This article is about big thinking. This article is about how to set goals in life, and big ones. This article is about a mindset shift to a focus always on what is possible. It is about goal-setting and achievement.
Investors, business owners and entrepreneurs are often very likely to say to themselves “OK, I have X, Y and Z resources available to me, what can I do with this?” That is such a bad way to think if your aim is to hit huge goals and objectives. Do you see why? Most of us start on a path towards a goal with limited resources in some capacity. It could be the availability of capital. It could be connections, contacts or knowledge. If we work only with what we have at the time that we set our goals for the future, without first thinking from the end about what we need to get to our goals, our achievement will always be limited to what we have at the moment.
The Goal of this Article
Today, our goal is to encourage a mindset shift among investors, business owners and entrepreneurs to instead always force themselves to ask, rather “My goals to achieve are [fill-in-the-blank]. What are the resources that I need to achieve them?” We want to focus on what is possible and what you need to achieve those massive goals, versus what is possible only with what you have right now.
How Goals Are Achieved
Let’s give a concrete example of goals to set for yourself and assume for our purposes that you are a real estate investor.
It would be very common for you to say to yourself, for example, “OK, I have $X to invest. With that amount, [fill-in-the-blank] is possible. With that amount, I think, for example, that I can afford one house every year.” Saying that to yourself, however, imposes limitations on what is possible and ignores the abundance of resources potentially available to you if you ask more powerful questions.
That more powerful question or even series of questions would be something like the following:
“OK, I want to buy 20 houses in the next five years, not just one a year. Not only do I want to, but I need to if I want to reach my goals of wealth and financial freedom in that five-year period. To get those twenty houses, I am going to need which people to work on my team? I guess I will need people to analyze and source deals, handle construction, provide financing and manage the properties. How can I find these people and what resources will I need to bring them into my team? How much will I need to pay them and how much money will I need to afford that? Can I do this progressively, adding one key team member at a time until the team is fully built? Maybe I can afford one new person with each deal that I do, or maybe they are willing to work with me on a partnership basis that does not require cash that I might not have at the moment? What do I want? What would I have to do to get that? Who would I have to become to hit my big goal? What would I have to learn to reach this goal?”
Do you see the difference? The second series of questions requires you to start with the end goal in mind and work backwards to understand the people that you need and the actions that you need to take to hit your goal. Don’t ignore the “who must I become?” and “what must I learn” questions either. They are paramount.
The first example, the case of small-thinking, limits what you will be able to accomplish to only those limited resources currently available to you, which we already established are likely to be restricted in some form. The second example, the think-from-the-end approach, sets you up to pick huge, life-changing goals, and then all that is left is to set up the dominoes and start knocking them down one by one. The second approach to goal achievement is much more fun and certainly a heck of a lot more rewarding. Which mindset will you choose?
Avoid the Scarcity Mindset
We all live in a world where there is so much available to us. Literally unlimited resources. These resources can come in the form of capital, partnerships, mentors, great ideas and support from those interested in your success. Believing that your success is limited to only what you have now or that you can build slowly over time is a scarcity mindset that top performers never allow to enter their way of thinking. If you can get comfortable approaching life this way, where you realize that basically anything you want is possible, then your goals tend to happen much quicker than you thought. Eliminating a scarcity mindset is critical to our steps for goal setting.
How is the Most Powerful Word in the English Language
The poor mindset is I cannot afford it. The rich mindset is to instead ask, “how can I afford it?”
“How” is the most powerful word in the English language. You do not need to know every step on the journey towards your goals, you just have to realize that if you keep asking “how” then the answers will reveal themselves. Implement the habit of asking “how” repeatedly in your goal setting and achievement.
You know why goals are important. Embrace problems. Embrace the potential for struggles and setbacks. Difficulties are synonymous with reaching big goals. The bigger the goal, the bigger the problems. The more times you can ask “how,” the faster you will overcome those problems and hit the goals that you set.
So often in life, because we do not know everything that is required to achieve a goal from the start, we simply decide to just do nothing. Have you done this? Maybe there was a business that you wanted to start but there were logistical items you were not sure how you would handle, or maybe your finances were limited, or maybe you thought the regulatory regime was too cumbersome and you would never be able to navigate it. These are all problems that can be overcome, usually just by getting good advice and learning from others.
With any goal, here is some advice: get started with the things that you absolutely know will need to happen while the master plan towards your goal comes together as you take each next step forward. In other words, just start working in the right direction and the steps towards your goals and objectives will reveal themselves to you.
A good place to start is to ask “who could help me get going?” And begin.