No matter why an entrepreneur starts his or her new company, it’s very common that somewhere along the way s/he loses sight of what the original goal was. That’s why it’s so important that all entrepreneurs regularly check in with themselves to ensure that their actions and business strategy continue to align with their overarching goals. This goal alignment is the secret to achieving what you wanted to achieve by becoming an entrepreneur in the first place.
In order to make sure you’re still on track you first need to identify what your original goals were with starting the business. Did you seek freedom, autonomy, and control? Work-life balance? An IPO and billions of dollars? Whatever it was that kickstarted your career in entrepreneurship to begin with, take a second to remember it and write it down.
Next, identify what your current goals are with your company. Maybe they’re exactly the same as when you started but maybe they’ve changed. It’s perfectly acceptable to have reassessed where you want to go, but when you compare your current goals to your original goals, make sure that if they don’t match up you’ve given some real thought to why they’ve changed and that you’re 100% comfortable with where you now intend to go as opposed to having just let your goals wander away as things came up in your business or having been influenced by others. Comparing current goals to your original goals can often highlight for you where you may have let things get away from you and bring you back to focusing on what’s really important to you.
Now that you’re 100% clear on what you want out of entrepreneurship, take a look at your business’ strategy and check that it aligns with those goals. So often people get sucked into running their businesses and forget to keep their eyes on the prize. If you became an entrepreneur because you wanted to improve your work-life balance and spend more time with your family but your company’s growth strategy will require you to work 15 hours a day, 7 days a week – you need to take a step back and figure out how to adjust your business strategy. If you want to IPO but you have no plan in place for growth or financing, you need to do your homework and develop a strategic plan that will get you there.
And finally, once your strategy and goals are aligned, you have to check in on your actions and make sure that they match up with the strategy you’ve already confirmed will get you to your goals. Creating a growth strategy that involves you making 100 sales calls a week and then going to the beach instead does not get you where you want to go, nor does hiring a manager to handle your business so that you can spend time with your family and then micromanaging him or her so that both of you are working 15 hour days.
Entrepreneurship has a great many benefits to offer, but only if you remember to give yourself and your business a check-up and keep your strategy and actions aligned with your goals.
Yesterday’s quotable seemed very appropriate for this post so here it is again: