Working Backwards from a Full Belly.
A vision fulfilled and a satisfying meal. ‘What do they have in common’, you ask? When prepping to make a meal or selecting one from your fave menu, you begin with a goal: a full belly. Likewise, when you prepare to launch a business, you start with a goal, too. The trick though is to ensure your business plan is (nearly) as exact as a recipe. And the secret ingredient to the ‘recipe for success’ is UNDERSTANDING what success looks like to YOU.
Sure, it’s great that you WANT to start a business and, of course, you want it to be successful. However, success in and of itself is not your goal. Really, it’s not. Nobody starts anything with the intention of failing. You get the point.
Now, let’s back it up to where we started. Success looks differently to every person. How you measure success and what you equate to being successful– and feeling fulfilled– is specific to you. So, what does a successful business look like to you? Do you see financial and material gain as the win; or is it fame and recognition? Or, is it the emotional gain you amass by contributing to your community, society, or a specific cause? Again, just as your business is unique, so is your goal for its success.
But what if you’re unsure? What if the only thing you know is that you have a (seemingly) fabulous idea, or simply that you love the idea of working for yourself? It’s ok. Because it’s not that hard to articulate a goal from here.
You want to eat because you’re hungry, so what is going to satisfy your appetite? Food, right? Well, what kind of food? Italian? Great, so rule-out the local cantinas, sushi restaurants and pubs. Next, get more specific. Decide if you would prefer an Italian dish with pasta, veggies, fish, or both! If Bronzino is calling your name, then fettuccine primavera is out. Easy, right? All you needed to do was work backwards– by systematically narrowing your focus.
Again, the same thought process applies to identifying what business success looks like to you. Sometimes it’s the process of elimination. Consider how much you want to work, in what format– behind a desk, outside, or with animals? Will a handful of loyal clients with whom you can work with long-term meet your needs and wants? Or, is it being the go-to provider of your service in a specific location?
Remember, whatever it is, the secret to your success is UNDERSTANDING what will make you happy, make you feel fulfilled and, ultimately, as though you’ve succeeded. It’s from that point, that fulfilled feeling, from which you work backwards.