Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. It takes a special type of person to take an idea and turn it into something real. But the same practices, disciplines, and habits of successful entrepreneurs can help anyone have a more focused and fulfilled life.
Whether you want to start a business, build a product, or launch a ministry, the following steps will be vital to your development, success, and longevity. Following them will help your dream will go from concept to reality.
Develop your life purpose statement
A purpose statement is a paragraph two or three sentences long that states what your life purpose is. What do you feel God created you to do? What is that one thing you feel you need to complete or accomplish or else your entire life is lived in vain?
God must inspire your purpose statement. It cannot be founded on your wants and desires. Remember, God created you so He is the One that gave you purpose. I encourage you to diligently ask the Lord what His purpose is for your life. This does not come easy, nor does it come overnight. It took me almost five years of seeking, praying, and listening. Please do not take this step lightly because purpose is one of the most important and valuable things we have in this life. Also, the following questions will help you crystalize how your idea and purpose intersect:
1. How do my ideas relate to my purpose?
2. How can my ideas support my purpose?
3. How can I infuse my purpose with my ideas?
4. Develop your "Why" statement.
Your “Why” statement explains in detail what you want out of life. Unlike purpose, your “Why” is more focused on tangible, measurable results. Along your journey, it is inevitable that you will fail, lose focus, and get discouraged. In these times, your Why will help you to regain focus. It will also encourage and motivate you. If your Why doesn’t motivate you, it’s not your “Why”. Also known as your Dream, your “Why” will always be bigger than you and should never be something as common as money, material things, or notoriety. When you are 80 years old what do you want to be remembered for? That’s your “Why”.
Write down your schedule for seven consecutive days
The importance of this step lies in the future– If you don’t know where you are, you won’t know when you get where you want to go. Agree with me or not, but time is not a real obstacle to progress. Before you can get started developing, you must be aware of how much time you have available and what you can eliminate from your schedule to allow yourself more time.
For seven days, write down everything you do in one 24-hour period from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. This includes all aspects of your life including commuting, working, meetings, watching TV, eating dinner, and taking a shower. After seven days, analyze your schedule and look for:
1. Repetition (work, church, family time, exercise, etc.)
2. Inconsistencies (emergencies, helping other people, spontaneous stuff)
3. Free time (aka downtime)
4. Timewasters (hours watching TV, social media, afternoon naps, games, phone calls, Internet surfing, etc.)
The second part of the exercise is to make four columns on a piece of paper. Label them “Repetition”, “Inconsistencies”, “Free time” (in hours), and
“Time-wasters”. Under each column, categorize everything that happened during your day/week. In the “Free time” column, tally the number of hours you are not doing anything. After completing the last part of this exercise, set goals of how you plan to “clean up” your week, maximize your time, and get more done. Time is so expensive and valuable that it cannot be bought.
Not everyone is called to start and run a business, but we are all called to be good stewards of the time God has given us. My prayer is that these tools will equip you to spend your time like the valuable resource it is.