Have you ever noticed what the most successful people work on? More specifically, have you ever looked at when they work on it? Most likely, they’re working on something due in six months to a year or more out.
The perfect example is entertainment. Movies often take years before the finished product is released. Many television shows film about a season ahead.
There’s a lesson for us as entrepreneurs.
Your view of your business
As an entrepreneurial endeavor, your business can be viewed as a series of projects. Launching your business is a project. You may take on projects for customers. You build the essential infrastructure for your business through projects. The list goes on and on.
It’s easy to get disillusioned if every project in your portfolio is short-term. You left a job you didn’t like. You played to your passion. Now, it’s become a daily grind.
The fun has turned to work. Only unlike a job, you can’t just resign from your business. You have too much invested to walk away. You feel trapped. What can you do?
Change your horizon
Most people live only for today. You can and should live in the moment. But that’s an attitude, not a behavior.
You should NOT just live for today. It’s a mistake made by many people – the ones who never achieve the level of success they want.
As we discussed earlier, the most successful people have a longer horizon. They live presently in the future!
You can do the same. Change your horizon. Think longer.
When you think longer, you can plan bigger. You can tackle larger projects because you have time to break them up into a series of sub-projects.
But there’s a huge difference between these mini-projects and the projects that you may be tackling day to day now. These children-projects all have the same parent! They’re interconnected, so all you have to do is complete them one by one to build something really spectacular!
Sounds great, right? But you may be asking a very good question – where will you find the time?
Create a point of demarcation
The two of us faced the same problem. We were busy working on today. So, we didn’t have time to create our future. Then, we came up with a remedy.
For all of our predictable projects – the steady ones we face every week – we created a point of demarcation. We looked into the future and chose a date when we would be four weeks ahead on our regular production.
Note that we didn’t just throw a dart. We didn’t just pick a date that sounded good. We looked at what additional production we could realistically do now. Then, we found a way to do it.
Your point of demarcation may be a few months away. It doesn’t matter. You will still feel a sense of elation every week because you’ll be getting ahead.
Ahead is current
Getting ahead is one thing. Staying ahead is another. We unfortunately learned this the hard way.
We had worked and worked to get ahead. Then, as our business grew, we slowly watched our progress slip away.
So, we started again. This time around, we have maintained ahead. We did it by changing our thought process. Now, we think “ahead” is current.
So, in a practical sense, we are ahead by six weeks at this point. But mentally, we’re only current. We may actually be working on things for seven weeks from now. But in our minds, it’s due today.
Expand your vision. Extend your horizon. Plan ahead to get ahead. You’ll be a success if you work on tomorrow today.
What’s your horizon? Are you scrambling for the here and now or always looking ahead? If so, how far ahead? Please share in the comments below.