OK, I admit it. “I am a Hamster.” I run on a wheel all day long but never seem to get where I want to be. Over many years of working in a company, I was always a workaholic spending all my waking hours trying to achieve the goals that make a company successful. Then one day, things go my way and I achieved everything I set out to do. Now, POOF, I am working to be successful but with no real defined goal.
Someone recently asked me why I was writing so much. My answer was rather simple, “No one was around to help me when I needed it. I am trying to make it a bit easier on entrepreneurs. After all, the economy really needs new businesses now.” That is sort of a goal, but not a real business one; maybe a bit more altruistic, but not real money making business goal. There is no real way to measure my success. Nor can I grasp the true success of the efforts. In some respects, I am a Hamster on a wheel running as fast as my tiny little legs will go.
It is so easy to be a Hamster. Just like riding a bicycle. Put your helmet on, don’t look at the road and peddle. It does not matter where you end up, only that you are working as hard as you can. I do not know if I can reach my goal because I really do not have one. But wow, I am running fast! Wonder if that counts? Maybe someone will see me run by and say “See Him Run Fast.”
In so many companies it is amazing to see how many people those are like the Hamster. They never look up. They have no idea what the goal is. They can’t possibly know if they ever reached it. Most likely they have no real dreams to achieve either. But, man can their little legs run on that Hamster Wheel.
I bet you know people like me. No dreams, no goals, just running. Maybe you are there now!
So what does this have to do with being an entrepreneur or having a startup? Well, remember when I said:
· Create a business plan?
· An investor pitch?
· A budget and 5 year projection?
That was not for your becoming a Hamster on the wheel. It was to help you get off that thing and ensure you always stay on track. It is a living document and can be changed, but is should always define your goals.
You will find that is so easy to run around doing business without remembering what the goals are and knowing when you achieve them. It is easy to get lost. That plan was not just for your investors, it was for you TOO. Use it to make sure your priorities are defined and that you are running toward achieving your goals. Yes YOU MUST HAVE GOALS TO ACHIEVE THEM!
Next time you get on that wheel with your little legs running. Stop a second and review what your goals were. Maybe you need to adjust them, but reviewing what you wanted to achieve at the start of the business may help you get your focus back and get off that Hamster Wheel!
Taffy Williams is the author of: Think Agile: How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon