How to avoid the entrepreneur’s gap
The entrepreneur’s gap is the difference between where you are now in your business and where you want your business to be.
Just think of where you want your business to be as the horizon.
As the sun sets gently down towards the horizon the sun looks so big and so close you could almost reach out and touch it.
Or at the very least you could get in your car or boat and drive towards it. It’s so close you’d reach the exact spot where it slips below the horizon within a short while.
But of course, the closer you get towards the horizon, the sun doesn’t get any bigger or any nearer.
If you didn’t know better, you’d simply put your foot down harder on the accelerator and urge the car to go faster.
But still the sun won’t appear any nearer.
No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.
– Zora Neale Hurston
Being an entrepreneur is like heading to the horizon
As a business owner you’re heading towards your distant goals. You’ve set your self a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for your business and you’re heading towards it. (A BHAG is a 10-25 vision for where you want your business to be).
[Related Post: Where Will You Be 5 Years From Now]
Every quarter you’re setting yourself new goals and new challenges (see related post Why 90 Day Goals Get Better Results) you keep on pressing on.
Every quarter you get closer to your target (and you know that because you’re tracking your progress with actionable metrics), but somehow the success you’re seeking seems a bit further away, even though you’ve made great progress.
As you get nearer to the goal, you reset your end goal.
So the 1st customer becomes 10 customers, 10 customers becomes 100, 100 becomes 1000.
It’s only natural that’s what entrepreneurs do, they see opportunity and they shoot for it.
The gap between where you are now and where you want to be I call the entrepreneur’s gap.
The Dark Side of Big Goals
Many of my future clients are tired, stressed out and worried that their business isn’t quite growing at the pace they want it to be or getting the results they know it’s capable of.
They are working more hours than they expected and neglecting families and friends.
Human nature drives us to want more (and that’s a good thing when you’re growing your business), but all too often we fail to stop and celebrate the success that we have achieved.
Consequently as our business starts to grow ant the goals start getting bigger and bigger, the entrepreneur’s gap becomes bigger and bigger.
Rather like the sun setting on the horizon doesn’t get any closer, seemingly neither does achieving your big goals.
This often leads to frustration in business owners or what Seth Godin calls “The Dip” and can lead to business owners giving up far before the entrepreneur’s gap is crossed and the BHAG achieved.
How to avoid the entrepreneur’s gap
The easiest way to overcome the entrepreneur’s gap is to stop and reflect on what you’ve achieved. At the end of each quarter, instead of immediately rushing onto the next set of goals, look back at what you’ve achieved and celebrate your successes.
As a business owner it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the future without taking some time out and look at what you’ve accomplished.
Celebrate the successes of what you’ve achieved with the people most important to you.
Once you’ve celebrated with a meal, beers or a simply a day off.
Reflect on what you’ve learned the past 90 days and how the lessons learnt can be applied to the next 90 days.
Write down your the lessons learnt and what went really well. Look at what got in the way or what didn’t work and how you can do better in the next 90 days?
Look at what you learned from what didn’t work and how you can use that to make the journey across the entrepreneurs gap so much smoother.
Celebrating success builds momentum
Regularly celebrating your successes will keep you going and build momentum through your reflections. You will see and feel your progress with your team who in turn will be be more motivated. The people who you are closest too will recognise your successes and be more supportive of you.
The people closest too you will feel more involved and consequently understand more of why building and growing your business, and consequently your confidence and support will get bigger.
Celebrating your success may seem like a small thing and easy to overlook as being a waste of time, energy or money when you’re relentlessly pushing forward in growing your business, it will reduce the chances of burnout and will ensure that you are far more likely to achieve the results you’re looking for and thus much more likely to avoid the entrepreneur’s gap.