December 11, 2013

Tired Of Not Reaching Your Goals? Secure A Deadline!

I've been working on a new book now for the last few months.  In between other stuff in my life.  When I get a moment or carve out a few hours.  I guess that means I'm just grazing on it.  Sure, I could slap a self-imposed deadline on writing it (or better yet, the detailed book proposal).  But that's a deadline to be massaged, moved or even missed.  

Why not? What's the real downside to missing the deadline? 

I've published four books through major publishers, and when working with them, my writing schedule was locked around a drop-dead-miss-your-pubdate-get-in-trouble due date for the manuscript.  Three out of four times, I handed it in on time, as the result of significant effort on my part and a compliant calendar.  One of the times, I knew I was getting behind, so I asked for (and received) an extension which I met.  

I didn't have a choice.  Miss their deadlines, face big repercussions.  Let others down.  That's really the secret to making your dream project really see the light of day.  Outside pressure from someone that cares about the outcome and believes in YOUR dream.  So here's how to line up your dreams with deadlines to achieve your goals. 

Choose your dream.  Never confuse an assignment with a calling.  

Find partners to pursue it with you. If you can't get someone excited enough to invest time or money into it, it may be a small dream that's not worth your time.  

Meet their deadline, based on their return-on-investment requirements or needs.  

Your dream//Their deadline.  This is a motivational match made in heaven for all you big thinkers.  You know that a goal is 'a dream with a deadline' and now you now how to source both.

Have an idea for an app? Get someone on board to invest in it, and then follow his or her delivery deadlines.  Think they have unrealistic expectations?  Choose partners that are smart, reasonable and truly excited about your vision.  But let their needs create a rock solid deadline you can't miss. 

Want to launch a new career? Make a significant move (quit your job, sell your house, sign up for courses) and let the economics deal you deadlines.  In this case, you've convinced your family or bet the farm on the move -- and you have to follow through!  It's the difference between ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, but the pig is fully committed. 

I know that many of you are confident that you can assign a due date to your dreams, be they a book or a product or a company.  But in 90% of the cases I've come in contact with, those deadlines faded away and life got busy or the excitement wore off.  That's why I doubt I'll ever self-publish a book or start a business without an investor.  <Note: I deeply respect all self-pub'd authors' tenacity.>

To get back on track, I'm going to polish a proposal, sign with a new publisher and march to a deadline that meets their pub date.  Otherwise, I'll still be working on my new book this time next year. 

I need the structure, the support and the collaboration of shared risk.  And likely, so do you.  You'll find the external pressure something that gives your energy, focus and helps you reach...your goals.

Posted at 6:42 AM in Business Effectiveness  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)



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Great post I must say. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging... Keep up the good work.


Hi Tim,

My strategy is to always have a deadline and always finish the project by the deadline, even if the end product is a bit buggy. Without a deadline, nothing will ever get done. Release now, patch later is Microsoft's strategy, and perhaps it's a good strategy because it does work.


Great post, Tim. Super helpful to read as an entrepreneur. Looking forward to the new book.


Hi Tim; I have just started listening to your audio book today we are rich and decided to check and see if you had a blog. I love this post. It is great to hear that you struggle with these issues too. I just barely made my january 1 goal of recording my first video. It had flaws, but I left it up after my friends encouraged me to keep it so people can see where i started from. I have done a second and its better. I still need to learn how to add photos and links and i've been told it would be good if the camera were zoomed in on my face. but as a blind computer user and blogger i think I'm doing pretty good. I was struggling with how to get the funding to start a youtube show focusing on the amusement industry. so in my second video i did just what you recommended here. I put it out there that I want to do this show and that i would be willing to take less commissions on sales or charge the expenses back against future sales for anyone who would take a chance and pay the expenses of the first show. So far no takers, but I just started. So thanks for encouraging me even if you didn't know you were writing this for me at the time. Take care, max


Very useful advices for reaching goals. It is a great idea to "incorporate" other people to your activity, therefor oyu get more responsibility.


Thanks for framing the choice between our expectations versus those of a larger employer. Every self-employed person has to make that call and opportunity cost should be a factor as well as time value.

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