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Plan Your Goals From Your Future Self

Updated: May 30

Entrepreneurship and business leadership are really all about having the right mindset. To be ready for the next level in your organization, you must personally become ready for the next level. I love this quote from the book The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner, which encourages leaders and entrepreneurs to “play ahead of the game; ahead of where they really are.”

What does it mean to play ahead of the game?

Let me illustrate this from my own experience. Every year, when I ran the law firm that my husband and I had co-founded, we would get a yellow pad, and we would pretend we were already in the future, working with a budget from the future. How this works practically is like this. Let's say our current annual budget was $1M but our goal was to double or triple in one year, we would base our current planning as if we were already a $2-3M company.

How many employees would we need? What would our technology look like? Our systems, processes, etc.? How much would we spend on marketing? How much space would we need? So remember, now we're not there yet. We're just projecting what we would do if we ALREADY had the budget, and we’d make a strategic plan from that imaginary place. Most importantly, we would execute that plan.

What did that look like? If we had three employees and believed our future company would require six, we would start recruiting and interviewing to hire more people. We would also start looking around for more office space if we felt we needed more. Nowadays, office space is less of a consideration in our current virtual/hybrid world, so the considerations here would be upgraded technology and a more extensive training budget.

The important thing is we would take action, and in so doing, we were always playing ahead of the game. We saw record growth yearly because we had already seen ourselves in that future place. An important point not to overlook is WHO you will need to be in that future company. Your current leadership skills that got you where you are will not necessarily serve you in an expanded company with more team members, perhaps a diverse team. Determine if you need to understand financial reports more than you currently do, and examine your tech capabilities so you can BECOME the person who can successfully lead your expanded enterprise.

Success is much about having the right mindset and taking positive actions. There will always be a certain level of risk-taking when we play ahead of where we are, but it's worth it if you want to grow.

{The remaining message in this blog is for leaders who endorse a faith-based or Christ-centered approach.


Faith Notes: "A man's heart plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps" -Proverbs 16:9. This reminds us as Christian leaders that although we should make plans and follow our vision, we must leave room for God to change our course. God's plans are ultimately the best for us in the long run, so we should keep them at the forefront of our minds.

Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Would you like to discuss any current challenges in your life or organization? Please schedule a time here.


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