I dream all day, every day. Literally. I know that if you’re an entrepreneur or a person who likes the create, you’ll likely say that you dream every day as well. It’s part of our DNA and it is not something that we can turn off at a moment’s notice. If you have an idea or a productive thought, it becomes a driving force in you to want to see that idea all the way through to fruition, right? I think so, because that’s what I have always hoped to do with all of my ideas. Hoped is the operative word.
The word “hope” is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” The part of that definition that jumps out at me is the word “expectation.” If you follow through and examine the definition of “expectation,” you will find that it means ”a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” I love the juxtaposition of these two definitions because, with “hope” you see it as a mere feeling, while “expectation” presents a strong belief. For me, a feeling only graduates to a strong belief when I have taken the time to dream.
In the beginning of this letter, I stated that I always hoped to see my ideas come alive. For many years, I churned out idea after idea, hoping that one would very quickly make me a lot of money or generate much success. The problem I found, much like Michael Hyatt (the author I mentioned in my previous post) admits to often, is that I get so fired up about an idea and getting it rolling, that once it has some traction, I lose motivation and attention and move onto the next idea. Nowadays I try my best to always ask myself, “is this something I can see through from start to finish?” If not, then I write it down and store the idea away for later, in the event that maybe it’s just for another time.
I have always equated dreaming with goals, at least since I’ve become an entrepreneur. More than just regular goals, I adopted what you probably already know as SMART goals. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. If you haven’t heard of SMART goals, let me give you an example:
A SMART goal is NOT: I want to be an early riser so I can be better at things. A SMART goal is: “I will get up at 5am every day for the next six months so that I can spend three extra hours on my blog.” 5am, every day, next six months, three extra hours, on my blog. Those are a lot of specific, time-bound identifiers. I talk more about SMART goals in my last post. If you tweak that statement to say that, in order to get up at 5am, I need to go to bed by 10pm the night before, then you have a reason to make that goal attainable and realistic as well. Every day for six months gives you a sense of measurability. By doing these things, you have a very clear picture each day of what it is you are trying to accomplish.
Not only are the goals a critical part of your journey, but community and real relationships play an important role in your success. Don’t make the mistakes that a lot of us did as we began, where we got really lazy and said “I’m not feeling up for going to that event,” or shy away from an opportunity to get noticed by saying “I’m not a very social person.” I was guilty of the latter for a long time and still struggle with it to this day. I’m in the Information Technology field and have very little need to be in front of a group of people. This is the perfect excuse for me to NOT still go out and shake hands with everyone I meet and find great opportunities hidden behind a smiling face that is just waiting for my introduction. All it takes is hustle and grit and determination and intentionality. Chase your dreams, be SMART about your goals, and don’t let fear stand in your way of being the most successful entrepreneur you can possibly be!
What is one fear you have as it relates to setting goals?
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” ~Tony Robbins