If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, get ready for people — friends and family alike — to laugh at, question and doubt your goals.
Don’t take it personally, as even the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have dealt with it.
To help you accomplish even your most lofty goals, use this 8-step process:
1. Learn to walk before you run.
Your biggest goals will be filled with challenges, obstacles and surprises. You have to start small by mastering smaller goals and building up to more challenging ones.
Don’t dismiss smaller goal setting as un-beneficial. Every single goal, whether small or large requires a winning attitude, focus, determination and self-discipline.
The experience you gain crushing smaller goals will play a direct role in your ability to master larger goals down the road.
2. Convert your larger goals into multiple micro-goals.
Breaking your large goals into several micro-goals increases the probability of success.
You can create less intimidating goals you can give 100 percent of your focus to, which ensures you complete every little detail.
Working with micro-goals also allows you to quickly see progress.
This feeling of accomplishment increases your confidence as well as the probability of completing the larger goal at hand.
3. Be willing to work hard until you reach the end.
Work hard? Isn’t this obvious? Yes and no.
Not all entrepreneurs are aware of the time and dedication large goals require.
While the media likes to glamorize the start-up life, there are hundreds of failures for every success story.
You could have a great idea and all the funding in the world, but if you are not prepared to work hard until the goal is accomplished, you can most definitely expect to crash and burn.
4. Surround yourself with an amazing team.
Accomplishing large goals takes teamwork; you can’t do everything yourself.
Wearing too many hats will cause extra weight to build up on your shoulders that will eventually come crashing down.
You have to build a team of people that is like-minded and shares your vision.
Remember: You are only as good as the team you surround yourself with.
Serial entrepreneur John Rampton attributes a large portion of the success of his online invoicing startup, Due, to the team he has assembled.
“We had some extremely large goals to accomplish, and we wouldn’t have reached them without every single person on our team doing his or her part,” Rampton said.
5. Don’t slow down to question yourself.
The moment you take your foot off the gas pedal, you begin to lose momentum and drive.
Building that momentum up again can be a major time suck.
You have to be 100 percent confident in your decision and ability to follow through.
Can entrepreneurship be scary and filled with unknowns? Yes, but a successful entrepreneur has complete confidence he or she will achieve what he or she set out to accomplish.
6. Accept that failure is a possible outcome.
Failure is more common than success, as nearly 80 percent of businesses fail.
It’s important you are fully aware of this from the beginning and accept that failure is a possibility.
Successful entrepreneurs look fear in the eyes daily and laugh in its face. They would rather get knocked down than ask themselves, “What if?”
If you fall flat on your face, use it as a valuable lesson, get back up, and try again.
7. Be prepared and willing to sacrifice personal time and your social life.
Accomplishing large goals requires sacrifices. These can include sleep, income, security, your social life and family time.
Every successful entrepreneur will give you a mile-long list full of the sacrifices he or she made along the way.
You need to be prepared to be in the office at 10 pm on a Friday evening while your friends are out on the town.
If you want it bad enough, you won't think twice. You will make whatever sacrifices are required to reach your goals.
8. Never quit.
My final piece of advice is to never quit.
You will face difficult times and bumpy roads, but without risk, there is no reward.
This doesn’t need any further explanation, so I will leave you with a quote from Vince Lombardi:
“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
Jonathan Long is the Founder and CEO of Market Domination Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in creative, outside-the-box branding campaigns designed for aggressive online growth. Jonathan also founded EBOC, an exclusive private community for entrepreneurs and business owners. Connect with him on Twitter.