Think about the original reason you decided to open your business. Connect with the excitement and anticipation you felt imagining the impact you were going to make in your community, being of service to others and feeling appreciated by your clients. Tap into the feeling of your business making a difference in their lives.

How was your life going to be different once you reached your ideal goal?

Now consider your current business, where are you now? What progress have you made toward reaching your goal? Along the way some things could not have been anticipated. What challenges have come up affecting your vision? How do you deal with unforeseen problems and conflict?

Crossing the gap

The process of envisioning the ideals for creating your business, contemplating where you are now along with considering the challenges while building your business is known as the gap. The gap is the space between where you are now and where you would like to be. The gap is very interesting, causing an emotional and behavioral affect.

We all have a gap in our business. The difference is based upon how you choose to bridge the gap. Know your goals. Once that has happened you can develop a navigation tool which will help you stay the course, successfully arriving at your destination.

My favorite approach is to develop a plan from the future goal back to the present, called reverse engineering. Along the way you create milestones. Those are your destinations of where you want to be by a specific date. Consider the step you need to take to reach each milestone. This will be your action plan.

Be Creative

This process can be applied to the creative thinker as well as the cognitive planner. So many different tools are available. Whatever is your style, there is something for you. These include vision boards, calendars, brain mapping and flow charts. Consider trying two different ones to challenge your right and left brain. You might be surprised with the results.

The tool you are willing to use is the one which is right for you.

Expect the Unexpected

Unexpected challenges will appear along the way as you are taking the steps to grow, and expand, your business. Do you meet those challenge head on, continuing to progress toward your vision, regardless of how uncomfortable it is? Maybe you think about the problem for awhile as you figure out what action plan to implement next. Or you could give up in defeat, believing you were not supposed to be following this avenue after all. Where do you fit in?

Your approach to the gap depends upon your beliefs, perceptions, prior experiences and support system. The most successful entrepreneurs take imperfect decisive action. The mindset is to continue making progress toward the set goal while correcting the course along the way. The gap is not a challenge, but an opportunity.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing on where they are now, what is right in front of them. Although the day to day operations need to be addressed, they distract you from your goal. As a result it is possible to lose sight of the BIG picture, the original intention for going into business.

If you find you are getting off track get an accountability buddy. Having another like-minded entrepreneur who you check in with on a regular basis is powerful. Just the process of checking in on a regular basis for a couple of minutes helps to maintain focus, keeping you on course. This is not a long chat on a phone going over your social plans. Instead it is a brief 5-minute check in stating your intentions for the day which will help to keep you focused on your goals.

Strategy is your blueprint to success

Without a strategy it is difficult to determine if you are veering off course. Worse yet, maybe you never set a course to begin with. You continue to work in your business, but don’t have a definite direction. If that is the case, how would you ever know when you have arrived?

Of course it is necessary to address your current business needs right now, but you also want to maintain awareness of your business goals. If your goals are designed for growth, they will continue to stretch you. Not only will your business grow, but you will experience personal growth as well. They go hand-in-hand. You cannot grow your business alone. Personal growth occurs as you step out of your comfort zone.

Welcome feedback

Solopreneurs tend to be very controlling. It is part of our nature. There is a need to know all, be all. Well, sometimes that approach backfires.

There are just some things you will not know how to do yet. Don’t attach any judgment to it. It is all part of the process of growing your business and coming across something new and unexpected.

When you begin feeling overwhelmed, doubting your goals are realistic and feeling stuck, consider getting support. This might include asking a trusted alliance for feedback, hiring a virtual assistant or asking a mentor for guidance.

Determining which next action steps to take maintains momentum.

Continue to evaluate your progress, where you are now and whether you need to make a course correction. This process is fluid and things will change as you move along. Be open to the possibility that the end result might turn out very different than you originally anticipated. This does not mean failure. In fact, things very rarely end up just as you envisioned.

Feel that you are ready to move forward toward your vision, but overwhelmed about everything which needs to get done to reach that goal? Doubting your abilities? You have tried to reach milestones before but end up getting sidetracked? Well, instead of looking at these things as negatives what if they could be used as information to help you reach your current goal successfully. The truth is the end result is important, but it is the journey which enriches you.

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From Loren Fogelman, the success expert, founder of Mindset for Marketing Success.