It’s easy to think that super successful business owners, the likes of Bill Gates, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, were just born to achieve greatness. But the truth is, great leaders aren’t just born that way; they’ve learnt how to be successful. The ONE thing they have in common that makes them so successful is that they have a goal… a vision… or a ‘WHY’ as Simon Sinek describes in his best-selling book, Start with Why.
What’s YOUR Why?
Here are the million dollar questions: WHY are you in business, and WHAT do you want to achieve from your business? In short, what is the ultimate goal for you and your business? Many business owners I come across have either forgotten what their big goal is, had no idea in the first place, or the goal is so vague and woolly that they find it hard to actually tell me, let alone write it down!
So perhaps it is no surprise that these very same people often go round in circles with their business – with stagnant sales, profits eroded by ever increasing costs, and a team without focus or direction. As the saying goes, “you get what you focus on,” so if you focus on nothing, then guess what? That is exactly what you’ll get.
What do we need to change to achieve success?
Well, the answer is actually extremely simple. As Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote in their song for the musical South Pacific, called Happy Talk, “You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”
Your first step to having what you want is to know what it is you want to have – in other words, CLARIFY YOUR DREAM. This could be something that is potentially a long way in the future – maybe even 10 years away, and something that is big and challenging and even a bit scary too. Jim Collins calls this your BHAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
Whilst this seems simple, for some, dreaming big is extremely difficult, especially as an adult. Society has taught us to be ‘realistic’, to avoid disappointment. Coupled with real-life disappointments, we settle for mediocrity and lose that childlike ability to dream BIG.
Creating your dream business
To help identify your big dream, try this exercise. Take a pen and paper, sit somewhere quiet for a few minutes and carry out the following exercise:
Imagine that you could not fail, you had unlimited resources of time, money, and people, and the only criteria was to make your business the best it could possibly be. What would your dream business (and life!) look like? Be specific! Think about:
- Where would it be located?
- What clients would you have?
- What would your team be like?
- How much money would you be making?
- What would you be doing with that money?
- How many hours would you be working?
- What would you be doing with your spare time?
When you have that real level of clarity for your dream, you need to write it down in detail, and the more detail the better. If you are artistic, draw a picture, or create a visual image, or dream board. If you are auditory, then tape your description.
Then when you are done, share your dream with somebody. You will know if you have succeeded, when you get the reply, “WOW, that’s great, I can really understand where you are going and why you would want to do that!” If you feel embarrassed sharing this with friends and colleagues, then either get better friends and colleagues, or get yourself a coach or mentor who will encourage you to achieve your dreams.
Now you know what your dream is, the next step is to set goals or milestones, which will add a timeframe in the journey towards your ultimate destination. Again, you need to write down these goals and make sure that they are SMARTie goals, i.e:
- Inspiring; and
If you have very big goals, you will of course need to break them down into smaller chunks in order to achieve them – you can’t eat an elephant in one sitting! Break your goals, plans and actions down into shorted timeframes:
- 12 months
- 90 days
- Weekly, and
These goals should all to be documented, referred to and updated on a regular basis. Think of your daily/weekly action plan as your training programme, exactly like a top sportsperson would have. They know that if they follow their plan every day, for the time that they have set, they will achieve their goals, and the same is true for you and your business goals.
If you think that you don’t need to write down your goals and plans, then please think again! The subconscious mind is vastly more powerful than the conscious mind, and it carries out 95% of our daily activities without us really being aware of them. Without clear goals, plans and actions, it’s easy for your subconscious mind to slip back into its old programming. Keep reminding yourself of your big goal – write it down, and look at it every day!
The final step
The final step is to take action, because after all, “positive thought without positive action leads to positively nothing”. So go on – dream big, aim for the stars, and even if you only reach the moon, at least you will have achieved more than most people ever do!
Ready to start?
If you’re ready to make the changes that will take you business to the next level of success, talk to us! We’ve worked with hundreds of business owners to help them achieve their dreams. Book your complimentary coaching session HERE and take the first step to the business you always dreamed of!