You need to have a vision of the outcome you want. Otherwise, you won’t know when you get there or if you’re getting closer to it. Just like if you have your maps open and you’re only looking at the screen, you know you want to go somewhere, but you don’t have a destination in mind. It’s pointless. Several intricacies play into goal-setting, but they all come down to two things. You need to know your destination, and you need to start moving. Even if you type in the place you want to go into your maps, it won’t know exactly what way you’re facing until you start moving. Then you can course correct.
Having a clear vision of where you want to go does so much more than just letting you know when you get there and knowing you’re getting closer. If you’ve ever read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and thought it sounded woo-woo (to put it in technical terms), then we are in the same place. How crazy does it sound to think about something and then appear in your life because that’s what you’re focused on? Well, that’s why I wanted to know the science behind it. And it’s a game-changer.
Have you ever noticed that when you get a new-to-you car, you start seeing that car everywhere? Or if you’ve been in an argument with someone and you couldn’t think of a witty response, but later in the shower, the best comeback pops in your head? That is our reticular activating system (RAS) at work. Our conscious mind commanded our subconscious mind to search for that witty response, and it didn’t shut off until it was a reality.
That’s the power of having a specific outcome you want to achieve in mind. You program your brain to get to work to find the solution and resources to start making 6 figures a year from your business. It starts noticing opportunities it wouldn’t have otherwise noticed because you didn’t command it to find solutions. That’s the “magic.” Doors seem to automatically open up to you because you are headed in the right direction, and your mind is so much more aware of what it’s trying to accomplish.
Once our final destination is clear, we need to put it into motion. There are a few basic principles that I will outline here to help you ensure success on your entrepreneurial journey.
Deadlines are one of our most powerful tools. Parkinson’s Law tells us that our projects will fill whatever amount of time we allot for them. When I was first starting out, one of my biggest weaknesses was not setting deadlines for tasks. I would make a list of things I needed to do that day, like replying to emails, writing an article, creating a video, guesting on a podcast, etc., but I did not mark out how long each task would take on my calendar. So, it wound up taking me all day regardless of what the tasks were. I learned a lot while writing my book, and that was one of the simplest yet most profound takeaways.
When you have the year-long outcome you’d like for your business, break that down into what you can feasibly do in the next 3 months. Go further and break those down by week. Break the upcoming month down by day and then go one step further. Write out how long each task should take. Chances are, if you haven’t done this before, your time slots may not be right, but the following months will get much more accurate, and you’ll start to feel a new sense of control over your life.
Audit Your Life
Another benefit of these deadlines is having great places to stop and audit what you’re doing. There are tons of tips on productivity, but one main motif runs through the majority of them. Auditing your life. Whether it’s minimalism, the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule), auditing your business, or any other terminology you hear, the main thing is evaluating what is necessary and getting rid of the rest. For your business, take a few minutes out of your week to evaluate what is working, what you can do better, and what is yielding the most significant results. When you do this, hone in on the activities that are giving you the best return on investment and either eliminate or delegate the rest.
Don’t forget to reward yourself for your milestones. Whether we think about it this way or not, the goals we have are always a result of a feeling that we’re longing to have. Whether that is happiness, freedom, peace or any other feeling, that’s why we want our goals. So figure out what that is for you and reward yourself all along the way. This will help keep your motivation up and also keep your life more balanced.
Find a Mentor
The number one key to achieving my goals as an entrepreneur has come from having mentors in my life. One of my favorite quotes is when Warren Buffet said, “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” Why would we want to add years of unnecessary work learning from mistakes when we could save that time and fast-track our success by learning from other people who have already been there? Reach out to people who are a little further down the road than you are. You can find them through creators of valuable content you’ve consumed. Whether that’s a podcaster you love, courses you’ve taken, or whatever means you’ve consumed their information by and found it helpful, and they will be flattered. Reach out to multiple people if need be. That is the number one thing I would have done differently earlier on in my business.
To recap all of this, or if you’re like the majority of blog readers and scroll down to the bottom to see if you agree with the conclusion, then here you go. Take advantage of your psychology by envisioning in great detail exactly what outcome you want. Create deadlines for yourself, stick to them, and don’t make them longer than they need to be. Periodically review which tasks you are doing are giving you the highest ROI and double down on them. Reward yourself along the way, so you don’t lose motivation. And find a mentor or multiple that will help you cut years off of your learning curve so that you can find the success you want in your business much earlier on.