Unless you’ve been living in a galaxy far, far away, you’ve probably heard countless times that ‘Setting goals is crucial when embarking on any new endeavor.’
Well this week, I will show you the power of setting a massive goal for your startup (a seemingly unachievable goal) from day one. And why it’s even more effective than setting a smaller, easier one…. This tactic can actually fast-track your success.
Oh, and even if you’re already in the development phase or have a live product in the market, setting a massive goal right now can speed your path to success from here.
Let’s dive in, shall we…
Most aspiring tech founders start with an idea rooted in their own experience. They recognize a problem in their own life and start searching for a solution. When they can’t find one, they come up with a way to solve the problem for themselves.
And then there’s a profound “what if we could…” moment. That’s when it hits… ‘This concept has so much potential as a killer new product idea!’
And so begins the journey to startup glory.
Over the years, I’ve spoken with more than 500 potential new tech founders. By the time they’re speaking with me to seek some outside advice, very few doubt the potential of their idea…
Mostly because they’ve spent weeks, months, or even years envisioning their app’s release and how it’ll impact users and their own lives. They firmly believe in their idea and why it’ll work.
So, the first question is usually something like… How do we make it happen?
Which is a good thing, because without an uncompromising belief in the concept and a 100 percent commitment to making it happen, it probably won’t happen.
So why then, do over 90% of tech startups fail in the first 3-5 years?
Here’s where new tech founders can start to go wrong
As a founder and entrepreneur, we just want to dive right in and get things going, without overthinking it too much.
Most entrepreneurs have an ‘Action Bias’. That is a tendency to favor action over inaction. We often feel driven to act even in the absence of an overall plan or when uncertain of the outcome.
So, with their bias for action, a new founder is driven to do something… They typically head straight to an app developer and begin to focus on getting their product made.
It begins with workshopping the idea to brainstorm a list of features that will bring the solution to life. Next, weaving these features into a seamless flow, ensuring a user-friendly experience. And then, the meticulous screen designs.
The development process will continue, and may include many changes and updates, all with rigorous testing of the software to eliminate bugs!
Before you know it, rather than setting an explicit goal with a strategy and process for the overall project, the objective becomes implicit by the founder’s actions…
The overall goal becomes: ‘To create a product that I’ll be proud of ’
Well, is this really a bad goal?
Despite the importance of attention to detail, many founders often overlook the broader perspective – that their product is not intended solely for them, but for their users.
Without a clear destination, many first-time founders find themselves down a deep dark rabbit hole in the pursuit of ‘their’ ideal product design and features. All of a sudden, the development cost has doubled, the timeline extended threefold, and still the product is not perfect.
And on top of that, there’s little or no money left for anything else, not even marketing, which means… no users!
So, how do you maximise your chance of startup success?
Of course, building a successful tech startup requires more than just one strategy, (and in the coming weeks and months we will highlight many of these), but the pivotal first step is setting a goal (or goals) for the project.
“Why though? Why set goals for your startup, especially in the beginning when you still have so much to learn?”
Great questions! Here’s why:
- Goals give you direction. Like having a North Star, they are your daily guide.
- Even better, a goal with a date creates urgency.
- And here’s the kicker: your goals actually determine your process.
Don’t just set any goal… Set a Massive Goal!
OK, so I’m sure you get it…. Goals are essential! Well, here’s the key point of this entire message…
Don’t just set any goal… Set a massive goal… Let me tell you why.
Setting a MASSIVE GOAL (a goal that seems unreachable in the timeline set) is better because it will give you:
It is so big that it can’t be ignored… Every morning it should inspire and excite you to be shooting for it!
Each day you’ll need to make every minute count if you’re going to make the daily progress necessary. And, you’ll need to purposefully ignore calls on your time from tasks that do not advance your progress.
CLEAR-CUT PROCESS REQUIREMENTS
To achieve your goals, you’ll have no room for fluffing around. So, starting with tried and tested processes will have the highest chance of working… Everything will need to fall into place.
Your massive goal/s will help by acting as a filter for evaluating all potential actions. Only the strategies and tactics that move you directly and efficiently towards your goal should be considered for implementation.
Here’s where proven processes will save you huge time. Buy, beg, borrow or steal the strategies and tactics other founders have used to succeed… Then make them your own.
