Bill Gates is an incredible strategist, inventor, and entrepreneur. His brilliance has made him billions of dollars and also helped saved thousands (perhaps millions) of lives. Beyond that, I’m really impressed with Gates’ pragmatic way of approaching/solving big, global problems… he’s a realist, yet has an incredible mind to see into the future so to better strategize on how to achieve his dreams.
Gates understands, maybe better than anyone, that reaching one’s dream requires smaller, consistent wins. Watch the Netflix documentary about him called ‘Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates’ if you need further proof.
A Strategy to Achieve Your Dream
We are nearing the time of year (typically a week into December is when I like to start brainstorming), when you, the aspiring entrepreneur, should be thinking about your future… and what precisely you want to accomplish in the coming year. Your goals for next year should be tied to your longer-term dream. They should help you get to where you want to be in, say, ten years.
It’s imperative, for many reasons, that after setting a goal, you hit it — and in the time frame set out. Remember, goals aren’t dreams. A year flies by, especially when you’re a busy entrepreneur, so trying to solve world hunger may have to be more of a long-term dream.
Goals are intended to make big dreams a reality. And great dreams require multi-year commitments.
If You’re Going to Make Them, Don’t Make Resolutions Lightly
New Year’s resolutions are viewed as cliche because most people don’t put much thought into them — often making unrealistic resolutions. Therefore, they likely won’t commit much past the third week of January because they realize (too late) what is required. They then let themselves down subtly, and that — without people realizing it — is one of the worst things for personal confidence.
Think about the cliche New Year’s resolution for a second: If you’ve been 200 pounds for the better part of the last decade, you likely won’t lose 30 pounds in a year.
Too often, people set unattainable resolutions because they are made on a whim – with little vision for the longer-term.
12 months is not a long time in the big picture. Referring back to the cliche weight loss resolution to enhance my point: If you really think about what 30 pounds mean for someone who is 200 pounds, that’s 15% of their body weight…
Genetics, schedule, and desire all play a role, and there is a reason the person has been 200 pounds for nearly a decade!
So be realistic. Start with 5-7 pounds this coming year. It’s attainable and plants the seeds (while creating healthy habits) to lose 7-10 pounds the following year. You need to have a win in year one to get to year two. Big dreams require progressive improvement.
The act of winning and achieving what you set out to do, starting with a realistic goal, creates addicting (positive) habits and builds momentum. Reflecting on your accomplishments also releases dopamine. Dopamine is addicting. And thus, you want to achieve more as time goes on. That sets you up for incredible things over the long-term, and the long-term is where the magic happens – when dreams are realized.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
― Bill Gates
Coming up with a long-term vision mustn’t be taken lightly. And your goals for the New Year should help set you on the path for your long-term dream. Resolutions should have an impact if achieved, and consequences if not. And they must be attainable (doesn’t mean easy) if you want to accomplish amazing things over the longer-term. Make yearly goals achievable to realize your dream in a decade.
PS – Entrepreneurship is a journey. Let me share some of my learnings that may help make your adventure more fulfilling. Subscribe to my newsletter below. Only my best content will land in your inbox.