You have a business idea. Your blood starts pumping and your heart begins pounding. For the first time, you really think this idea is the one – a true possibility for success. Maybe you’ve even come up with a business logo and crunched the numbers. Good for you! This is the excitement of entrepreneurship!
Now, I don’t want to put an end to your happy dance, but as someone who has experienced the heart-pumping excitement of many business ideas, I do want to warn you of something important. You need goals. And I don’t mean any goals; I mean specific, measurable goals.
I’m not going to tell you about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Do a quick Google search and you’ll come upon thousands of blog posts that do that topic justice.
I’m not going to tell you why you should set goals, although I hope it’s obvious to you.
I am going to ask you five simple questions to fuel your excitement as an entrepreneur. Out of these five questions, I hope you begin to shape your business goals. After all, part of your success is directly rooted to your level of excitement and that blood-pumping feeling you can’t push aside.
So, here we go…
Five Questions to Help You Shape Your Business Goals
1. How long have you been dreaming about this idea?
In other words, have you spent time dwelling on your dreams? Have you given your ideas extensive thought? Is this a journey you want to continue for the rest of your life? Does it have long-term potential?
Until you’ve spent time dwelling on your business idea, don’t jump in with two feet. You need a solid foundation of time spent thinking through all of the potential opportunities and risks before you begin hiring, producing, and strategizing.
2. How determined are you to make this idea a reality?
Are you a doer or a dreamer? You can be both, but if you tend to be a visionary with little drive to put your foot to the pedal, you may want to pause for a moment. Much of your success (if not all of it) will come from your own desire to see this dream become a reality. This means you must be ready to give it your all – your time, energy, focus, money, attention, sleep, mind, and life.
In my book Money Mastery, I say, “Entrepreneurs have a total commitment to the business. They have a don’t-quit attitude. They stand strong and work hard even when things get difficult. Be the kind of entrepreneur that looks at every option and keeps pushing ahead.”
3. How much time do you have to devote to this dream?
Are you currently working a 40-hour-a-week job? Do you have little kids at home? How involved are you with other commitments, such as church, school, hobbies, etc?
Out of these questions comes a few more essential ones: do you have the physical space (like an office) to work on this dream? Do you have the money to invest? How will you make up for the time you spend on your business in other areas, like marriage, parenting, and volunteering? Is this a good idea for your family at this time?
These may not be fun questions to answer, but they are important. Be honest with yourself. Only then will you be able to move ahead with confidence and determination.
4. What is the earning potential and is it enough?
Most people don’t like to think about the hard money facts early on. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they dream too big and believe that their earning potential is much beyond reality. So, I ask you: what is your earning potential? And then: is that number large enough to warrant the time, money, and passion you will need to invest?
While money should never be your only motivation, it should be part of the equation. After all, you are going to spend the rest of your life making this dream a reality. It should be worth it – not only for you, but for others as well.
5. Finally, are you a team player?
This seems like a simple question, but I want you to do some soul-searching. In the past, have you found it easy to work with others? Or do you prefer to work alone? Are you a leader or a follower? What is your personality type and does it mesh well with others?
The reality is that you will never be able to pull off your business idea without the support and help of many other people. You will need assistants, encouragers, investors and more. If you’re not able to work with a team and share in the success, your business with flounder. So, like I said, do some soul-searching before you answer this one.
It is my hope that these five questions have opened your eyes and given you much food for thought. And it’s also my hope that out of these five questions, you begin to see where you need to begin setting goals and thinking long-term about your business idea.
To help you, I’ve created a 5-page handout that walks you through the goal-setting process using these five principles. There is room for taking notes, jotting down thoughts, setting real on-paper goals, and keeping yourself accountable. Download it for free immediately by signing up below!
As always, don’t take your role as an entrepreneur lightly. You will spend the rest of your life making this dream a reality. What an honor!