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Calculating Your Success

You have big dreams, and you’ve set your goals. Filled with excitement and setting your fears aside, you are off and running toward your success, but it’s more complicated than you thought it would be.

What’s going on? 

That was the question on my client’s mind when I stopped by for a visit. His new business was growing but slower than expected, and he was beginning to wonder if his dreams would come true. Stress was high, and time and money were running out.

Having seen these situations before, I decided to walk him through three questions that, while they would have been better answered before starting the business, there was still time.

My first question was, “How long will it take you to learn the skills required to succeed? Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, anything and everything needed to run a successful business. Everything takes time, and you need to be able to survive the learning time.

Next, I wanted to know how long he would churn and work at the goal. Was he committed for as long as it takes, or was there a set deadline? Building momentum in anything can be exhausting. How long can you keep going?

I saved the most important question for last.

How long will it take until you burn through your resources? Cash, credit lines, free rent on your building, favors from friends and family? Knowing the answer to that question can be humbling and scary, but it can also set you free.

After several hours of our learn, churn, and burn conversation, he could pinpoint exactly how long they had to reach their goal. With a definite timeline, the entire team focused their energy on the minimal viable actions that would achieve success and fit their schedule. Within months, they reached their goal and have enjoyed a successful business.

Whether you own a business or not, any worthwhile project has a far better chance of success when you are realistic about the process before you get started.