What is your definition of success? Do you want to become the founder and CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Is your vision to change the world, revolutionize your industry, make a billion dollars, to be featured on the cover of Forbes magazine? Or is your goal to make money from your own achievements, quit your job, control your schedule, or simply have more time with your family?
The key to success is beginning with your ideal goals in mind, and then mapping the specific steps toward achieving those goals. Waking up each morning with your end vision burning in your brain will help steer your day, and your life. The more you visualize it, the more tangible it becomes. You are designing your own definition of success, and failure will soon not be an option for you. First, you must be completely honest about what success means to you; not success as defined by others. Focus your mindset on how to attain that end goal and allow yourself the flexibility to alter and adjust as life changes.
Do you already have an amazing idea for a business? Take time to plan your last step and your first step. Consider your goal with various perspectives—from mental telescope to microscope. Analyze potential outcomes and create multiple strategies to help grow your idea into a company. Don’t be afraid to not know how you are getting from point (or step) B to point (or step) E. Understanding what you don’t know and what you need to learn is part of the process. Then, again, consider: What is your end goal and the final step to achieve it? This is the last step on your map to success, and should be very easy to pinpoint because you’ve most likely been dreaming about it on a daily basis. Next, think about exactly what action or change is necessary to take you from where you are now, the first step on your journey, toward your goal.
The “race to success” is a misnomer. Racing implies a reckless dash, whereas many of the most successful people in life have strategically plotted their trajectories. Entrepreneurial women don’t have to rush through what they hold important in life—such as love and parenthood—to achieve their goal. Instead, they stay focused on their goal by plotting and attaining the next two to three steps that will move them toward it.
Danielle Tate, Entrepreneur and Author of Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founder’s Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Company, is on a mission to get more smart women to start up and scale up companies. ElegantEntrepreneur.co