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entrepreneurs way to success


 Motivation Key #1: SETTING REALISTIC GOALS

A goal by definition is the end result of achieving your objectives.
Some people hope to achieve success by becoming the first to walk on unexplored planets, others aspire to fly aircraft that have not yet been invented and still, others hope to become billionaires overnight. Without the requisite years of training or skills, these goals may not be possible and thus lack the realism I encourage. When we hinge our success and by extension our happiness, on achieving goals that may always be out of our reach for whatever reason, what kind of enjoyment will we find in life when we fail to achieve them? Bear in mind, however, that there is a huge difference between setting realistic goals and limiting yourself.

That is why my encouragement to you is to set goals that are S.M.A.R.T and thus realistic. The acronym S.M.A.R.T means that our goals will be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. When we employ this kind of framework to analyze our goals, we are less likely to end up disappointed and it will be easier for us to stay motivated to work towards this goal. If your aim is to simply invent something great, sometime in the course of your life, that goal would neither be specific, measurable, achievable or time bound. Working towards a goal that indeterminate will lead you in circles and be very discouraging. If your goals are to be considered realistic, they must meet up to the requirements of all the other aspects of your S.M.A.R.T analysis. So even if you hope to achieve great things by the time you are twenty-three but have not really set a specific means to achieve this goal, you will not be very motivated to get much done. S.M.A.R.T objectives ensure that you direct your efforts in the right direction and do not waste time trying to re-invent the wheel or striking the air.

Working towards something that is impossible for whatever reason will leave us too discouraged to achieve much else. But this is a very touchy topic for me because men like the great Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak, did indeed achieve what was thought impossible by their contemporaries when they invented Apple Inc.

So where does one draw the line between realistic and ludicrous?
Ask yourself these questions:
• Do I have the skills need to achieve this goal?
• If not, how long will it take me to learn this skill?
• Do I have the requisite time and energy to achieve this goal?
• How much of my financial resources will I need to accomplish this goal?
• Is accomplishing this goal going to have a positive impact on those around me?
• Do I have the discipline required to achieve this goal?
• Am I willing to suffer the consequences of trying to achieve this goal?
• Are my family and friends going to support my decision to pursue this goal?
• Will I truly think of myself as successful if I achieve this goal?
• What will I do if I do not succeed on the first try?
Answering these questions will help you determine whether you have the drive to accomplish the goals you have in mind. These questions are not to discourage you but to help you prepare yourself to become successful. The chapters that follow are designed to help you keep on track and stay motivated.

Motivation Key #2: Occasionally Check Your Progress

The very definition of a goal implies that it must not only be specific and realistic, but also measurable. When it is difficult to measure the progress you have made in achieving a specific goal, it is highly unlikely that you will be very motivated to keep pushing yourself to meet that goal. Just think about it, if your goal is to get to work on time tomorrow, you will constantly check the time at each stage in the journey. If you notice that you are running behind time, you will automatically start driving or walking faster because you know exactly how much time is needed to meet your goal of being on time. If that goal was a little less defined, for instance, if you decided that ‘someday’ you wanted to be famous, how would we know when to start speeding up?

Motivation, that intrinsic desire to attain your goal, is what will ensure that you will do anything to achieve your goal. This could require that you speed up, slow down or even change course altogether. But motivation is a very fragile occurrence. You constantly need to fan the flames of desire in order to keep yourself motivated. That is why it is so important for you avoid the urge to check your progress too often. Checking your progress only occasionally is one of the best ways to develop a realistic view of your progress. After all, Rome was not built in a day. This is especially so for long-term goals. To help you get the point, let us revisit the illustration of your goal of getting to work on time tomorrow. If you were driving down a busy freeway and nervously checked the time every 60 seconds, would that help you get to work any faster? I highly doubt it. There will always be factors or obstacles outside of your control like the weather or traffic.


Constantly checking the time will not remove these obstacles. At that rate, you may never reach your destination because you are too distracted by the time and may very well end up in an accident. While it is good to evaluate your progress in order to determine whether your current approach is leading you to a successful outcome, doing so too often will be both distracting and disappointing.
If you have any children you will know exactly how soon, is too soon and how often, is too often. Children are not very good at delayed gratification. If you tell them you will play with them ‘soon,’ you can expect them to return every few minutes to ask when that will be. If they learn that milk will help them to grow big and strong, they will soon begin to gulp down as much as they can and check their height as often as possible. Often, they end up very disappointed because progress ends up being much slower than they expected. The same can happen to you.

Checking your progress too often is one of the easiest ways to demotivate yourself. You will begin to imagine your progress to be much slower than it actually is or may condemn yourself as not really making any progress at all. This is especially so because you will make more progress on some days than others. How often is too often is a question that only you can answer. The nature of your goals and the duration of the time needed to achieve them will help you make this decision. If your aim is to lose 5 pounds in 30 days, it is only natural that you would want to weigh yourself daily. But if your goal was to lose a hundred pounds over the next two years, monthly weigh-ins would be more beneficial. It is generally encouraged that you check your progress a little less frequently for longer term goals than you would for those you hope to achieve in a shorter period of time.

This does not mean you should not revisit your strategy to achieving your goals often. In fact, I strongly encourage you to review your strategy as often as possible. This is another practical way to keep yourself motivated because you will constantly be thinking about achieving your goals and it will become harder to be distracted by all the noise around you. Our associates are often one of the biggest distractions. Your associates can either weight you down or push you forward and closer towards your dreams.

The next chapter focuses on how to surround yourself with the right people who will help to motivate you towards success.

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