The mosquito in the nudist colony is thinking, "I know what to do, I just don't know where to begin." As business owners, we might have a similar experience, either not knowing where to begin, or not knowing what to do next to take our business to maturity. We have so little time - prioritizing what to do next is critical to our success.
How do we know what to do next? Frankly, there is no way to know unless we have the end game clearly in mind. Without it, we're shooting a gun in the woods and calling it bear hunting. Or my favorite - "he who aims at nothing hits it every time."
How do we understand the importance of tying each day to our future? If we focus on just today, we claim victories that are only imposters. If we focus too much on the future, we get fogged or discouraged by the lack of measurable progress today.
The key - always keep today's action plans and our future Ideal Situation in clear view at the same time, and continuously make the connection between the two.
Here's the progression that clearly gives us that connection:
- Lifetime Goals - what are the things I want to do the rest of my life that I can never check off? This is why I'm alive and why I do business. I'm using my business to get me to my lifetime goals. If I don't know my Lifetime Goals, I've got no clue why I'm in business. Get clarity on your Lifetime Goals - it is foundational to understanding how today matters.
- Ideal Situation - FYI - Retirement is a bankrupt idea. Don't retire, just get into an Ideal Situation for living out your Lifetime Goals - it's a lot more fun, meaningful, and purposeful. And you don't have to wait until your 63. You can arrive at your Ideal Situation at 40 or much earlier if you're intentional about it.
Critical to escaping the Mosquito/Nudist Colony problem - WHEN do I want to be at that Ideal Situation? Pick an exact date and work toward it (he who aims at nothing...)
- Business Maturity Date - usually the same as your Ideal Situation. Pick it - work toward it.
- At maturity, what revenue does my business need to generate so I can buy my Ideal Situation in which I can best live out my Lifetime Goals?
- How much time and money do I need in my Ideal Situation? What kind of house, car, boat, plane will I need? Do I have a non-profit or am I working in one? Is travel important? What revenue does my business need to generate over the next 5 years to get me to my Ideal Situation? Over the next 3 years? Over the next year? Knowing this is a huge step toward knowing how today fits into the rest of my life.
- One-Page Business Strategy - what do I need to do the next 12 months to get closer to a mature business?
- Vision, Mission - the big picture for why I'm in business and what my mission is as a business person.
- Strategies - the ways in which I make money (building websites, developing ISP software, etc.) THREE YEARS
- Objectives - The measurable waypoints for the next 12 months, next 3 months, next month - 12 MONTHS
- Action Plans - The actual actions I need to take each week/month/quarter to get to the one year waypoint, on my way
to developing a mature business, that can support my Ideal Situation, so I can focus on my Lifetime Goals. It all
comes together here.
If we know our Lifetime Goals, those goals we can never check off, and most importantly, WHEN we want to be in our Ideal Situation for living out those lifetime goals, we can then back into what we need to be doing tomorrow to get there. If you don't know what the end game looks like, what in the world are you doing in business in the first place?
Continuously connecting your daily activity and your Lifetime Goals is the key to clarity and to knowing if each day is counting. Don't be a mosquito in a nudist colony. Know what to do, where to begin, and what to do next. Connect your daily activity to your Lifetime Goals and watch the fireworks begin.
The Crankset Group