Before you start a new business, tackle a new project or make a decision that will effect your future, ask yourself these five questions.
Where am I?
Have you ever tried to give directions to someone who's lost? You can't until you figure out where they are. The same is true with business. Before you can make progress you must know where starting from. Create a clear picture of the present, your position in the market, your assets and challenges. Only then can you create a roadmap to your goal.
Who cares about your product or service? Who cares if you succeed or fail? Who cares if you take a risk? Who cares if you create a new business model? Identify those that matter and develop plans to make them happy. You may find that the only person who really matters – and the only person you have to please – is you.
Don't assume you know everything. As you move forward, you'll learn. You'll be challenged. The landscape will change. You'll need to alter your course. Be ready to see the future as it emerges, not just as you have envisioned it.
Are we there yet?
In every journey there are milestones. Know what they are so you can track your progress and make the adjustments necessary to get back on track. Are you on schedule? Do you have the resources to make it to the next milestone? Has anything changed to make you rethink your course?
If you spend all your time asking why, you're looking for reasons not to do something. Ask why not and you'll begin to remove those barriers. Then you can start moving forward.