Step 2. Contact any people on the list you know personally. Explain your goals and ask how they achieved theirs. Most people will be flattered and happy to speak with you. Be generous; offer to do something for them in return for their time. For people on your list that you don't know, read everything written about them or by them.
You want to find out how each person got started, what path they took, what obstacles were encountered and how they overcame them. If starting over again, what would they do differently?
Step 3. Once you have gathered as much information as possible, start to develop your own customized plan. List everything you’ll require to reach your goal. Take inventory of what you have and determine what you’ll need.
Whatever you require is obtainable. Do you need more education, partners, money, motivation, time, or a different location? Everyone has problems and every problem has one or more solutions. Successful people focus on solutions, not problems.
If you lack expertise you can go to school, read books, apprentice or hire an expert. If you need money you can find ways to increase your income, save more, borrow or find investors. If you lack time you can find more by eliminating non-productive activities or by bringing in a partner.
Step 4. Write out a major plan of action. It should be broad, not detailed, simply listing the major steps needed to reach your goals.
For example if you wanted to open your own restaurant the major steps might be: learn the restaurant business, decide whether to buy a business or start a new one, pick a location, determine your price range, obtain funding, buy or start the business.
Step 5. Break down each major step into minor ones. With the above illustration, how would you learn the restaurant business? Will you go to school or apprentice by working in a restaurant? Perhaps you want to bring in a partner who has this knowledge.
Step 6. Create a plan of action to achieve each minor step. Be as detailed as possible and have a specific timetable. For example, if you decide to go to school, what school, how will you pay, when will you start, how long will it take, will you attend full or part time.
If you will apprentice, where and for how long. If you will use a partner, do you know someone or if not how will you find someone.
Step 7. Begin, take the first step. At this point you should have a very detailed road map of how you plan to achieve your goals. Consider your plans adjustable and never hesitate to make changes as you progress, learn and grow.
Step 8. Continue, step by step until you realize your goals.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.
© 2004 Bryan Golden