As a coach, I find it difficult to watch the lack of progress of so many promising entrepreneurs and coaches. The main cause for this disappointment is a lack of action.
They dream so elaborately and for so long about creating a solid, sustainable business, and yet, all they do is dream.
You know the people I’m talking about. They attend conferences, sign up for free webinars, buy paid training, and sometimes even work with a coach or two.
And yet week after week, month after month, year after year, they fail to take any concrete action toward their dreams.
Is this because they’re just lazy? No. It’s something worse.
They don’t know how to move from a dream to a plan that’s keeping them stuck in their current situation.
If you’ve ever been on a job interview and were asked “Where do you want to be five years from now?” you might have thought it an odd question.
In reality, they were probably checking to see if you had a plan for your future in mind that fit with their plans for someone starting out with their company.
As a business owner, looking ahead to where you will be in five years might just be the most important consideration you can have.
Without knowing where you’re headed in the long term, it’s impossible to create a map to get there.
You need to know what your destination is, so that every day, week, month, and year you can check your progress to be sure you’re still headed in the right direction.
Create SMART Goals
Just as you wouldn’t leave home for trip without making travel plans, you shouldn’t start your business without clear goals set in advance.
To help you get a great start on planning your goals properly, I’ve made this short video presentation on setting SMART goals:
Once you know your ultimate destination, you can draft a plan for getting there, and create the interim goals that will help you stay on track.
For example, if in five years you want to be free to travel for 8 weeks every year, then you need to have a few pieces in place before that can happen:
- Enough income to cover travel costs
- Passive income to cover your costs while you’re not working
- A staff who can manage the business while you’re away
With this list, you can then work backwards from your five-year goal, and create milestones along the way.
If you know you’ll need to earn $150,000 annually in order to fund your travel plans, and right now you’re earning $60,000, then reasonable milestones for increasing your annual income might look like this:
- Year 1: $70,000
- Year 2: $85,000
- Year 3: $105,000
- Year 4: $125,000
- Year 5: $150,000
With these milestones in place, it’s much easier to figure out exactly what you need to do to achieve them, by setting monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Chunking Down Your Goals
If you say to someone, you need to move from $60,000 to $150,000 in five years, that’s a pretty overwhelming task. After all, it’s a 1 ½ times increase and most people will look at that and immediately dismiss it as impossible.
But when you break it down into manageable steps as above, and then again into smaller steps, it suddenly doesn’t look so daunting.
In the first year of the plan we have outlined above, your annual income needs to only increase by $10,000. That’s less than $1000 per month.
Surely that’s easy enough to accomplish!
You can further break that down by week: $1000 per month is just $250 per week.
Depending on your source of income, you could even break it down to the daily amount. If you were planning to keep your weekends free, that would be $50 per day.
If you make a profit of $100 per sale, by making one sale every other day, you’ve already reached your milestone.
That might mean sending one more email to your list, or investing an additional $20 per month in Facebook ads, or perhaps reaching out to one more JV partners.
The point is, reaching this much smaller goal is far easier than thinking about that five-year ultimate goal amount.
You can also check your progress and make adjustments much more easily as well.
So what’s your big dream? How can you deconstruct it into achievable milestones, workable goals, and finally, daily and weekly tasks?
If you can do this (and you definitely can) then you can achieve anything in business and in life.
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