When Planning, Start with the End in Mind
When Planning, Start with the End in Mind

When you think about the end, it changes the way you look at the present.

For many of us, it’s scary to think about the end. The end is scary. But, the end should add a little more context to life and business.

If you are a business owner, what does the end look like?

You should be looking for three things:

  1. Personal: What do you want to accomplish in business? What are your goals? A friend of mine recently told me about an exercise where he was given 15 minutes to create his personal goals through his business. He wrote down a goal for passive income, giving back, protection of assets for his children and working less. In 15 minutes, he defined his personal goals through his business. What are yours?
  2. Business: Do you see your business being handed down to your children? Do you have a second person in charge? What if you died today; who would run it? Would you want someone to run it? Would you want someone to sell it? It is important to think about this because it may change the way you run things. Imagine if the task at hand was to think like you were going to sell the business next month. What would you do? Would you become immediately more organized to show more value? Would you better document your operations? Would you do things differently?
  3. The End: With the end in mind, now comes executing on the vision. How do you crush it every day? Do you seize the day and the moments? If the vision is to grow and sell in 10 years, how do you nurture your team and your customers? What carrots do you give them to motivate them to move forward?

For a non-owner, you should be thinking about the same things.

  1. Personal: What do you want to accomplish in life? I heard someone once talk about they were great at a bunch of stuff, but they just couldn’t figure out which thing they wanted to really do. That’s an excuse. If you are good at a bunch of stuff, then own it. Do something big. Even in your career, you can do big things. Do you have a goal in mind? Do you have a role in the company you want to fight for? What does success look like for you? What equals happiness for you? Are your goals to buy a home, start a family and pay for your children’s college? Goals that are not written down are rarely accomplished.
  2. Business: You don’t have to own a business to be successful in business. In fact, you don’t need to fight your way into leadership to be successful at business. To be successful in business, you simply have to try to crush it every day. You know your company’s core values. Follow them. Or don’t and switch companies. You know your company’s KPIs. Follow them. Or don’t and try something new. Your career is in your control. It will be hard to be fired if you crush it, and you will be in control of accomplishing your goals.
  3. The End: What do you want to accomplish? What does winning look like? On your final day in this world, what do you hope to have accomplished? Why not start taking the steps toward accomplishing that now.

When you think about the end, it changes the way you look at the present. Hopefully, for the better. Use the end to help motivate you for today, for tomorrow and for the rest of the year. Simply thinking about this statement will help you think differently about your next move.

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