“When it is obvious that your goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust your actions”. Confucius
If you have a burning desire to succeed and have had it for many years and have still not achieved your goals, it’s usually because of one of four things.
Most people are very vague about their intentions. “I just want to be successful.” What does success mean to you? Each person has a different idea of what success means to them. Using vague words to describe your future isn’t very helpful.
Being specific in designing your dreams is crucial because without a clear understanding of where you want go, and how you are going to get there. It’s like asking your voice activated GPS, “take me to a restaurant”. It will be utterly confused. If it could, it would ask you, what type of restaurant, in which city, town or region and at what price level? Many of us set our goals this way, and then we wonder why we never achieve our dreams.
Rather than saying, “I just want my business to succeed,” a more useful response would be. If you already own a business, your objective would be, I will earn a gross income of $10,000 a month from my business by the end of this year. What is important here is the amount of money (if that’s your goal) and a timeline. Now you have to figure out how you are going to do it.
While most people will tell you to start with the end in mind. This approach is helpful but not useful. Do you have the resources and the strategies to be able to earn $10,000 a month by the end of the year? The best approach is to work backward from your objective. Now you have to figure out how to achieve it.
For instance. If I own a retail store, and I’ve earned on average $5,000 a month. I have to figure out what needs to happen for me to reach $10,000 a month. So how much do I need to sell to earn 10,000/month? If I know my average sale is $100. That means I need to sell 1,000 items each month; that’s 33 items a day for an average month.
Questions you should ask, “is that possible the way we do business right now?” If it isn’t, what then must happen to increase sales to that level? You can take many different approaches. You can have a promotion, or consider expanding your business into another area. Or introduce new products, sales techniques. Maybe you can start selling online rather than just focusing on your local community. This is where you have to begin to get creative and think of ways you can change your business.
You don’t have to come up with all the ideas yourself. You could spend some time researching, looking at what the most successful competitors are doing in your industry and learn from them. That may help you understand what YOU need to do to achieve the success you want.
So what happens if you embark on a new strategy, and you don’t reach your goal in the time you allocated. That’s ok. You don’t change your goal you change your actions. In this instant gratification world, we do have a tendency to expect results immediately. Unfortunately, this attitude is not going to serve you if you want to start a successful business.
I’m reminded of a wonderful story I heard when I was a kid. It was the story of a gold miner. This miner had heard stories of other miners going to California during the gold boom and striking it rich. So this person moved to California to become a miner. He had been working leases for years. While other miners had struck it rich; he kept slogging away just earning enough money to keep him going. It was as though the universe was teasing him enough to cause him to stay but enough to make him rich.
In his final attempt, he purchased a mining lease near another successful mine. After six months of small finds, he was nearing the end of his determination. He shared his story of frustration with another young miner. The young miner felt sorry for him and purchased his mine lease. The old miner was pleased to be rid of his lease and returned home to his family. On arriving home, he heard that the miner who purchased his mine found one of the biggest gold finds in that region. The old miner had only been days away from richness beyond his wildest dreams.
The moral of the story is many people give up too early, often just before they start to make it big.
One thing that I’ve found helpful is to have milestones. Bill Gates, says; “many people give up because they set their goals too high.” Therefore, it’s better to have milestones in the short term and then to adjust your long-term goals if you need to. There is nothing wrong with adjusting your goals. If you realize that reaching the $10,000 sales by the end of the year is not going to work, you adjust the timeline. But before you decide on your dream, it is important to know what matters to you.
Most of us have these ideas of our dreams without thinking about what matters to us most. Your goals should reflect your values. If one of your top three values is freedom, then this will determine the sort of business you might want to choose. If freedom is important, sitting in a store, day in day out, may not be your thing. If security is one of your top three values, then investing in the sharemarket as your business may not work for you either.
I strongly encourage to do a values analysis. Here’s a link to an excellent website that has a value analysis tool. Write down those things that are important to you. Don’t try and rationalise each one. Follow the instructions to learn your values
Of all the ones, you’ve marked choose your top three. It is helpful to let you life partner or your best friend do the same for you. And then you can compare your answers to theirs and figure out which are indeed most important to you. The final step is to understand the reasons why you want to achieve success. What is the reason your are pursuing your dreams.
Without a good reason, (Tony Robbins calls it a strong enough why) then it is hard to maintain the enthusiasm to achieve your success when things get tough. Whatever you choose should become the reason for your existence. Many of us are driven by a desire to do something for our children, our families. Or just to prove to ourselves we can do it. Many of us have a strong to desire to make a difference, to make the world a better place for the planets future. Whatever your reason is for you, write it down.
An incredible entrepreneur I met many years ago had experienced working for several very difficult and offensive employers. She had a burning desire to never have to work for a difficult manager ever again and to do the best she could to make workplaces better. So she started a personnel company. She’d only work with companies she liked and trusted and would never place an individual with a difficult employer. Furthermore, she started coaching middle and senior managers of large companies on how to manage their employees. This was her future, her reason for being
Take some quiet time and think about your future, your reason for being; make this is a must for you. And write it down.
Finally, it’s very tempting just to write down your goals and hope that the universe, God, whatever it is for you will put you on the path to your dreams.
Unfortunately, you can live in hope for a very long time. Until you take action, nothing will change. It is amazing how the stars align, the path becomes clear, you meet the people you need. You unexpectedly find the opportunities you’ve been waiting for to help you achieve your goals.
Don’t live in hope. Take action, because that’s what separates successful entrepreneurs from dreamers. Take action by writing down what is important to you, your values, and then based on this knowledge write down your dreams. Make it specific and clear and write it as if it is happening now. Don’t make it a wish, make it a must.
On your journey, you will encounter roadblocks, to get around these roadblocks and continue your journey you need to have strong enough reasons. Write those reasons down (you only need your top three) and look at them every time you feel frustrated, or angry or feel like giving up.
And don’t forget: It’s never too late to achieve your life’s dream.
Good luck on your journey.