The greatest triumphs in business frequently begin as far-fetched goals. When the public first heard about a contraption that would fly people through the air like birds, many thought it was impractical, not to mention impossible. When Frederick Smith submitted his idea for an overnight delivery service to his professor at Yale, he barely got a passing grade. But by adamantly continuing on a path others considered to be a dead end, he founded FedEx.
Entrepreneurs often focus on the routine projects that make only modest changes to their businesses because they're more easily accomplished. While their intuition tells them to seek the rewards of conquering a large project, they become bogged down by day-to-day activities or the fear of venturing outside their comfort zone.
We entrepreneurs are at our best when we challenge ourselves. Being committed to achieving a big, seemingly impossible goal reconnects us to the passion that first kick-started our businesses. The process of working through a challenging project helps us uncover ingenious ways to move our businesses to new and exciting levels.
1. Choose your "mission impossible." Create a list of one or more dream projects that you would love to complete. Progress is best achieved with clear direction; choose a project that will add a new dimension to your business and connect with your passion. Treat it as an opportunity for adventure.
2. Define your project's outcome by what you want to learn, not by financial results. Keeping your mind focused on achieving a large goal compels you to keep up with the latest trends and methods in entrepreneurship. These insights can inspire and assist you in transforming your business and attaining your goals. Eliminate any reservations you have about your personal limitations by focusing on what you will learn rather than how much money you will generate.
3. Make true progress on a regular basis. Rome wasn't built in a day, but planners and workers made progress each day and the city became great. So do as the Romans did, and set a specific time of the week to work on your goal. Spending time on your project isn't about developing a specific plan--it's about the process of discovery. Start your journey by committing your goal to paper and making a list of questions you will need to answer to accomplish your objective.
4. Track what you learn and don't look back. You won't achieve your impossible goal in one giant leap. In fact, you may find yourself taking two steps forward and one step back. Rather than fearing what may happen, embrace any setbacks you encounter and consider them learning opportunities. Use your imagination to find ways to turn each new development into a growth strategy for your business. This steady stream of accomplishments will prepare you for the day when your big goal becomes a reality.
Treat your goal like a huge playground; never stop exploring all the ways you can accomplish it, and have fun along the way. As you conduct your research and test your hypotheses, you will gain the skills necessary to make substantial changes to your business. And taking the opportunity to invigorate your entrepreneurial spirit will give you the confidence you need to take on your next impossible mission.
Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business.