I can’t count how many times entrepreneurs have told me about their huge dreams for the future of their businesses. Their eyes gleam as they talk about building a multi-million-dollar business. However, the problem is that they’ve been telling themselves the same story for years. Sure, they dream of big things for tomorrow. But today they have bills to pay and food to put on the table. So, they continue to revert back to doing the same old thing, day in and day out.
What’s stopping these incredible entrepreneurs from reaching their potential? Are their dreams for the future of their businesses unrealistic and foolish?
The answer is no. The more likely explanation is that they have a huge disconnect between where they want to go tomorrow and what they are doing today.
If this is hitting a little too close to home, keep reading to find out how you can get on the path to achieving the success you’ve always dreamed of while still doing what you need to do today to put food on the table (and you know…survive).
How you ended up stuck in this repetitive cycle
Not to be overdramatic, but if you continuously put off your dreams because you’re busy doing the same things you’ve always done, you are stuck in an endless cycle. Picture a hamster running on a wheel. The little guy is trying his best to move forward, but he’s not getting anywhere because he is stuck in the same place. Now, imagine yourself as that hamster. You want to scale your business and smash all of your goals, but you can’t because you’re stuck.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who falls into this repetitive cycle. Most businesses have experienced this to some degree because everyone starts from zero. Everyone worries about how they will make ends meet and everyone thinks about how to get through today while keeping dreams of tomorrow a potential reality.
You know you’re stuck in this cycle when you say things like, “Once I find enough clients to help pay the bills, then I will make a start on that big dream of mine.” Or, you might have heard that starting a podcast will help scale your business, so you do that. Then, you go crazy posting on social media because that’s the big thing everyone is doing now, right?
Unfortunately, if you continue down this path, you will end up burnt out and with nothing to show for it. Trying different trends and hoping to strike lucky with one of them is not how you’re going to break out of this cycle.
Why you’re having trouble creating the future of your dreams
When you’re focused on doing what you need to do today to make ends meet, while holding onto your vision to achieve financial freedom, time flexibility, and control of your life and business, it usually comes down to one simple truth.
You have two very clear agendas, but they are not aligned. Since they are not aligned, they are in direct conflict with each other. When you think about the future, you think about it from a high-level and you consider the strategy behind the vision. However, when you think about today, you think about all the things you need to do today and none of those things align with your vision for the future.
When these two agendas don’t align, you can’t see the path that will take you closer to achieving success in the future. To help that path become clearer to you, you must have an overall business strategy, understand what your end destination is, and know what potential obstacles may get in your way.
How to create a path that leads to tomorrow’s success
Okay, so you know how and why you’re struggling to get closer to the future you envision for your business, but what should you do about it?
I suggest working top-down, not bottom-up. If you’re always working at the bottom level inside your business, you’ll have a hard time scaling it. Granted, you will have to work inside your business at some point, especially when you’re in the early stages of growing your business. You don’t have a choice until you can realistically hire other people to work in your business for you so that you can focus on working on your business.
However, you still need to look at things from the top level and know where you want your business to go. Identify the potential obstacles that could get in your way and figure out a path designed to help you navigate through those obstacles.
Everything you do today must be singularly focused on getting you to that final destination that you see for your business. So, ask yourself this question:
What do I need to do starting today so that I can build that entire journey?
Then, ask yourself – what is the bare minimum I need to do today to make ends meet?
The key is to map out a path where you are reducing the things you usually do on a daily basis so that you can make time to do the things that will get you to your destination. Eventually, those two things will align, and you’ll find it much easier to progress further.
Focus on your destination
Taking action and doing the things that will ensure your business succeeds tomorrow whilst surviving today requires getting specific about the things you need to do. For example, if you want to use influencer marketing to spread the word about your business, you need to start building your influencer network today.
You also need to think ahead in terms of possible obstacles that may stand in your way. If cash flow is an obstacle stopping you from paying your favourite influencer, think about how you can tackle the issue. Perhaps you could focus on selling more of your product or services and then put a proportion of the profits towards paying for influencers.
When you remain focused on your destination, coming up with solutions to overcome potential obstacles becomes a lot easier. Of course, there may be times when an unexpected obstacle creeps up that was never part of the original plan. If that happens, revisit your plan, tweak your strategy, and do everything you can to make it work so that the new obstacle doesn’t hinder your progress.
Taking time to map out your path and understanding the potential challenges and how to navigate them is so important. Having the steps mapped out will help you to stay focused and stay on track. There may be some course corrections along the way, but at least you’ll always be working towards your end goal.
Only work inside your business for as long as you need to
The future may seem like a long way off, so take it one day at a time. Right now, you may be working inside your business and that’s fine. You should work inside your business until you can afford to work on your business. However, you need to be strategic about the things you are working on.
My advice is to work on the tasks that will move your business forward. As soon as you can afford to, bring other people into your business to do the repetitive tasks that you don’t have time for. That way, you’ll have more time to focus on the next step to move the business towards your end goal and destination.
One of your main priorities right now should be to reach the point where you are working on your business instead of in it. Your value inside your business comes from the top down. You’re the one who is responsible for taking the business to the next level.
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