Hello SOTGC community,
Many business owners buy into the false belief that the more priorities they have, the more accomplished they are. Not true at all. In fact, if you have more than three set priorities for your business you have too many. When someone asks me, “What are the priorities for my business,” the first three things that come to mind are profitability, innovation, and growth. Knowing everything that you want to accomplish in life is good, but it shouldn’t take up too much of your time orchestrating a plan. Living out your goals day to day is the surest way to get on the road to success and stay on it.
As a business owner it’s important to stay open to ideas that are appealing, but be sure they match your current business goals. Planning ahead can sometimes blur your priorities and keep you stuck getting there instead of being there. The nature of entrepreneurship is one of constant change, and a five-year plan leaves little room for that. When opportunity knocks you have to be prepared, and if an opportunity doesn’t knock, you have to be prepared to create one.
“Success is only another form of failure if we forget what our priorities should be.” ~Harry Lloyd
For twelve years I worked in corporate banking, knowing every day that eventually I wanted to have my own business. As I moved from department to department, I watched, listened, and learned from some of the best leaders at three of the largest banks. As a young female learning the ropes within the male-dominated financial world, I knew this was a valuable education in itself. Each day was part of a bigger plan in creating my future as an entrepreneur. I stretched myself to the limit every day, stayed true to my goals, and made sure everything did equip me for the future. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is wasted effort. Stay alert, on top of your game, and be ready to step out on your own when the opportunity arrives.
The future is sooner than you think
Ten years ago it was acceptable to have a five- to ten-year plan for your future, but today’s technology and innovative advances have changed the game of how short the future is. Today, the scale for future goals has been shortened to one to five years and is shrinking fast. If you’re still working on a five-year plan, the reality is that by the time your plan comes to fruition, your entire business idea could be obsolete. There’s no time for putting your dreams on hold to support someone else’s. It’s fine to do what you can until you can do what you want, but to move to the next step you have to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself some tough questions: Is what I’m doing now helping or hurting my future? What is stopping me from starting a business right now? Making up your mind to do it is only half of the battle. Putting action behind your idea and taking responsibility for your results are the only way you’re ever going to make it a reality. Here are two major steps to take to get your future started today.
Create a real vision of your future:
- Believe that you can achieve what you want. Believing in yourself is what motivates you to move forward. Begin to actually visualize yourself where you want to be and know that you can do it. Tunnel vision is key here, don’t let outside influences lead you to stray from your dreams.
- You must know what your big picture is and what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you know what your vision for your future is you’ll be guided as to what steps you need to take to get you closer to your future goals.
- Create a vision board. A physical daily reminder of what you’re working towards will inspire you to keep moving. Seek a mentor or even a business coach to help guide you and keep you on the right path to meet your goals.
Make real moves towards your future:
- Once you have established what exactly it is that you want to do, you should make a list of goals to support your vision. Start conditioning your mind to think positive thoughts and avoid negative thoughts. Avoid weak goals that are meaningless or don’t support your goal.
- For every goal you set, you should have an action that you’re doing now to help accomplish that goal. This is the step that makes a dream a reality. Start creating strategies related to your future goals and objectives. Make every day count towards your future. Don’t just get through each day. Use where you are and what you’re doing as a learning tool to gain knowledge or experience that you can use in the future.
- Set a start date. It’s okay if you have to change it; the important thing is to put a time frame on your goals. You will be able to gauge where you are at and what needs to be added or taken away. Also, setting a start date motivates you to work more diligently at gaining the skills and tools you will need to be successful.
The first 20% of a task usually accounts for 80% of the value of that task. Once you focus on your priorities and begin working on them, the first 20% of the time you spend strategizing to achieve them will account for 80% of your success. When setting priorities, always focus on the first 20%, and then the 80% will flow smoothly.
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