Do you have dreams that you never do anything about? Would you like to make some of them come true? I love day dreaming and here’s how I turn those crazy ideas into dreams that come true..
Day dreaming about the future is a simple pleasure. I do it often and I love it. But I rarely stop at the thought of ‘one day I’ll do that’. Instead I decide when I’d like the dream to come true and then I work backwards.
Working backwards to turn a dream into an actionable goal is sometimes called reverse engineering. In 2009, I learnt of reverse engineering my dreams from business coach Cameron Herold. Cameron coached me to understand how choosing big but achievable steps along the way would help me focus and bring my goals to life.
I now use reverse engineering all the time. I’m currently planning out the next five years of both my business and personal dreams. It’s both exhilarating and scary to think what I am planning to achieve between now and 2016.
At The Physio Co, we used reverse engineering to create our Painted Picture of 2012. That vision, created in 2009, described how we planned to grow from a small team delivering 40,000 physiotherapy visits in 2009 to a much larger team delivering 100,000 memorable visits in 2012. The TPC team at the time thought I was nuts! But, by setting the dream and working backwards I’m excited to say that by 31 December 2011 (this year), The Physio Co is on track to deliver 100,000 visits in one calendar year. It’s likely we will achieve that massive goal more than 12 months early!
Reverse engineering works. Dream big and work backwards. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
Most leaders have goals that they are working towards. I certainly do. However, when I’m leading a team, other people’s goals are much more important than my own.
You see, my short-medium term business goals are almost always the sum of my team’s goals. If every member of my team hits their goals, my goals will also be hit.
In my experience, this is how to align a team: I have each person working on individual goals that will eventually combine to something infinitely greater than the sum of the parts.
My job as leader of the team is simply to help other people hit their goals. What a fantastic job!
Stay in business.
The goal of every business, business owner and employee is to make sure they stay in business. If this is not the most important goal, then what is?
This afternoon as I watched the mighty Richmond Tigers take on Sydney at the SCG, the cameras panned to Richmond’s interchange bench. In that brief shot, huddling from the cold and rain with the players and officials was one of Richmond’s team physiotherapists. At that instant, a 15-year old dream came flashing back..
At school I aspired to become a physiotherapist and one day work for an AFL club (preferably the tiges). As a 15 year old footy & sports nut, the thought of being a physio for an elite sporting team was the ultimate.
I did achieve my goal of becoming a physiotherapist. I also started my journey towards working for an AFL club by volunteering as a sports trainer & then spending one year as physiotherapist with Gippsland Power in the AFL’s TAC Cup Under 18 competition. And my dream stopped there.
You see, for me, working as a physiotherapist for a sports team wasn’t as awesome as I had thought. And that’s ok. Dreams change.
I had given that dream of becoming an AFL physiotherapist everything I had. I’d worked hard at school. I’d worked hard in my first year of Uni to be accepted into The University of Melbourne’s Physiotherapy School. I’d worked consistently throughout Uni and then even harder in my first year as a graduate physiotherapist. I’d given myself every opportunity of achieving my dream and was only a few steps away from making it happen. But at that point, I no longer wanted it.
In my 31 years thus far, I’ve achieved plenty of goals and dreams. I assure you there are many, many more to come. Dreaming big, setting goals and making them happen is what makes me happy. Today after a jog on the beach, as I sat on the couch with KW and our baby daughter on this long weekend, I felt very happy that I’d changed my mind and decided not to push on with my dream to become a physio for an AFL club. In the end, it just wasn’t for me.