Wednesday, April 5, 2023

6 Key Steps To Transform Business Dreams Into Success

business-dreams-successMany of you business professionals I meet in my business consulting and mentoring roles seem very determined to advance their career, or even start their own business. They are searching for that magic formula to get them from some vague dreams, to specific goals, to an actionable plan with real results. I believe the challenge is the same one you face in every aspect of your life.

The best I can offer, based on my own experience as a business professional and a business owner, is a summary of the steps that have worked for me and others I know, for turning ideas and aspirations into results, with some measure of progress along the way. Every one of us would like this to be the “big bang” theory, but the reality is just plugging along one step at a time.

I find many of you can talk at length about your innovative ideas and passions, and ask a lot of good questions, but never make much progress or build a real plan. Thus my challenge to you is to start today in documenting specific goals, putting some metrics in place to measure progress, and start celebrating every bit of progress, no matter how small, along the way as follows:

  1. Convert dreams into specific written objectives. Most people find that the act of committing something to paper forces them to face the reality of getting started and measuring progress. Make sure the objectives are really yours, and not a restatement of what others think you should do. Don’t underestimate your own capability or potential.

  2. Start networking selectively to build relationships. We all need help in achieving our objectives, whether it be mentoring, education, or resources. Your success and growth are a function of the people you associate with, including friends, business professionals, and leaders. You can’t succeed alone, or with relationships counter to your objectives.

    Most business professionals I know surround themselves with peers like them, or people who tell them only what they want to hear. You can learn more from people who will give you honest feedback on shortcomings, or broaden your perspective with outside topics.

  3. Build a plan including a roadmap and checkpoints. Setting real milestones Is the only way you can judge progress and know when to celebrate successful steps along the way. It’s fair to work both backward and forward from major events, and you must review and update your plan on a regular basis, as you encounter and overcome obstacles.

  4. Identify and complete skill upgrades and education. We all have weaknesses and strengths, so complete a self-assessment early to identify yours. Always play to your strengths, but also actively schedule and measure progress in shoring up those areas holding you back from achieving your goals. Use self-study and coaching as required.

  5. Focus on measuring real progress weekly or daily. Most of the people I know allow themselves to be distracted by daily crises, and they lose the momentum they need to get over major challenges encountered along the way. Success requires a commitment to keep moving forward, and the discipline to always be looking at least one step ahead.

  6. Pivot to add and revise your plan as you learn. Today’s business environment is in constant change, so you must be agile in responding to new situations and new learning. Don’t get stuck on any single item, and don’t be afraid to ask for outside help when you see a roadblock that may require extensive recovery or modification to your original plan.

I encourage you not to feel guilty by focusing heavily on your own business goals. The first rule of productivity is that doing what you know and love is the key to maximizing your value and output, making it a win-win for everyone around you. In addition, it’s not very satisfying in the long run to be chained to someone else’s goals, especially if they are not consistent with your own.

I still find too many highly capable business professionals who somehow assume that hard work alone will lead to success, without any specific plan to get there. For confirmation that planning, determination, and focus are the keys to a brighter future, just review the stories of successful business leaders today, such as Jeff Bezos. Make today the first day of your best business life.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on on 3/21/2023 ***



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