision, and directed it with our mission statement, so now it is time to do something. Goals are the heavy lifting and cause the heavy lifting to occur. Goals convert vision into energy. When you lay out exactly what you want to do in detail, you immediately start feeling the room move and the earth shake. You are pulled into your new life like some scene from a movie.
Goals Must Be Specific and Goals Must Be Measurable Goals cannot be vague.
Vague goals are not goals; they are dreams and wishes, and you don’t want to end up being one of those dreamers who do nothing. You can’t simply say I want to lose weight; that is not specific enough. You can’t say you want to be better educated; that is not measurable or specific. “I want to make more money” is a dream and won’t happen, because while “more.
money” is measurable, it is not specific. So you should set goals by saying things such as:
1. I want to lose thirty pounds.
2. I want a waist that is four inches smaller.
3. I want to make $100,000 per year.
4. I want a college degree in ________.
5. I want to have dinner with six couples.
Each of these goals is specific and measurable. One of the powers of goal setting is that it pulls you toward your goals because they are clearly set before you. Properly set goals can be put on the front of your refrigerator or on the whiteboard at the office, giving all who see them the ability to measure your progress. Measurable progress is called traction. When you can observe your movement toward your goals, it pumps you up.
Goals Must Be in Writing
For some reason, this last component is the one where everyone drops the ball. It sounds good to put your goal in writing, but almost no one does. And the correlation is clear: almost no one wins. Winners are so strange that we admire them deeply. With very few exceptions winners have written goals. It is almost impossible to accomplish something big without a written blueprint.
Don’t ask your team to set goals when you have none.
With our company, we come up with a big project or a big vision, then get everyone excited about it. Their excitement, their buy-in, causes them to automatically start seeing their part.
I think there is something more important than believing: Action! The world is full of dreamers, there aren’t enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision. — W. Clement Stone
4. Time Management
As you grow in responsibilities and go through different phases of life.
Do you still cut your own grass but hate it?
You should set a financial goal to stop that very soon. What do you want to spend your life energy doing?
Are you still answering the business phone personally, still doing the bookkeeping, still typing your own letters, still booking your own travel, or still vacuuming the office?
I have done every one of these things and I am not too stuck up or proud to do them now, but I have learned that typing these pages, or speaking,
A very simple but time-honored method to manage your day before it begins is the prioritized to-do list. Each morning make a list of activities
that need to be done today. Then look at the list and ask yourself which items must be done today. Put an “A” beside each one. Then look at the remaining activities and ask yourself what should be done very soon (and today would be nice). Put a “B” beside those. The remaining activities get a “C” and are great ideas that if not moved up to a B or A within a couple of weeks should be delegated or put in an idea file. Now look at all the A items and ask what is the most important single item or activity that must be done today — and if that’s all you get done, have you done the correct thing?
When you have your day carefully planned, it gives you a plumb line, a guidance, and measurement mechanism to evaluate interruptions and a place to come back to after the interruption if it was warranted.
We’ve progressed from dreams to visions, to a mission statement, to goals, and now to managing each of your hours and minutes to cause those to happen. Remember that even if this information seems very elementary and basic to you but as you teach it to your children and/or your team, this information will seem revolutionary to them. I challenge you to bring fresh life to your new business by walking through this process. Try this time-management approach for ninety days without stopping. I can make you the promise that you will see a new level of traction and