I get it. You’re an entrepreneur.
So that means you have to have a one-year plan, a three-year plan, and a five-year plan–all with their own backup plans each. Right?
In fact, most of the successful independent entrepreneurs that I know personally do three things:
It can be easy while you’re thinking big to get caught up in making plans for the next decade.
In the next ten years, not only will you have quit your job and built a thriving client base, but you will have saved $100k in the bank, hired 10 employees, and found a way to spend your winters in sunny Mexico.
I mean, I’m not saying you can’t do it.
I’m just saying planning the details of the next 10 years is next to impossible.
Think about it for a minute: ten years ago, Twitter wasn’t even invented. In fact, it was still two years away. Hardly anyone in the world knew who Barrack Obama was, and Taco Bell wasn’t serving breakfast.
A lot can change in 10 years.
So while it’s good to plan ahead, give this a whirl instead: try planning out the next 90 days.
Just 90 days.
You can have dreams and ideas that span further than that (way into the future if you want), but as for specific tasks and goals, stick to a shorter window of time.
Because things are changing so rapidly. Goals and tasks you plan on today may become irrelevant quicker than you thought.
Still not convinced? Here are a few rapid-fire reasons you should focus more on your 90-day plan than your 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year plan.
- It makes you more nimble as a business allowing you to adapt to change.
- It makes everything more realistic. The most common reason entrepreneurs fizzle out is because they get discouraged.
- It helps you measure growth. Taking a tally every 90 days can motivate you and help you grow.
- It breaks down overwhelming goals and aspirations into bite-sized pieces that you’re sure you can tackle.
One disclaimer: There’s still a place for BHAGs.
What’s a BHAG?
It’s stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” and it’s a common practice among entrepreneurs and business-builders around the world.
A BHAG is a “pie in the sky” goal. Something you’ll achieve “one day.” They generally don’t have a timeline, but you know that’s the way you want to go. And one day, you want to achieve your BHAG.
Here’s how I see it:
The BHAG is the mountain in the distance. You know if you walk (or run) in its direction, you’ll eventually make it to the mountain top.
But your goals involve the journey in getting to the mountain. “I’ll walk 12 miles today and then camp for the night.”
You’re thinking big (the mountain), but planning and setting goals in short increments (12 miles and camp).
This tactic has worked for me as I’ve built a few businesses here or there and, frankly, I enjoy the journey more when I don’t know exactly what to expect. It makes business-building more of an adventure than a chore.
And it’s brought me a fair amount of success in my many 90-days.
What do you think? Could this strategy work for you and your business? Share in the comments.