I have always been the type to plan ahead. From a young age, I got into the habit of writing down my goals before figuring out how to achieve them. It didn’t surprise me to learn that almost all of the most successful entrepreneurs I have met do the same.
In my life, I have created some ambitious goals but recently, I was inspired to think even bigger. This happened after I visited the office of a business contact of mine. She had one on her wall a figure — 1 million dollars.
I asked this contact, “Is that your goal for the year?”
“For this month.”
This encounter reminded me that you can always aspire to achieve more.
However, you will never reach that $1 million, or even a $10,000 goal without the right knowledge and without taking real action.
It’s not enough just to dream it
Dreaming is the easy part. Achieving your dreams is the real challenge, particularly if you don’t know where to start.
Once you know what you want, the next thing to do is break down your gigantic plans into small, practical, achievable parts that you can work on each day.
Let’s say you dream of earning $1 million for this month from your business, but your current income is only $10,000. Unless something miraculous happens, this kind of jump isn’t going to happen overnight, over even in 30 days.
So instead of having a $1 million dream for this month, make it your dream for two, three or five years’ time. For now, set your goal to grow revenue by 10, 15 or 20 per cent over the next 30 days.
Next, decide what you are going to do to achieve growth. You may want to build your network first by setting meetings with potential customers or business partners over coffee. You can also research materials or technologies that will optimise your business and bring down costs.
Set yourself specific tasks and hold yourself accountable, or find a buddy who will remind you to stay on track.
You have the plan, now get the knowledge
Knowledge is power, especially when put into action.
As a small business owner who is dreaming big, you’ll find investing in your education is never a wasted effort. Sometimes when you’re too absorbed in running your business every day, professional development may feel like a luxury. This is one of the biggest misconceptions for most entrepreneurs. As shared by Forbes, continuing your education is crucial for entrepreneurs as it opens up networking opportunities, increases your ability to work with people from different backgrounds and builds your skills as a leader.
My advice to all business owners who have big goals is to never stop learning. Gather information from seasoned tycoons, coaches, and other entrepreneurs. The great thing about the world today is that you don’t have to enrol in hugely expensive (and often outdated) university programs. There are so many ways to boost your knowledge and grow your business without having to spend a fortune.
As the saying goes — the more you learn, the more you earn!
It’s time to delegate
To achieve your goals and progress your business, you need to start delegating. Yes, it can be tricky to get started (many entrepreneurs prefer to do all the work because they lack trust in people – this mindset is WRONG), but once you put the right systems and processes in place you will finally free yourself up to focus on the next steps.
Nothing great was ever achieved by one person! If you spend too much time on tasks that others can do, you will end up exhausted so find great people and make it worth their while to help you grow your business.
Some of the things you can delegate to start off with include:
- Diary management
- Repetitive tasks like product labelling
- Digital marketing
- Invoicing and accounts payable
“What if I fail?”
Failure is an essential process for success as it teaches you valuable lessons.
Consider Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma. He applied for Harvard ten times and was never accepted… and he didn’t even make the cut when he applied for a job at KFC! Despite his early failures, he is now China’s richest man, with a net worth of over $37.4 billion!
Failure, on some levels, is inevitable. After all, none of us is perfect. What is most important is to learn from your failures and leverage your experiences for future success. As long as you have a goal, take action, learn, and delegate, you are making progress.
At the end of the month, if you haven’t made that $1 million or if you have fallen short of your other goals, sit back and take a look around. It is likely you will have pulled off some incredible things so congratulate yourself and start planning for next month!
Remember: You will never know what you are capable of until you try. Start with one small goal…
You’ll find advice on how to create strategies to grow your business and live the life you have been dreaming of at our next 52 Ways seminar, which is coming soon to a city near you.