Transforming game-changing ideas into reality is the pursuit of every entrepreneur, one demanding a deep store of courage and willpower. When someone possesses these qualities, they have the power to inspire and mobilize a group of people towards realizing that idea, and that feeling of victory when it happens is magical!
However, it’s imperative that we don’t get too caught up in our dreams to pause and evaluate if we are pursuing an achievable goal or an ideal wrapped in a fantasy. If we don’t stop to consider and recalibrate our direction every once in a while, we might end up spending all of our energy on an empty pursuit. Only when we take a practical look at the resources and product advantages that we have on hand can we set goals and action plans that will deliver real results.
Let’s consider the example of an early-stage startup with the bold objective of “changing user habits”. An appealing prospect, for sure, but one that will definitely be met with much resistance. Startup teams too often grossly underestimate the huge amount of capital and resources it takes to build paradigm-shifting products. When we lack these things, perhaps “optimizing user experience” is a more practical goal. And when you look at things from the perspective of what resources you possess right now, you might discover that many of the objectives you laid out at the beginning are not the only ones you should be working on.
For startups, it’s far more important to aim for 80% success on a goal you can definitely achieve rather than 100% on the one you might not. The feeling that comes with achieving smaller, realistic goals not only gives your team a very clear and actionable direction, but spares you the financial and emotional damage that can come with chasing a fantasy.
Even my own career as an investor has benefited tremendously from this concept. I never set distant goals I’m not sure I can achieve, and every choice I make is based on the resources I have on hand. Each achievement serves as the marker of a new chapter in my life.
This thinking aided me along my very unanticipated journey from athlete to entrepreneur to investor, and the blessings have far exceeded my expectation, which is why I am so passionate about sharing this idea with all my entrepreneur friends.