Monday, January 20, 2014

3 Metrics that Matter for your 7 Year Vision and Goals

I sat down recently and started thinking where I wanted to be in 7 years with my business, my career, my family, my life - who did I want to help?  What did I want to accomplish?  Where did I want to compete and win?

At the same time, one of my clients approached me and asked me a question.  “I’m always tired.  Is that true for all founders?”    My answer:  "No, but it is frequently true for the ones that want to be doing one thing but the business requires them to do another.  Or that are working so hard but not seeing progress.   And for you, there is extra frustration because once you have progress, you change your goals to be more aggressive or focus on how you could have done more."

As Terry Weaver would say - "my client's goals are elastic".  He makes some progress, then moves the marker - so he’s never going to have a sense of fulfillment.   He's forced to focus on his old business line - the 'failure' that creates $1M gross profit per year instead of the new ideas he's excited about.   It’s the founder’s paradox:  your financials, your freedom, your fulfillment are frequently tied together. 

In the opening line on the CEBI website, there is a simple set of metrics - "More fulfillment, More free time, More wealth."  These metrics will help you address the founder's paradox and get the best possible outcome from your entrepreneurial efforts, personal risk, and hard work.

It is important to separate the goals from the measures here because, in my experience, reaching goals doesn’t always lead to improved financials, freedom, or fulfillment.  Sometimes a goal is to sell a business then, after it happens, an owner finds they miss it and feels less fulfillment.  Sometimes reaching a goal requires sacrifice and more time on the business, so there is actually less freedom than more.    

There’s no one, simple formula.  Instead, I have begun to look at this as both a portfolio management problem and a measurement/monitoring problem.   Fortunately, both are areas with tremendous innovation due to the evolution of SaaS products.   And those evolutions can be applied to help you.

There's more to come - tools, methods, how-to's, and a new perspective- and to try out.   You’ll be able to decide for yourself what helps you, and what doesn’t. Either way, make sure the risks you take and hard work you do are increasing your financials, your freedom, and your fulfillment.

Until then, consider answering these questions, if you haven't already:

           1) What’s the picture of your business and your life you want in 2021?
           2) What are some key goals you want to reach by then and along the way?

The Exemplary Group

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