Many people don’t achieve the business success they should because they don’t have a clear purpose.
Whether you’re starting a completely new business or just launching a one-off marketing campaign, it’s just like setting off on a journey.
If you don’t know exactly where you want to go, you’ll never be able to get there.
Imagine turning up at an airport and trying to buy a ticket without knowing what your destination is. This may seem a bit crazy but it’s actually the way most people run their lives and their businesses.
So it’s important to take some time to get clear about where you are heading.
Clarify Your Aim
The key to defining your purpose is deciding what you want the future to look like. This has many advantages, including:
- Make decisions more easily about what to do
- Feel more satisfaction as you move towards your objective
- Identify specific action steps needed to reach your planned outcome
There are two initial steps involved in defining a clear aim:
First: Establish your Vision
Your vision is like the picture on the front of the box when you are doing a puzzle. It gives you a clear idea of where you are headed and this clarity will help drive you towards achieving it.
To have a clear vision, think about how you want your life and your business to look in 3 – 5 years time.
Your vision can reflect your lifestyle and your business achievements.
Try to sum it up in a sentence or two such as “I’m earning more than $10,000 a month and I travel the world helping others grow their businesses.”
Second: Set your Goals
When you have a clear vision, you need to identify specific goals or milestones on the way to achieving it.
While your vision is probably 3 – 5 years away, goals are usually over a much shorter timescale. You could set goals for the next three months or for the current year. You could even set a goal for the end of next week.
Goals often fail because they are too vague and often the language makes them wishes instead of intentions.
You need to make your goals specific and exciting enough to motivate you. Try following the SMART formula.
You might set goals around things like launching new products, the number of email subscribers you have or items you own.
To help you identify goals, look at your vision and ask yourself what you need to achieve this year (or month) in order to be on course to reaching it.
Take Fast Action
There’s no point in having great ideas and having a big vision for the future if you don’t do anything about it.
The biggest blocks on success for most people are the twin evils of procrastination and perfectionism.
So you need to develop a way to turn your vision and goals into action.
After creating your vision and goals, there are two further steps:
Third: Define Projects
When you know what your goals are, identify some projects you need to complete to achieve them.
Projects are easy to manage and when you develop them based on your goals, you are more motivated to achieve them.
To identify projects, look at your goals and ask yourself which major activities you need to undertake now in order to achieve that goal.
For most people, 5 – 7 key projects at any one time are usually enough.
However you will run several projects during the course of a year. Projects could include things like creating a new product, organizing an event or running a marketing campaign.
Fourth: Identify Tasks
Now that you have a clear vision, specific goals and defined projects, the important part is turning them into actionable tasks.
Tasks are usually actions that take a short time – anything from a few minutes to a few hours. If the task is much longer than a day, it either needs to be split down into more specific tasks or defined as a project.
Examples of tasks can include buying a domain name, writing an email or contacting a potential joint venture partner.
One way to identify tasks is to look at your projects and ask yourself what specific actions you need to take now to complete them.