I do a lot of change consultancy work in big companies. And it’s fascinating. The goals are often similar: make more money, cut costs, be more creative, productive, etc. The challenges though vary.
My latest challenge is that the gap between the vision and the present is very wide. That in itself is not an issue, the problem is that the perception of what it’ll take to get there doesn’t match reality. And people are starting to loose faith in the vision.
What should you do if this is where you find yourself? What if you have a big dream and you’re scared by the size of it or your assumptions about how long it would take you to get there are starting to look wrong.
Here are 5 top tips for you to try.
1. Stop, think, breath
Don’t panic. Stop and breath. A big goal is just likely to take more action. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the acts themselves will be bigger or harder, there will just be more of them.
Let the reality of this statement sink in and relax.
2. Break your ‘vision’ down
My method teaches you to break things down. First into a list of goals, then into an approach, then into tasks and finally into a plan.
Doing this will make anything seem achievable. Plus you will see clearly up front, the area that may be more challenging or where you’ll need some help. The bits that will take longer too.
3. Move forward one step at a time
I’m sure you’ve heard me quote this before, it’s from Seth Godin: ‘drip, drip, drip, you win’. This means that it’s regular small acts that take you there in the end, not a massive jump.
Make sure your plan is broken down enough so that each task seem achievable. If not, do some more work and break it down more.
If your goal is to have 100 new customers, break this down in how many you can acquire per week based on the method you’re using. For example, let’s say you need to make 50 phone calls to get 2 customers. You’ll need to figure out how many phone calls you can make in a day and extrapolate this until you get to 100.
Taking the task one day at a time will make the vision seem more achievable. It’ll be easier to estimate too.
4. Take stock often
If you have a plan and some measurable goals, you can track your progress and see what is working and what isn’t.
That way you’ll catch issues early and hopefully when they are still small enough for you to resolve them. You’ll also catch yourself if you’ve overestimated or underestimated the work.
5. Focus on what’s in front of you
Pull your plan out and focus on what you are meant to do today. Don’t worry about next week’s task unless you need to kick it off today.
When asked how she built her empire, Louise Hay said she made the phone calls and answered the mail.
Does your dream seem too big? What can you do to shrink it down to size?