Pequenos negócios 45

Let's define a "dream scale"--from the least achievable stage of dreaming to the most achievable:

Fantasy. Concepts which are impossible to achieve or highly unrealistic. It's not surprising that guys on late-night infomercials for make-millions-in-your-spare-time schemes are typically photographed sitting on yachts in tropical locations; these hucksters know they're selling a fantasy. Don't get me wrong: I understand that it can be useful to have fantasies that make life more bearable, especially when you're otherwise happy with your life or not in a position to change. Just don't act on them and don't sign up for that multilevel marketing scheme!

Dream. Concepts which are potentially achievable but where only the positive aspects are seen. Many people have their own idea of their dream business; my neighbors want to own a charming bed and breakfast in a quaint New England seaport. Is this a fantasy? Not exactly. After all, some people do run delightful B&Bs on Cape Cod. The reality, however, is that it's very difficult.

Vision. Concepts which are achievable and at a stage where the downsides and difficulties come into focus. At the vision stage, you're willing to challenge your assumptions (and the claims of those who promise to make your dreams come true). You're not afraid to understand the costs, limitations, and work required, as well as your chances of success. For those who are just dreamers, this feels like "popping the balloon." For those who are going to be successful, this feels like the beginning.

Goals. A specific, realistic objective. At the goal stage, you start to give yourself clear, practical targets for achieving your vision. You understand how much you can--and cannot--achieve, and you begin to put numbers and dates to your ambitions.

Plans. A step-by-step outline of how you are going to achieve your goals. This is where you determine how to make your vision a reality. You list action items, milestones, and activities. And then you go to work! I believe in dreams. In my company, I always start our annual planning sessions the same way--by brainstorming wild ideas and discussing big goals for our future. But that's only the first hour of a three-to-five-day process. We spend the rest of the time discussing and prioritizing our goals, then devising a detailed plan for achieving them. If we didn't, our aspirations would still be dreams. Instead, we're busy making our dreams come true.

Fonte: Abrams, Rhonda (2005). The Owner's Manual for Small Business. Palo Alto: The Planning Shop, pp. 35-36.
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