Out of the blue the phone rings, and a person I’ve never met starts to tell me about a great opportunity.
You see, there’s this conference coming up where strategic business leaders from Latin America will be available to meet personally with companies like ours, and there are just a few choice invitations still open.
As he’s detailing all the reasons I should jump at this opportunity, I begin to think: “We are planning a big North American launch in 2011, and have aggressive growth ahead to achieve those goals. I guess we could work toward launching our tools in Latin America. The business leaders in question are the target market for our solution. Maybe we should do this.”
What just happened here? Five minutes into a cold call from a sales guy and I’m starting to question our vision and strategy.
How do you come up with your strategy? You probably already have an idea in mind, it’s just covered up by the mountain of careless thoughts and distracting emails in your inbox. It’s not rocket science. The key is to understand where you want to go.
In the next 15 minutes you can S-L-O-W down and think. If you work through this exercise you can have an achievable strategy which will form the guidelines of your operations for the next 36 months.
Picture yourself 36 Months from today. Look at a calendar. What is the date?
As you look back over those last three years, what will you have accomplished?
- Which personal relationship(s) did you grow?
- How did those relationships help you “lift the lid” that was holding you back?
- Which customers did you land?
- Which customers did you let go?
- What new product or service offerings did you create?
- How did you turn the corner to increase gross sales and net profits?
- What decisions did you make about new products or services to help you reach those clients?
- What new habits did you develop which were pivotal in achievement of these new dreams?
It’s key to re-establish your dream and see yourself achieving it. Then you need to put it in writing.
Moreover, once you see yourself in that place, you can clearly evaluate every decision that you make today, and tomorrow to see whether the outcome of that decision moves you toward or away from your vision.
Now that you know what you are planning to do, the next question is when will it be done? For each of those goals, think about what it will take to actually do it, and set a date for each one.
When you have clarity about what you will accomplish, the things that distract you from the goal can be set aside and you can focus on what works. You can stop doing what you did yesterday which was comfortable but didn’t get you to what you want.
We decided to pass on the Latin America opportunity. It didn’t fit in the vision we were already achieving.
What are you going to do this year? Post your thoughts below!
Setting and achieving your vision is a part of Raising Your Game.