Review your Goals each Morning
Of course, this journey will require your courage and absolute commitment each and every day.
It’s during the early stages, before visible results, that your determination will truly be put to the test. Stay focused and trust the process you’ve implemented – the rewards will be worth it!
I suggest starting each day with a morning ritual!
Take time to read your goal aloud. Feel it resonate within you, and imagine the feeling when it’s achieved. Then renew your commitment to the process. Let your goal inspire, motivate and fuel every action throughout the day!
Important… How to Measure your Progress
When pursuing a Massive Goal, it’s important you avoid this one common mistake. It’s a mistake I made early in my career, and it led to frustration and a sense of underachievement.
Never use your massive goal as a benchmark to measure progress!
Always measure your progress based on how far you’ve come… This will cultivate a genuine feeling of accomplishment and joy.
I know, this may seem counter-intuitive because we’re talking about achieving our goals…
However, as Dr Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan state in their book, ’10X is easier than 2X’: “Think of your goals like the horizon. You can see it in the distance, and be aiming for it but, it will keep moving out as we get closer.”
Goals are for direction… They need to be inspirational and aspirational… And we should re-set our goals often as we make progress towards them.
Remember always, the daily process you create to build to your goals is the key to your continual progress and success.
- Embrace the power of setting a Massive Goal for your Startup from day one, instead of settling for no goals or easily attainable ones.
- Why?… A Massive Goal will give you:
- Precise Direction
- Laser Focus
- Clear-Cut Process Requirements
- Build your daily process based on proven strategies from other successful founders.
- Start each day with a re-commitment to your Goal and Process.
- Always measure your progress by how far you’ve come, not against your goal.
- Then, continue to set bigger goals
Next week, I’m going a little deeper into the ‘Essential Mindset’ for new tech founders and how to get more done in less time. If you haven’t yet, subscribe here so you don’t miss out.
This week’s Action Steps:
So, what actual goals should you set for startup success
No matter what stage your startup is at – idea, in development, or live in the market – you should not underestimate the power of setting a massive goal right now to supercharge your journey to success. It’ll be a game-changer!
However, in these Action Steps, we are focused on goals and the process to kick-start a new idea.
Step 1: Set your First Massive Goal.
Your specific goal/s will depend on your project type.
- For instance, a social app like Threads, serving disillusioned Twitter users, will have different goals and scale when compared with an app like Flohh – which is designed to slash marking time for secondary teachers by more than 40%.
That being said, focus of your First Massive Goal should be on how much better your app will be, when compared with the existing most popular product/method.
Example of a Massive Goal:
‘Our app will be a minimum of 10X better than (the current product in the market)’
As you further validate the problem, market, and your solution, this goal could include a concise description of how your product will provide 10X better value to users, such as: Ease of Use, Accessibility, New Features, Cost, Time-Saving, Enjoyment, how it will change the world, and more!
Step 2: Set your Timeline.
Begin to consider completion dates for key elements in your development roadmap. Then, mark hard dates in your calendar… This could include:
- Problem and Market Validation
- Commence Product Design and Development
- V1 Release: Minimal Testable Product (MTP)
- V2 Release: Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
- V3 Release: First Commercial Product (Limited Release)
- Reaching first 100/1000/10,000 users
Initially, it may be difficult to envision beyond these milestones. Seek advice, but set tight timelines and keep pushing… Review weekly/monthly.
Step 3: Create your Process
Ask yourself this question…
“What do we need to do, and what will need to be in place, to reach this 10X goal?”
To begin with, you’ll need to develop a rock-solid strategy and clear process for Problem/Market/Solution Validation, Target User Feedback, Product Design and Development, User Testing, Community Building and Monetisation Model.
Then, as you start seeing an acceptable level of product-market fit in your early versions, your strategy and process should extend to Release, Marketing, Scale Up, Investor, Team, Leadership, Governance and so on.
Make your first objective – Idea Validation
Right now, before you jump into the Product Design and Development stage, your first objective should be to show that your idea is worth building and has commercial potential (if a requirement).
So, focus on validating the Problem and the Market. Give yourself around 1 week to 1 month to complete this validation process.
At the beginning, it’s really all about making sure you feel confident your investment of time and money is going to be worth the risk.
In coming weeks and months I’ll be covering how to choose the best proven strategies for your project and implement efficient processes to fast-track results.
Be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss out.