October 22, 2023

How to Outlast 99.9% of Entrepreneurs

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In a world that wants immediate gratification, all it takes is a long-term mindset and consistent action to outperform 99% of people at whatever thing you choose to do.

And the easiest way to follow your long-term path is to use structured, strategic planning.

Here’s how I think about planning for my business:

It all starts with knowing what impact you want to make with your days on this Earth.

You may not know exactly how to get there, and that’s okay.

A goal-setting framework will help. And that’s what I’m showing you today.

Today I want you to understand how I transform my big mission into daily action steps that move the needle.

Or as the saying goes - how I eat the elephant, one bit at a time.

Goals (Decades)

First I consider my big goal. My mission. I consider my mission a goal that will probably take decades to achieve.

And the cornerstone of my business philosophy lies in knowing what impact I want to make on this world.

It took me some years of stumbling around on the internet to figure it out (as it might for you), but I finally know my purpose.

I want to help one million people escape the rat race, build thriving one-person businesses, and enjoy freedom-filled lives.

So everything I do is laser-focused on that outcome.

Notice my big goal isn’t a “me” outcome, but rather a “customer” outcome.

Funny enough - when you help others, you generally help yourself.  Helping others is always a win-win.

So ponder these questions for yourself:

  • Who do you want to help?
  • What do you want to help them do?
  • Why do you want to help them do that?

Clarity around these questions will inform your strategy.

Strategy (Yearly)

Each year, my strategy helps me inch closer to my ultimate goal of impacting a million people.

I create what I call “BHAGs” (big, hairy, audacious goals). And these strategic goals inform everything I do over the course of that year.

But you can’t just slap a BHAG together. You need to use the right framework to give yourself best chance for success. I use the SMART goal framework, meaning my strategic goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For example, expanding my top-of-funnel footprint on LinkedIn and Twitter was my BHAG for 2023. But what does that mean, exactly?

Let’s isolate my LinkedIn goal to dig in:

  • Specific: Grow my LinkedIn following by posting content 3x per day.
  • Measurable: Grow my LinkedIn following from 340,000 to 750,000 by posting content 3x per day.
  • Achievable: Grow my LinkedIn following from 340,000 to 500,000 by posting content 2x per day.
  • Relevant: Grow my LinkedIn following from 340,000 to 500,000 by posting content 2x per day. Ensure engagement rates grow to prove I’m attracting the correct prospects.
  • Time-Bound: Grow my LinkedIn following from 340,000 to 500,000 by posting content 2x per day. Ensure engagement rates grow to prove I’m attracting the correct prospects. The goal should be reached by December 31st, 2023.

I now have a SMART goal I can work against.

Metrics show me that I’m pacing nicely toward my goal.

The engagement trendline is moving in the right direction (win), I’m averaging 1.53 posts per day (miss), and I’m trending toward 508,000 followers by year’s end (win).

Tactics (Quarterly)

Every new quarter presents an opportunity to review, refine, and execute tactics that align with my yearly strategy.

Identifying the top 20% of actions that yield 80% of the results is crucial.

For me, I identified three tactics that lead to most of my growth:

  1. Create one new and one repurposed LinkedIn post per day.
  2. Schedule five new calls per quarter with up-and-coming business people to continuously expand my network.
  3. Continue to engage with my network of family, friends, and peers on the platform.

Next, I take each of those tactical actions and create quarterly milestones to see how I’m tracking. For example, for tactic #2 above:

  • Complete five Zoom calls with new creators by April 1, 2023.
  • Complete 10 Zoom calls with new creators by July 1, 2023.
  • Complete 15 Zoom calls with new creators by October 1, 2023.
  • Complete 20 Zoom calls with new creators by December 31, 2023.

While it may seem simple, having these plans out in a one-page document (and in my calendar) increases the likelihood that I achieve these micro-goals.

Effort (Daily)

Lastly, the daily grind is where my vision is molded into reality.

It’s about the non-negotiables — the daily commitments to creating and sharing valuable content, engaging with my community, and learning from the feedback.

Each day is a stepping stone toward achieving my ultimate mission.

With so much going on, I live by my Google calendar, and I rely on my schedule to make sure all these micro-goals get the time and attention they deserve. So my calendar is filled with tasks every day that support my mission.

Here’s an example of things you’ll find on my calendar:

8:15 am: LinkedIn post comes out. Spend 30 minutes engaging.

8:45 am: Find content published in my network, and show my support.

12:00 pm: Write one new piece of LinkedIn content.

12:15 pm: Edit and repurpose one older piece of content that resonated.

12:30 pm: Schedule content for tomorrow and create bonus tips for the comments.

3:00 pm: Identify one person who I’m not connected with and plan to start a dialogue.

Sometimes this schedule moves around, because I want to live a flexible life. But at the end of each day, I make sure I’ve put in the daily effort that leads to my big mission.

Having these tasks on my calendar makes it all possible.

Conclusion

Outlasting most people isn’t about blind hustle. It happens by following a disciplined, structured approach to your work.

You must be relentless in pursuing the BHAGs, focused in strategizing annually, meticulous in planning quarterly, and committed to showing up daily.

In the world of working for yourself, reaching big success is a mix of dreaming big and making step-by-step plans. Or, in other words - putting your time and effort where your mouth is.

The SMART goal framework, combined with daily effort, lays down a simple path that helps you stay true to your goal while dealing with the unavoidable ups and downs of building your own online business.

As you move along on your journey, I hope you will use this organized approach to guide you and help you stay motivated and dedicated to your mission.

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

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