What do you dream of? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? This question has been asked throughout history and it always brings an inspiring response. I’m on the road lately meeting with and talking to many great entrepreneurs about the future of business. It’s easy to become a fan of many of the great people I talk with. Many have achieved goals that we cannot even imagine in our wildest dreams. But why do so many people settle for less than being all they can be in this life? Why do they fail to live out their dreams?
As we enter the fourth quarter of the year, many of my clients and partners are working hard to achieve their goals and are looking for help in achieving them. One of my favorite questions when working with clients is: What’s the one big thing you want to accomplish that would make the coming year a success? Then I challenge them to reach higher and deeper into who they are and what they want to be and do. I’m reading a book by Dr. Ben Carson called Think Big and it got me thinking how I might challenge you to grow more. Since I’m always challenging other people to be and do more, I feel it’s only fair to set some stretch goals for myself.
Here are three ideas to help you get ready to dream bigger. When I plan for the coming year, it takes me several weeks to get ready, because I have to help clients along the way. I see the ability to help my clients see, touch, and live their dreams as one of my greatest gifts.
So, let’s get started. The first question for you is: What is the purpose of your life? Not your business purpose, but what you think you are here to do. It’s tricky for many entrepreneurs because we think we are the business. The reality for most successful people I know is that they know what they are here to do and the business supports these goals. Take time today to think of the purpose of your life. Take time to write it down and commit it to memory. This helps you get focused on the work ahead. The bigger the purpose, the greater the gravitational pull. If you have a big enough purpose, it pulls you along when times get tight and things aren’t going well.
The second question is: What do you need to know to achieve your purpose? Many times, we are so busy trying to get things done and put out fires, we miss the connections that can help us achieve our purpose. Most successful entrepreneurs today have a strong network of connections they can call on when they get stuck. As we move further down the road, I, and many other entrepreneurs, believe our net worth will be directly impacted by our network. Here’s a question to consider. If you got stuck who would you call and why? Would they take your call? To have a vibrant growing network you must invest time cultivating it. I know many people who have huge social networks who have never talked to more than 10% of their network. If you want to create wealth in the connected age you should consider how you cultivate your network. Despite what people tell you, it’s quality, not quantity. Make sure you keep connected with other leaders on your dream team. We all know each others dreams for humanity. We can build networks that can help others achieve their dreams.
Most of my growing international practice is built through Skype and conferences I’m attending. I was on Richard Branson’s Virgin Disrupters call and he was asked why he invests so much in developing new forms of transportation in a connected world. He shared that people still want to meet the people they are dealing with. Personal contact plus digital connectivity is critical to achieve the larger goals of mankind. This is why so many leaders spend significant time meeting with potential partners for their future. For most entrepreneurs, we are one connection away from the right person who can truly transform our lives. Take time to continually create value in your network.
The third question is: What are you doing to keep your skills on the leading edge? All of my best clients and partners spend significant time learning new things. They don’t always feel like they have time, but they make time. The book or course you miss can’t help you succeed. I spent 10-20% developing new skills. In my case, I try to get my clients to go along for the ride because it creates a connection that’s hard to beat. Shared learning and laughter is a great way to remain connected with others.
The final question, for this blog, is: What do you want you legacy to be? One of my earliest mentors, Jim Rohn, used to say what do you want the message to be on your tombstone? It’s critical to keep your priorities straight. Too many almost great people get sidetracked by doing little things that don’t matter versus doing the thing that makes you extraordinary. Great people are very good at delegating, engaging, and empowering others. We plan to spend significant time in the coming year on these key disciplines. These key skills will help you achieve your dreams.
Just a note to our regular readers, I’m travelling extensively this fourth quarter, so we will continue to publish on Tuesday and Wednesday. If we have special guest writers, we will continue to run them on Monday or Thursday. I know how much you love their writing. Keith will continue writing on Tuesday. See you next Tuesday.