From the January 2000 issue of Startups

Are you whining because things aren't happening or working to transform your dreams into reality? Consider these questions.

  • Do you have pie-in-the-sky dreams or realistic goals? Aim for high goals, but not so high they're unattainable.
  • You undoubtedly have sales and performance goals, but what about personal and professional goals? Decide whether you're comfortable in your current business or eager to move into a completely unrelated field. While recently renovating my home, I met several people who started out in one profession but left the rat race and became plumbers, painters, landscapers, etc. These people were all too familiar with the corporate world and opted out. Now they set their own hours, choose their clientele and, most importantly, enjoy what they're doing.
  • Are your goals measurable? If your goal is to increase your sales, be specific and write down that you want to achieve, say, a 20 percent increase, rather than a general statement about boosting sales. Then list the steps you must take to reach that goal.
  • Will the tasks you do each day help you achieve your goals? Take a close look at your to-do list. Do the tasks on your list correspond with your goals, or are they completely unrelated? A majority of the tasks on your daily list should take you one step closer to reaching your goals. If your tasks have nothing to do with your goals, either change your tasks or change your goals.
  • If you already set goals, how often do you refer to them? It's one thing to set goals, and another to record them and refer to them periodically. Store your goals in whichever planning system you use and refer to them at least once each week.