They go against most advice you read.
You have had an important goal for a while now.
A side hustle you want to start, a project you want to finish, a business you want to grow.
But you never seem to find the time to work on it and, when you do, the work you create doesn’t seem to add any value. You want to be incredibly productive but you are failing miserably.
You need to change the approach you have to achieve your goals. You need to change your mindset.
The two tips below might feel counterintuitive, but they can generate outstanding results. Here is how to start achieving your goals today.
1. Set Incredibly High Goals
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
— Norman Vincent Peale
Often, we try to keep our goals realistic. If you are a college drop-out, you should not aim at building a million-dollar business in the next three years, right? Maybe you should focus on creating a business that brings you just enough to get by and celebrate the already amazing fact that, as a young person, you still managed to create your own company.
And you should be celebrating, indeed!
But what if you dream bigger? What if you go for the million-dollar company, irrespective of how crazy and unattainable it might sound? The truth is: it does happen! So why wouldn’t it happen with you?
Take the example of Steve Bartlett. He quit on the first day of university, and his mother stopped talking to him. Yet, he persevered, because he knew he could achieve more following his dreams than following the university curriculum. He worked hard at building Social Chain, a global social-first marketing agency, valued at €200m in 2019 when Steve was just 27.
Dreaming big doesn’t guarantee you will achieve success. But dreaming small certainly means you will encounter failure.
Imagine you are the drop-out mentioned above, and you managed to build a company that pays your bills. You would feel ecstatic if next year you could grow your business by 10%, right?
But what if you grew it 10 times?
Although unrealistic at first, thinking in these terms forces you to completely rethink your approach to business. You need to do everything in a new and revolutionary way. You need to create a shift in your perspective.
Google is proof that this mindset works, as the tech giant uses this approach.
“It is often easier to make something 10 times better than to make it 10% better”
– Astro Teller, Google X
2. Set Incredibly Short Deadlines
Give yourself 6 months to finish a project. Do you know how long it will take you to finish it? At least 6 months.
That is because Parkinson’s Law applies:
“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”
You either give yourself long deadlines because:
- You don’t have much time for that specific project amongst everything else you need to do
- You imagine that project as something big that requires a lot of time to accomplish
In either scenario, you are wrong. The truth is, you are probably not focussing on the essential. With anything you want to accomplish, you can stripe it down to its core, the fundamental pillars that need to be done for it to work. The minimum viable dose.
Tim Ferriss came up with this question, that helps to shift your perspective to fit this mentality:
If you could only work 2 hours per week on your business, what would you do?
When you have your answer, start working. 2 hours later, you will have created something already. Even if the project is not finished, keep using this approach until you finally get it all done.
Don’t take me wrong: you can not accomplish everything you ever think of by setting a short deadline, especially if you are aiming at an incredibly high goal. But you can start your journey and, eventually, you can achieve a lot.
The more you practice these two principles, the faster you will start having this approach to any project you take on. But, beware, this is not about wanting the world and wanting it today.
What this approach creates in you is a shift in your mindset. You will better understand your goals and the path you need to take to reach them. You will realize the foundations of your project and work smartly and effectively to get it done. You will take a bit more time to look at the bigger picture but you will save yourself long hours of work on non-essential tasks that add little or no value.
Dream big and work smart, as if you had no time left.