Part 5: 5 Steps to becoming a more Deliberate Entrepreneur
First of all, being a Deliberate Entrepreneur is a journey, not a destination. You are always a work in progress. You’re never truly “done.” That’s an important factor to keep in mind because it means you can always get better.
Second, don’t forget to take care of yourself. This is supposed to make your life better, not worse. Make sure to rest and have some fun along the way. We don’t talk enough about self-care for entrepreneurs and how our physical and mental states can affect our well-being. So please put yourself and your needs first.
Now, onto the five steps to becoming a more Deliberate Entrepreneur!
Step 1. Set your goals
Get clear on what success looks like to you. And hey, think beyond the revenue! Entrepreneurship is so much more than just building and running a business. If you ask people why they become entrepreneurs, you’ll get various answers. Maybe they want to create something new, be their own boss, or solve a problem that they’re passionate about. Or perhaps they simply want to spend more time with their family. But, of course, all of these reasons are valid!
Success comes in many different forms, so the clearer you can get on what success means to YOU, the easier it will be to make decisions that help you move towards your goals.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What are my short-term and long-term goals?
- What kind of lifestyle do I want to have?
- What impact do I want to make on the world?
- What legacy do I want to leave behind?
- When do I feel happiest and most myself?
- What would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?
- What would I do EVEN if I knew I would fail?
- When will I know that I have enough?
Yes, that might sound a bit like spiritual mumbo-jumbo, but trust us – answering deep questions like this makes all the difference.
To take things to the next level, create a document where you can track your answers. Then, come back to this document every few months to check in with yourself and see if anything has changed.
Once you are clear on what success means to you, break it down into measurable goals. This will help you better understand what needs to be done to achieve success and make it feel more attainable. An excellent place to start is breaking them into one month, three months, six months, one year, five years, ten years, etc.
Step 2. Align your actions
Now that you know where you want to get to, it’s time to figure out how. The best way to do this is to ensure that your actions align with your goals. This means that you should be doing something every day that will help you move closer to at least one of your goals. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually one of the most important steps you can take toward achieving success.
This is where focus and prioritization come into play. You need to be clear about what is most important to you and what will help you get where you want to go faster.
For example, one of the most effective prioritization frameworks is the Action Priority Matrix. This tool helps you quickly determine which actions are most important and which activities you can delegate or eliminate.
Here’s how it works
First, list out all of the actions you need to take to reach your goal. Then, put each action into one of four quadrants:
Quadrant 1: Quick wins
Quadrant 2: Important and not urgent
Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important
Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important
Once you’ve classified each action, you can start to prioritize.
Quadrant 1: Quick wins are the activities that you should do first. These are actions that are both important and urgent. You should aim to complete as many quick wins as early as possible, as these will help move you closer to your goal quickly. Some examples of quick wins would be registering your business, setting up your payment system, and ensuring you have funding to sustain you for at least the first few months.
Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent activities are the next priority. These are important actions but don’t need to be done immediately. Instead, you should schedule time for these activities in your week to make steady progress toward your goal. An example of this activity would be networking with people who can help you grow your business.
Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important activities can be delegated or eliminated. These are activities that are urgent but not important to achieving your goal. You can either delegate them to someone else or eliminate them altogether. Administrative tasks fall into this bracket; your time and energy can be better spent elsewhere, so it is worth delegating these activities to someone else.
Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important activities – what are we even talking about here? Remove these actions from your to-do list entirely! If it’s not helping you reach your goals, you’ve got better things to do.
Other frameworks can help you prioritize, but the Action Priority Matrix is an excellent place to start. Once you’ve identified your top priorities, it’s time to take action and make things happen.
Step 3. Take the smallest steps
Small actions can make a huge difference in your entrepreneurial journey. Here’s the thing – practicing Deliberate Entrepreneurship is not about making giant leaps and reinventing yourself overnight. It’s all about little but consistent progress and making the compound effect work in your favor.
The compound effect results from small, consistent actions adding up over time. The “slow and steady wins the race” philosophy is in action. And it’s something that every successful entrepreneur understands and harnesses to their advantage.
Of course, the compound effect can work against you, too. If you’re consistently making poor decisions or neglecting key areas of your business, the negative consequences will catch up with you sooner or later and bite you in the ass.
How can you make the compound effect work for you?
It starts with understanding how it works and then making small but deliberate changes in your behavior and thinking.
Every day, ask yourself, “What can I do to move closer to my goals?” Then, take action on one of those things. It doesn’t matter how small the action is, as long as it’s moving you in the right direction.
It may be something as simple as reading an article or reaching out to an expert in your industry for a quick chat. But whatever it is, make sure that it will help you get closer to your goal.
Though it can be tempting and go all in, remember that you are doing this for an extended period of time. This is a marathon, not a sprint (for the lack of a better analogy).
Step 4. Measure your progress and get feedback
One of the key pillars of Deliberate Entrepreneurship is tracking your progress. This helps you understand whether you are making the right decisions and allows you to get feedback from others.
One of the best ways to track your progress is to measure your key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs help you understand how well you and your business are doing and allow you to decide where to focus your energy.
Whether you do it every week or once a month (or whenever it works for you), regular check-ins help you track your progress. And the tools are plenty, from simply taking notes on your phone or using project management tools like Notion to more sophisticated and visual software like SimpleKPI.
Not only will these measurements help you to know if you are moving in the right direction, but they can also help to understand where the pitfalls are and what skills you might need to improve (like time management).
Another important part of Deliberate Entrepreneurship is getting feedback from other people. This can be difficult because it requires you to be vulnerable and open to criticism. However, it is essential to get an outside perspective on your business.
One way to get feedback is to reach out to your network of friends, family, and colleagues. Another is to join an entrepreneur group or meetup. These groups provide a safe space for you to share your ideas and receive constructive criticism from other entrepreneurs.
If you are unsure where to start, why not check out our Deliberate Entrepreneurs community? There, you will be connected with people who will hold you accountable and support you as you embark on your journey of becoming a more Deliberate Entrepreneur.
Step 5. Reflect, rinse, and repeat
And finally, as you progress, the most important step is to go back and review the steps you’ve taken. By doing this, you will be able to determine if there are any areas you need to prioritize more (or less) and if you want to change your approach.
If you see that you are not making progress in the right direction, there is nothing wrong with changing the way you approach things. However, to ensure that you are moving closer toward your goals, it is vital that you can recognize when you have strayed off course and be agile enough to pivot as needed.
Sometimes you can only see what you should be doing once you’ve already started. So don’t be afraid to reflect, rinse and repeat as needed. This is an ongoing process, so don’t feel like you need to have everything figured out from the get-go. Before you know it, you’ll be well on achieving your entrepreneurial dreams.