I had a dream - but it was on Elm Street....
You are an entrepreneur because you love freedom. You value freedom so much you are afraid that any kind of commitment to a plan will shackle you, clip your wings, strip away your entrepreneurial spirit, destroy your soul and will to live.
“I am William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?” – Poor old William got drawn and quartered - because in real life you need more than courage and a dream...
The reality is - it is strategic planning that sets you free. Not just you, but your whole organization. It’s the daily grind of, micromanaging unfocused staff that are running around like headless chickens, putting out fires, often with gasoline (apologies David Bowie), and the constant ducking and diving to dodge the daily curve balls thrown at you by a hostile market environment, that handcuffs you, limits your business’s growth and prevents everyone from taking initiative and contributing more toward achieving success. With your eyeballs firmly focused on the short term and no time or plan for the long term, you have little chance of success.
You need to look up…. And ahead! No matter how big or small your enterprise is - you need a strategy. Here’s why: a clear strategy gets everyone, and that means your spouse and partner also, going in the same direction and keeps everyone moving in that direction, making progress toward your business goal and reaching for your dream!
By now I have you worried, but don’t be worried - you don’t need a MBA or have KPMG on a retainer. It is simple … You just need a dream, the habit of planning, a large sheet of paper, a HB pencil and an eraser.
This means - put your dream and goals down on paper, clear your head and start planning, plan all the time, plan on Monday to make plans on Tuesday to change the plans you made last Wednesday, because running a small business is a highly fluid situation... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
It’s human to daydream about bigger and prettier things. Our consciousness gets flooded everyday with social media nonsense from self help gurus that tell us to believe in the impossible. That dreams come true if screamed loud enough it into the wind ... at dusk ... on a deserted beach ... in the tropics....... "BELIEVE"
However, if you chant it everyday, like a mantra, and you add a strategy, objectives and a plan, and you roll that dice... you better believe it!
Dreams are the seeds of innovation, and crazy ideas and visions are the forerunners of creation. Every great achievement in history began with a dream. It was often a bizarre dream too, one that was considered ludicrous at the time ... that the earth is round... or that man will walk on the moon ... or that England will win a world cup.
Without a dream or a vision, however, it’s impossible to focus your action properly. Your dream will no doubt evolve as you get going and adjust to feedback, but if you don’t live by design, you’ll end up taking whatever life gives you. So what happens when your reality doesn’t match up with the blueprint in your head? Are you doomed to a lifetime of disappointment and cynicism? No, having dreams is good and healthy. What is no good - is having passive dreams of which the success is based on another person’s approval - then you set yourselves for failure, and your dream my become the nightmare on Elm Street!
Stop day dreaming and start dreaming - opportunities come to those who act. Get that piece of paper out - even better - paint your kitchen wall black and write on it in giant letters: "I will make the best Fat Bastard Burger in the land, and I will sell it to the world!"... then, wash your hands and start making patties...
In my next blog I will tell you why this day is the first day of the rest of your life, and give you some solid tips on what questions to ask and answer when crafting a strategy to realise your dream.