It’s an old cliche, but it continues to ring true: Failing to plan is tantamount to planning to fail.
Within that lurks another truth, however, about the necessity of juggling short- and long-term planning. And the way it can be broken down is this: Long-term objectives are the ends, while short-term goals are the means. In other words, long-term aims are those that can be achieved well in the future. A savvy executive puts them out there, within view if not quite (yet) within reach. Short-term goals are the intermediate steps, the scaffolding an enterprise climbs to reach those lofty long-term targets.
I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. When I was in the corporate world, there were certain milestones for which I aimed, year after year. I usually attained them, but after over a decade in that realm I shifted in 1997 to network marketing, understanding that there was a difference between having a job and earning an income.
Specifically, I have been able to build a revenue stream dependent on my own work ethic and ingenuity, as opposed to one that is dependent upon a company’s success, the whims of the market, etc. And that new course, which now finds me a diamond director and top income earner with Jeunesse Global, has enabled me to have more family time, more personal time -- more of a life, really.
Certainly the long-term goal was always to achieve that lofty position, but there were several short-term targets I endeavored to hit along the way, in my guise as distributor, coach and trainer. Foremost among them was developing the best possible team through a method I’ve come to call the “Collaborative Marketing Process for Financial Freedom.” It provides emerging entrepreneurs with strategies to build their own home-based businesses, which in turn will result in new revenue streams and reimagined lifestyles.
The result is a team that numbers over 100,000.
I’ve often said that this entire process begins with a vision -- that it’s necessary to look a few years into your future and determine how you might want the script to play out. In fact, I believe that the best way to do that is to write down those long-term goals. That way, you can look at them in the morning and before bed. Or you can make an audio recording of them and play it back. It’s a way to program your subconscious mind, to fashion your future.
Others have acknowledged the necessity of spelling things out on paper, and still others have developed an acronym to describe the exact nature of those goals: “SMART.” The respective letters stand for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/related to your vision and time-bound.
I would add that it’s important to keep an open mind, and to be aware of what you don’t know. I can recall when I first started out in the corporate world, I was always convinced that my method was superior to that of seasoned executives -- that if they were making $3 million a year, I could double that. Turned out that that wasn’t the case.
Indeed, there has to be a degree of humility, too. But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, the key to it all is understanding that short- and long-term goals are intertwined. Simply put, you cannot achieve the latter without first achieving the former. I’m well aware of that now, and make that clear to the many members of my team as well.