Starting your own company is ferociously hard work. Randi Zuckerberg famously encapsulated the challenge with this tweet: “The entrepreneur’s dilemma: Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time w/family. Staying fit. Getting sleep. Pick 3.”
But even if you grind like mad, forgoing sleep and play and other life necessities, you can only get so far without fundamental shifting certain paradigms. How you view the world—and your business—creates invisible constraints. To reach a higher revenue mark—say $1,000,000/year—you need to become conscious of those constraints and deal with them strategically.
Before we get into the 3 things that commonly hold people back, time for some cold water. It usually starts with the entrepreneur herself. Maybe, for instance, you’ve been at the helm for two, three, four years or more, and you as the owner are still playing the role of operator and working in the business most days, instead of on it. At minimum, you’re feeling exhausted. At a maximum, you’ve created little more than a decent pay “job” for yourself.
Break through by conquering these hurdles:
1) No Clarity
As an entrepreneur, you cannot lie to yourself! You cannot be fuzzy about what’s happening in your company and your life and where you want to go. Where will the company be 1, 2, 3 years from now? What it will look like? Feel like? Who it will serve? How it will be seen in the community? What will its culture be like? What will revenues be?
To the extent that you’re not clear about these things is to the extent that you’ve lost control. And that means you will not be able to find the shortest, smartest path to what you want.
2) No Vision
Zappos founder Tony Hsieh put it bluntly: “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”
Setting the vision isn’t hard or time consuming, but it must be done. You can even fit it all in a single page for reference to track:
- Core Values
- Company Purpose
- Key Performance Indicators
- SMaC Recipe
- Medium and Long Term Targets
- Whatever Else Is Core to Your Vision (here’s an example)
3) No Plan
The plan is the nuts and bolts. You know why you want to achieve some goal (like $1M/year). You know what success should look like. Now, you need to sweat the details and articulate the whats, the hows and the whos in key areas like operations, marketing, culture and business metrics.
Remember: your plan is a living document. You will amend and revise it as you go along. But you need a plan to improvise intelligently.
You Must Think About What You’re Doing!
Most people (including, sadly, most entrepreneurs) do not spend nearly enough time thinking, in my opinion. You need to act decisively AND think decisively. Ask yourself the hard questions. Have the courage to put the answers on paper.
At your current stage, you likely do not have a big team or any time. That’s okay. I remember early on in our law practice, when it was only my husband and myself. That was the whole team! We did these exercises—just the two of us. We wrote the answers on napkins in restaurants, on planes traveling to seek out our mentors, and late at night after a long day in the office. This deep, persistent thinking is how we got to where we are now—and how I’m able to help others.
Getting to the $1M/Year Mark: I Can Help You
In addition to building a multi-million dollar law practice, I’ve worked with dozens of extremely successful entrepreneurs to obtain ambitious goals for their companies. Set up a consultation with me today, and let me help you put together a step-by-step plan.