Space X launched another rocket this month, the Starship launch did not disappoint. I was talking to friends about how failing fast is part of the process so they can figure out what not to do efficiently. The goal of this launch was to "clear the pad". Basically, they wanted Starship to successfully get past the 500-foot launch tower. Everything after that was considered a bonus.
It got me thinking about business and how success is uncommon.
Kate Tice an engineering manager at Space X said, "The farther we fly, the more data we collect." All too often when we’re aiming for our business goals, striving for success, we’re shooting for the stars and when we don’t reach them it feels like a failure. We're not collecting data. We're just looking too far ahead.
How can we look at success differently?
Let’s look at clearing the launch pad first. And then what comes next, and then what comes next after that. So in this blog, I want to share two simple thoughts and plan some seeds.
1 Work on what matters daily
Rockets fly with lots and lots of course corrections along the way. Imagine that a 500-foot tower is only one milestone for Space X! How many more 500-foot milestones are there to gather more data? Enough data to get them to Mars?
In business, imagine each day is like a 500-foot sprint. Every 500-foot sprint is getting you closer and closer to your most significant milestones.
Busy work or 'little work', oiling the squeaky wheels, distractions, wasting time in meetings - these all add up and amount to taking you off course. Big change only needs an inch change at a time.
How can you stay focused?
Great question. Take one minute at the beginning of your day and review your goals. What is the one big thing or the three little things you can do today to reach your next milestone?
When you start every day with your destination top of your mind, you're going to head in that direction. Seriously, you can take one minute to read your goal map, can’t you?
Small hinges swing big doors!
2 Create boundaries
Things that aren't aligned with your core focus are nothing more than Fool's Gold. Shiny objects that take away from what you should be prioritising.
Do you think if someone said to Space X, 'hey let's build a superyacht' they'd give it a second thought?
No. Boundaries are guardrails to your productivity and ultimately your goals.
If a client comes along and asks you for a service that isn't in your cockpit, be very careful and weigh up the opportunity cost of trying to deliver that. It doesn't even have to be that, you need boundaries for yourself too. So admit the thing, the pattern that's getting in your way and let's declare: "I don't do ________". Insert what's appropriate for you - is it drama, overwhelm, excuses, distractions, or overdelivering?
Claim it today. Write it on a Post-it note and program it into your neural pathways (bonus points for taking a pic and sending it to me).
Whew, that was a lot of coaching for one blog. I want to sum up by saying 'focussed action and a steady eye on your goals are going to give you the best odds of achieving success'.
If you’re looking for some support to put the systems in place for you to clear the pad and reach milestone after milestone, business coaching might be an option. Feel free to check out the coaching page and see how I could possibly help you put in place the built-in checks, balances and course correction to help you reach your goals.