So you have this very awesome dream, which, you envisage, achieving will catapult you through the skies of success. But you have not really been able to spell “it” out. When asked what your passion is, what drives you, you mumble and stutter, not because you do not have “something” planned (in a way, in your head), but because you cannot clearly define what this thing is. It is vague, hazy, fuzzy, difficult for you to communicate, and not so coherent.
The necessity of having goals whether generally, or as entrepreneurs, cannot be overstated. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus defines “goal” as the end toward which effort is directed or aim. Without a goal, you are nothing more than a rudderless ship tossed about on the oceans of everyday living. A goal provides you with an end towards which to direct your efforts. When you lack goals, your energy, focus and attention will be dissipated on any random thing that calls for your attention.
As an entrepreneur, having a goal is necessary. You might have a vague idea about what you want to do and achieve, but you must be able to articulate it clearly. Goals are action steps. Remember my last post about the importance of taking action? Well, before you can take action, I mean purposeful action, you must have goals towards which your action is geared.
Not only should you have goals, but your goals should be, what is termed, S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound (there are several little variations to the meaning of this mnemonic, but they all border on the same concept). It is best to break your goals down to objectives. These little short term objectives will help you accomplish the larger long term goals. Why is this so important? So that you do not get discouraged by your seemingly impossible dreams! So many individuals get started on projects which they never bring to completion, because, gradually, their initial enthusiasm gets blown away by the harsh winds of reality. Breaking down goals into smaller objectives to accomplish on a daily basis is the best way to build momentum and develop commitment to the task at hand. As you accomplish these objectives, you become more and more motivated to take on increasingly arduous challenges. Do not start off making the process unnecessarily complicated. Your approach should be step by step. The idea is to execute each step of the process continuously and without fail. Remember that your goals should be reaching, but attainable, creative, but realistic, advanced, but specific. A quote by J.K. Rowling goes thus, “Achievable goals are the first step to self-improvement.” Crystallize your goals, make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline.
When you follow the trend of goals set by world bodies and organizations, you will notice something – they all have deadlines. The Millennium Development Goals had a deadline. The Sustainable Development Goals have a deadline. Your goals should have a deadline. This does not mean that if you are unable to meet up with the deadline, you have failed. However, deadlines give you this sense of urgency, this sense of purpose, this focus that helps you get rid of distractions and dillydallies.
Think it and “Ink it”
Write them down! A Chinese proverb says, “The palest ink is better than the best memory”. There is something about putting things down on paper that I love to preach. The effort you exert in writing that thing down underscores its importance to you. Write down your goals, on paper or on a whiteboard, whatever your preference is, and look at it every day. “People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine”, said Brian Tracy.
You have the permission to dream big, think big, scheme big and live big!
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE TO NIGERIANS