The famous song ‘Happy Talk’ from the old Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ‘South Pacific’ portrays an idyllic situation which can be quite deceiving. I remember the 1982 version by Captain Sensible and the ‘Only Fools and Horses’ scene where Del patronisingly tells Rodney that “he has to have a dream or he’ll never have a dream come true.” I’ve often observed that it is often people’s dreams that cause most of their disappointment in life.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not opposed to dreaming big and having goals, vision and ambition – far from it! All I would urge is that you base where you want to be in the future on the factual reality of where you are now. There is absolutely no point in planning a trip to the moon next year if the only equipment available to you is a two-seater Cessna 152. Equally, it would be a mistake to limit your ambitions just because last year’s activity only brought you to a place where you owned a small single-engine training plane.
If you want to have a dream of the future, you have to build it on today’s reality.
Yesterday is a memory: tomorrow is your future…
If yesterday is an unchangeable, set in stone, memory and tomorrow is a potential destiny that you still have the power to influence; surely today is the most important day of your life. When it comes to your business, being in the moment ‘today’ is essential for creating more successful future moments. And with cloud accounting (particularly with systems like Xero) understanding and capturing the power of today is far easier than you might think. What I like most about Xero is that it tells you today’s truth and gives you an accurate insight into what tomorrow’s potential should look like. From this reality, you can genuinely start to make your dreams come true.
Most business owners fail because of two reasons. They are either living in the past, running their current business on last year’s figures and focusing on what happened yesterday; worrying about the problems that it is too late to do anything about. Alternatively, they are hoping for a miracle tomorrow with no basis in reality or understanding of what they actually need to do to make their dream happen. Unfortunately, in the real world, the things people simply hope for rarely happen. You need to have a real plan.
The sky is the limit!
When the Wright brothers first took to the air in the early 1900s I would be amazed if they didn’t dream at night of going to the moon. They were true visionaries and, while they were probably sensible enough to know that it wouldn’t be their project, they would surely have known they had opened the door for that first tiny step for mankind. Their work became the foundation for the future of flight and space travel: but their technology was not sufficient for the task ahead.
In your business, you can learn from yesterday and you can dream about tomorrow. But you have to do what you can do today, with the things that are available to you now. Using Xero for your accounting system allows you to make decisions and plans that are based on current data, not historical. It means you can publish a plan for the year ahead and aim to make that stage of your journey happen.
My experience is that dreams come true in stages, so start by flying with today’s dream today.
If you want to know more about how Xero can help you in your business to realise realistic goals, please get in touch.
This article was first published in the Meades Group Business Builder Forum Magazine. You can subscribe here.