By Jonathan Crandall
1. First ask “Why?” Often, I ask entrepreneurs or professionals what revenue they would like to achieve in the next 10 years. They usually have a number in mind but cannot answer why they would like to achieve that goal. Many refer to a lifestyle they believe that number will expose them to. Figuring out the “why” can be achieved by first writing down a list of 50 things you want. Create this list of items and experiences you wish to have without justification clouding your thought process. Do not concern yourself with what you currently think is impossible. Dream big!
2. Prioritize. Decide on five to 10 items or experiences that you feel are most important for you to achieve in the next 10 years. I would suggest a 10 times possibility is reasonable. For example, I want to personally be making $500,000 in take-home pay. If you are currently making $50,000 I would suggest this is possible. You very well may be able to do more than 10 times that. The 10 times possibility has been a trend I have seen accomplished with highly driven people when focused on a goal in 10 years or less. It’s not just about money though; you may want 10 times a relationship with your spouse or to become 10 times better in your health.
3. What needs to happen to make these five to 10 things come to fruition? If the restriction is cash, then what needs to occur to open up that possibility? For example, in my snow business we are constantly evaluating our current client base to see what type of clients we want to target in the future. We do this with a simple exercise and again ask each other a few simple questions. What product is most profitable? Who buys the most of our highest profit items? Why do they buy it from us? Of those clients, who do we enjoy working with the most? How many of those clients are needed to accomplish growth goals? Find similarities and use those to target for the future.
4. Reverse engineer the “whats” to achieve the desired outcome. Now that you have your wants and your “whats” identified, create a plan. In our snow and landscape business we have a 10-year plan that has a revenue goal attached. The revenue goal has a specific number of acres attached to achieve the goal and specific type of client wanted. This creates clarity to the team on where, how and when we are heading in a direction.
5. Create the vision. At JC Grounds Management we have our 10-year vision mapped out. A graphic designer created an artistic poster showing milestones that would occur as our plan was achieved. We want everyone to see our plan. As covered in the book and movie, “The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne, I believe the Law of Attraction is real. If you make it visible and accessible for all to see, you will be surprised by who will help you achieve your goals.
6. Create and maintain a team of self-motivated, awesome people. Focus your efforts on what you do best, which often is what you enjoy the most. Find people to help you with the “whats” that you do not wish to do but they enjoy. Hold your team accountable and reward those who continue to exceed your expectations.
7. Celebrate when you hit your milestones. Find a way to celebrate personally and with your team. The typical entrepreneurial personality is to continue the charge forward, sometimes not recognizing that a goal was achieved at all and just moving onto the next one. Celebrating recognizes the entire team’s contributions and successes. Additionally, the celebration reinforces our ability to win and complete the goals within the goal. Before long you will be looking back at all of the mini successes that have contributed to the 10-year goal.
Jonathan Crandall is chief visionary of JC Grounds Management in Danvers, MA. Contact him at 978-532-9368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.