If you’re looking to achieve big business dreams, then this article is for you.
Because in it, we are going to share with you some actionable and achievable ways that you can work on growing your business, no matter what stage you’re currently in.
Here’s how I aim to achieve big business dreams:
By myself asking one really simple question – Am I happy with my business growth this year?
I’m all about the Growth Hacking, so if the answer is ‘Yes! Absolutely!’, I pat myself on the back and ask, “Right, what’s next?”
But if the answer is, “No! I could have done better!”, then I take a moment to brood before asking, “So, what went wrong, and how do I make next year better?”
Most entrepreneurs go through a similar conversation with themselves at various times during the year. And we’re usually fairly good at judging our successes because we set ourselves some goals.
If we achieved those goals, we’re doing great and it’s time to set some new ones.
But if we haven’t hit them, we can’t help but be frustrated or disappointed.
And nobody wants that!
Why We’re All Goal Getters
Entrepreneurs are dreamers.
Our dreaming nature is the gift that allows us to turn an idea into a viable business, and it’s vital to your business growth to keep dreaming.
In that way, entrepreneurs are goal getters.
When we first start out our biggest dream is often just getting things off the ground; we dream of starting.
Next, we dream of reaching a point where it’s not such a huge struggle; we dream of a steady income.
But once we achieve an equilibrium, where there’s enough money coming in to cover the bills and sustain the business, and a little more to fund a few treats, space opens up for the really big dreams.
We all have them.
Maybe you want to achieve the coveted status of Million Dollar Business Owner, or become a New York Times Bestseller.
Perhaps the dream is creating a wildly successful business you can sell on for a profit (something I’ve dreamed, and achieved, several times!).
You might want to create a business that brings in big bucks in passive income, while you work three hours a week, and spend the rest of the time with your kids, or traveling, or lying on a beach with a few Palomas.
The big dreams are the game changers, the ones that aren’t just a dream, but The Dream.
Yet there’s a fine line between dreaming great things and shooting for the unattainable.
It’s not enough to set those goals, if you don’t actually hit them, you’re no closer to realising your big dreams.
So how exactly do you ensure you achieve your big business dreams?
The Cornfield Paradox Is Killing Your Goals
There’s a common misconception in business, and particularly digital marketing, that goes like this:
“If you build it, they will come.”
The odds are, if you didn’t hit your goals, or move significantly closer to your dreams this year, it’s because of this quote, and The Cornfield Paradox (so-called after the cornfield in the film Field of Dreams, and the fact nothing good ever happens in a cornfield!).
Blogging is a great example of The Cornfield Paradox in action. If you’re blogging your heart out, publishing once a week, writing great posts, and being really consistent, it’s easy to expect traffic to just show up.
For your business to spontaneously take off.
You’ve built your blog, now your ideal clients will flock to you in droves.
That’s how it works, right?
You’re not wrong. Blogging is phenomenally powerful. But traffic doesn’t happen spontaneously.
You have to promote your blog posts in order to get them found.
The simple fact of their existence isn’t enough!
- Effective SEO for every single blog post
- Social media marketing campaigns
- And (if you have the money to spend) advertising
Goals are another element of business to fall victim to The Cornfield Paradox.
Writing down your goals significantly increases your chances of achieving them. If you’re one of the millions to buy a business planner every December/January, you’ve probably experienced the paradox at some point.
You meticulously planned your goals, but you didn’t put any tangible steps into action to make them a reality.
We’re all guilty of expecting the good stuff to just show up, simply because we asked for it. Christmas is built on that very premise; if we’re good all year, Santa brings us presents.
If we’re good entrepreneurs, diligently writing down our goals and filling in our planners every year, our dreams will just happen.
Alas, it’s not so simple…
Achieve Big Business Dreams By Being SMART
Achieving your really big dreams requires work.
If it didn’t, everyone would already have everything they ever dreamed of!
That’s not to say they’re out of reach, simply that you need to be SMART about achieving them.
Yes, you’ll have to strive a bit to reach them, and the bigger they are, the harder it will be. But as long as you have a realistic understanding of what they will take, and how they can be achieved, the only thing standing in your way is yourself.
And you really want this, right?
Fortunately there’s a really easy solution.
When you’re setting your big business goals, make sure you also plan them!
How exactly are you going to make this happen?
Use the handy SMART acronym to help you remember the five most important things to bear in mind when you’re planning your dreams:
Make sure you are as specific as possible about your goals. That doesn’t mean there’s no flexibility for changing them in the future, simply that you need to know exactly what you’re aiming for.
Define your goal, paint a really detailed picture of that dream and make sure you completely understand what you’re shooting for.
Now you know exactly what you’re aiming for, put a number on it and make sure it’s measurable.
Exactly how much more money do you want to earn next year? How many more people do you want on your list every month? Numbers are vital to business success, and an effective means of measuring your goals is the only way you will ever know if you’ve reached them!
