Monday, May 21, 2007


wOOt!!! I opened a bank account today!

One of the hardest things about keeping an idea alive is simply that life just gets in the way. I have to continue freelancing to help finance the start-up (as well as to pay off credit card bills) and paid work has to take priority over personal pursuits.

The problem is, the more time I spend away from The Idea, the more the passion fades and what started as something I
had to do, becomes something I might do....and then the voice of doubt creeps in saying "well, maybe not" and then....the idea is just another notebook on the shelf. It's happened to me enough times in the past to realise that there are 2 important things I have to do to keep the momentum going.

(1) Goal setting
It's not enough to have a general idea in your head. You have to write it down.

I've read quite a few books and attended seminars that always refer to statistics from a Harvard Business School study on goal setting. I can't seem to find a report of the actual study ... but basically a group of Harvard graduates were asked if they had goals and, if so, were they written down?

3% had written their goals down, 11% had goals but had not written them down and 86% had not yet established goals.

Twenty years later, they polled the same group. The 11% who had goals (but not written down) were making twice as much as the 86% who had no goals. However, the 3% who had written down their goals were making 10 times more than the average of all the other graduates…and 98% of all the wealth resided with that same 3%!

My friend Adelina invited me to a Finexis seminar on achieving targets, and one of the exercises was goal setting. It made a difference. Writing them down makes them tangible and forces you to plan, enabling you to take physical first steps towards getting there.

Anyway, I don't know how other people write their goals but this is how I did mine. The long term goals are at the very end, and there are little goals to get there. I call it my Grand Master Plan. This GMP was for plain. Who says goals have to be in black and white?

I've put a blank .png template here - you're super welcome to adapt it for yourself!

(2) Take action that makes you accountable to someone else
Once the goals have been set, I could look at them forever and not get anywhere. I'm the sort of person who is extremely lazy and irresponsible when it comes to myself. I'm much better when I have someone else to answer to.

So after I've done my homework, double-checked my numbers and set my goals....I need to commit to them. With my last idea, I told Adelina my goals and told her to whup my ass if I didn't stick to them. That didn't work because we all knew she wouldn't really whip my ass, and when she started nagging too much I just avoided her.


This time round I've wizened up and have managed to stay committed by putting my money where my mouth is. I've engaged a web developer and committed moolah. I've told enough people about it to be seriously embarrassed if I don't get anywhere. I've accepted huge generosities from supportive friends. I've registered the business. I've started writing this blog.

I've basically made it very hard for myself to back out. So even if I slack off because of everyday responsibility, or laziness, or inertia, or any one of a1001 reasons...there'll be someone, or something to kick my ass.

Why have I made things so difficult for myself?

Because I really, really, really want this and don't want my stupid old self to get in the way again.

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