The Six Elements that Make it Happen
Conway Daily Sun
May 19, 2010
By Michael Kline
Do you remember your dream or did it get lost somewhere along the way? Where is that dream now? When was the last time you really thought about what you want from your life between now and the time you die? Not to be morbid, but that is the ultimate deadline and we’re not getting any younger, you know!
Nothing changes until we take action. Before we take action, we need to know what to do; we need to ask the right question, which goes along the line of “How do I do _______ given my current circumstances, in such a way that I can enjoy ______?” But, to ask that question, we need to fill in those blanks - to identify our ultimate goal.
Some people don’t know what their goal is; they feel they have no particular passion. If that sounds like you, we need to talk fast. Thoreau said “Most men live lives of quiet desperation and go to their grave with their song still in their heart” - don’t be one of them.
Entreprenologist Warning: Most of us know someone who abandoned their responsibilities and even their families to pursue a pipe-dream. That is not the intent of using this quote, but rather to chase your dreams, find your voice, live responsibly, and help others find their voice and fulfill their dreams. This “living well” is hard work and sounds daunting, which is why so few do it. Once chosen however, it is easier than not living well which is far more daunting.
Goal setting is not an easy task. Often, I find otherwise successful business owners who mistakenly settle for goals that are actually just a strategy for their real goals. One technique for getting to your real goals is to ask “What is my goal?” then ask “Why” - get an answer, then ask ‘Why” again and again until you get to the ultimate true goal. For example, let’s say you have the goal of being rich. You might find that is not a goal, but actually a strategy to achieve the goal of being happy. By the way, I totally respect the strategy of being rich, but it is more strategy than goal. My point is the exercise is worthwhile before you devote your life to your goal.
Another source of soul-searching and goal setting is to contemplate your talents - what are you good at or could be good at? Consider your passions - what do you really love and care about? Consider physical needs of your own and of the marketplace. Finally, ask your conscience what you should do - what feels right to you - not by the standards of others; but in your gut.
Our most personal dreams and our businesses are inextricably linked, if our businesses are to be a tool for achieving the dreams. Further, skills are most effective in the workplace with correct intent and participation of the entire workplace team. For a comprehensive strategy for business and personal development, we concentrate on six key elements. Think of these elements as the essential vitamins that make your business grow up big & strong.
Passion, Talent, Focus, Alignment, Trust & Communication. Passion & Talent - Experience, for most businesses and even most jobs, is not nearly as important as talent. Experience is a study of our past; not our future. For most small businesses, (brain surgeons and astronauts need not apply) appetite and talent are far more important than years of practicing a skill. Most businesses that fail are begun by workers motivated by their desire to “be the boss”. A dramatically different scenario is an entrepreneur creating a company around passion and talent.
Focus and Alignment - Relentless focus on the goal moves you toward your dream when actions, relationships and support are in alignment. Incongruent words and actions can usually be found separating a frustrated entrepreneur from their goals. Finally, Trust & Communication - high trust equals low cost and speed. Low trust equals high cost and slower speed. Communication skills allow the creation of the interdependent relationships that make the dreams possible.
These six elements, studied and applied, will help any entrepreneur realize their dream regardless of the economy or other limitations they may face. Remember, learning about it is good, but knowledge in itself is not power. Knowledge applied is power.