When you have a huge dream you generally want it right now. Or at least, really soon. But just as it’s important to define exactly what your goal is, it’s just as important to make sure it’s a realistic target for the time frame you’ve set.
The best example of this is weight loss. It’s a huge goal a lot of people set every new near, and if you only have a few kilos to lose, you’ll probably do it. But if you have 50 kilos of excess weight, you likely aren’t going to shift it all in a year.
Even if you could, you shouldn’t, because it would be very unhealthy and probably wouldn’t be sustainable.
Growing your business is like losing weight in reverse – if you do too much, too fast, you don’t have the systems in place to support it, and you can’t sustain it.
Most goals can be broken down into natural steps.
Think of it as a ladder:
If you climb it gradually, and a rung unexpectedly snaps, you’re going to land safely on the rung below. It’s a bit of a jolt, but you’re not hurt, and the next rung up is still within reach when you’re ready to carry on.
But if there are only a couple of rungs on the ladder, and they’re all at the top, the only way to reach them is with a huge leap up. You might miss completely, or you might land safely only for the rung to snap when you take the next step up.
With nothing beneath you, that’s a long hard fall.
Slow and steady is the way to go.
Just where is achieving this goal going to get you? How relevant is your dream? These are questions we may not ask ourselves, but they’re really important.
What are the current market conditions in your niche? What are the economic conditions at present? What’s happening with your competition? And will achieving it genuinely move your business forward to where you want to be?
Is there something else that might not inspire you quite so much, but will get you closer to a place you need to be? A place that would make your truly inspirational, massive dreamer, a lot easier to achieve.
Putting a clock on your dreams is scary. You may not quite feel ready to achieve them, or worry what will happen if that clock runs out before you hit them. But without a time-frame or a deadline, your dreams are just intentions, aimlessly floating around in your head.
You need to actively nurture your dreams in order to consistently grow your business, and compound your success year after year.
Is there a specific time you need to achieve your goal by? Even if there’s no practical reason to achieve a goal by a set time it’s a great idea to give it a timeline.
Remember this needs to be realistic!
Having a specific date in mind will motivate you and help keep you on track.
Break it down even further and create mini-goals. If you’re aiming to increase your list by 1000 followers next year, try for 100 new followers in a month first. You might not do it in your first month, but by your second you’ll probably have nailed it.
You get a small victory for hitting that mini-goal, and if you consistently hit it every month for the rest of the year you will absolutely smash you true goal.
How To Achieve Your Big Business Dreams
Once you have set your goals the most important thing to do is act on them. Here are a few quick steps to keep you actioning those goals in a productive way:
- Start with an uber list of your business goals. These will include long-term and short-term goals, all of them realistic and achievable, as well as ultimate dreams that you can’t currently see ever happening. You can go as big as you like with this list, so let your imagination run wild. Where do you want your business to be five years from now, or ten?
- Now narrow down that list by eliminating any that aren’t SMART (at least not for the moment). You should end up with a short list of achievable goals.
- Prioritise that short list – what will be your #1 focus. By focusing on one goal at a time you will maximise your chances of achieving it.
- Plan out your top priority in minute and strategic detail. Break it down into mini goals that are easily achieved.
- Get that list of bite-sized goals into the most logical order possible. What’s going to be the easiest/fastest thing to do right now? What can’t be done until other things on the list have already been achieved?
- Take action – start with the first thing on that list and focus on it until it’s completely done. When it is, move on to the next mini-goal. Keep plugging away at each part until you reach the end of the list!
Great Goals To Set And How To Achieve BIG Business Dreams
If you’ve set your mind to achieve big business dreams but you’re not quite sure which goals will help you get there, here’s a little inspiration…
#1 Double Your Email List
This was one of my goals for 2017 and I achieved it in just one month, with an absolutely killer content marketing strategy. Since then I’ve been focusing on publishing regular, consistent, and extremely high-quality content on a weekly basis.
Every week I publish a value-rich post (like this one!) of around 2500 words. They have been very carefully targeted at my ideal client (that’s you!) and aligned with my business goals. That not only included the goal to build my list, but other goals I had for the year, like launching my Drive program.
If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know these posts have been coming out like clockwork, and a lot of them include content upgrades – an opt-in offer that gives you chance to get even more amazing content, in exchange for signing up to my list.
Blog posts + content upgrades = massive list growth!
See for yourself:
#2 Increase Your Website Traffic
Three things make all the difference when it comes to website traffic:
If you have a budget for paid advertising that can also be a super-effective strategy to use, but if you don’t want to pay for ads, you can create an astonishing amount of organic traffic simply by creating consistent, regular content, that is effectively optimised for search terms your ideal clients are using, and sharing that content as much as possible through free social media marketing, networking, and email marketing.