Most people hear the word “startup” and automatically think it only refers to owning your own company. The truth is, we're all in startup mode every time we start something new—whether it's launching a new service or company program or creating a new production schedule.
I started my first business 25 years ago, and I’ve had thousands of startup projects along the way. I've also had a bunch of stalls and slow downs, and I went backward more times than I can count. But because I tackle every to-do with passion and dedication, I'm always moving forward. You can learn to do the same by putting the following five-step process into place.
When I start something new, this is what I do:
1. Set a target. This is a sky-high, big picture goal, but no matter what the project is, I know what my end goal is.
2. Create a business plan that will get me there. I put all the details down on paper so I know what needs to be accomplished to make the project a success.
3. Start calling on clients, selling and closing deals. If the project isn't sales focused, then I call on the people necessary to get the job done.
4. Reinvest the resources in expansion and marketing. Once the project's complete, I use the profits to make my business stronger.
5. Make adjustments in my overall plan, and keep moving forward. Now it's time to create more targets in order to move ahead.
New things happen every day, and most people need help staying focused and getting re-motivated, which is where a checklist comes in very handy. You need to start fresh every day—with a new focus, a new attitude, new targets, new customers, new calls, new challenges and hopefully new resources (money). The key is to not bring yesterday’s failures or disappointments into your activities or mindset today.
Get Everyone Motivated
You also can't be the only person running on adrenaline. Every person in your company needs to feel motivated, which is why I start every morning with a meeting at my office. These meetings are quick and meant to catch everyone up and get people excited about the day ahead. Despite traffic, bad weather or any other morning challenge, I want my team motivated to tackle whatever business tasks the day will bring.
You also have to be sure you're staying focused. It's much too easy to get pulled in different directions, which can sometimes take you down the wrong path. Treat your task, your daily startup project, like a car: Get in, turn the ignition, know where you're going and who you're going to see, then hit the accelerator and get there as quickly as you can.
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