Beginning with the end in mind
Beginning with the end in mind
In his best-selling book, The 7 habits of Highly Effective People (one of my favourite personal development books of all time) Stephen R. Covey, identifies begin with the end in mind as an essential habit for success and effectiveness. However, when I question many of my business owner clients at our first meeting what their plan is for extracting themselves effectively from their business they are usually struggling to answer. It is obvious that this essential issue has not been thought through and planned for in any detail.
A good starting point is to consider this question; If I were to be looking to buy a company like my own, or like one I am about to set up, what would it need to look like for me to consider it seriously and with the hope to purchase, because it is so attractive? Let’s face it, we can get caught up in the idea of either creating a business that is making use of what we do well, or it can be a new idea that we are blindly enthusiastic about to the point of making emotional decisions, naively throwing resources at the idea with a hope it’ll work. We need a checklist and sounding board as well as trusted opinions. ‘Beginning with the end In Mind’ is a solution. These are important questions to ask yourself before you even begin:
Do you want to replace your job with a business that gives you the same income?
Do you want to make a big pile of money, sell it and escape?
Do you want to create a legacy?
Describe the ideal scenario. Speak to those you know and trust who have relevant knowledge and experience. Make a list of the skills you will need to be able to make it work. You may be a good painter and decorator, but are you a good business person? You may need to study accounting, social media, marketing or dealing with finances, in a way you have not done before. The focus of the consideration of beginning with the end in mind is always going to help steer your decisions.
What would the long-term effect of this change of direction be?
Who would need to be involved?
What time line are you happiest to commit to?
By reviewing that target regularly you can check your progress, adjust and even plan for a bigger result. The type of things that keep us struggling are the lack of facts and vision. Decide to be sure about what you are aiming to achieve and how you are going to measure your progress BEFORE you even start. This will help you make better decisions in the now. It will reassure you when things get tough. It will motivate you when you start to realise your progress. It is a necessity.
Know your goal, know your exit plan and if you still want to go ahead then find a why. A big why. A well-defined and thought through why.
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