Business, Leadership, Let's Talk Business

Planning Ahead & Thinking Big: The Bill Gates Technique

By , December 17, 2014
I spent this past week in Arizona – and it wasn’t for vacation or relaxation purposes. Rather, it was to take part in a special mastermind group.

People flew in from across the USA to attend. The group seemed to be made of entrepreneurs of all ages… and in similar growth stages of business. We sat together in a big room and got right to work. Everybody spent hours learning, analyzing, discussing and strategizing how to go about advancing their business goals and career objectives.

Perhaps you think that leaving the office for nearly an entire week might be a little bit too intense. “Was the whole trip really necessary?” you may be asking yourself. To say it was productive would be an understatement. Truthfully, it baffles me as to why every single businessperson in today’s marketplace doesn’t spend just one week out of a whole a year attending a mastermind group to focus on planning ahead.

Of course, when I talk about planning ahead, I don’t only mean technical things like crunching numbers or crafting contingency plans.

I’m talking about thinking big.

Working to come up with new, innovative, out-of-the-box ways to expands your foothold in the industry. To embark on a thought process that takes you out of your old, established comfort zone and transports you into a new dimension of powerful, creative thinking.

When you reflect on it, you’ll find that everything we enjoy today originally started as a big vision or idea that was totally unrealistic at the time. The person who had this vision believed in the idea, and kept going until he or she achieved it, and today we can’t even think how we’d manage without it.

Bill Gates is a perfect example.

He left Harvard University because he happened to read in an electronics magazine about a company called MITS which was about to introduce the Altair 8080, a commercial model computer. The article sparked a ‘thought’ that the computer world was about to explode, and if so, someone would have to start writing software for those computers – and Gates wanted to be that person.

Thinking big, he contacted Altair and told them that he had developed a computer language that could be used on their computers. This was not entirely true since at that point he had not started to write a finalized program for them. However, with the thought and vision of what was possible, he committed himself by telling them that he had something, and then went out and found another product created by two other people in 1964, which he ultimately used as a platform to create a new program for Altair.

And that is exactly how Bill Gates built Microsoft.

The list of similar success stories goes on and on.  Every big company and every new innovation that we see today started with someone who was looking at a bigger picture… and then add persistence to the mix to turn thought into reality.

The following Ptex Practical Pointers for you to help you achieve just that. They’re actually known in the industry as “SMART OBJECTIVES” and are used to guide people – including those like Bill Gates – in the setting of objectives for both workplace management and personal development. Here’s what the acronym represents.

Specific: Target a specific area you’re looking to improve upon or focus clearly on what you want to accomplish. Take the big idea you have and clarify just what you want to with it.

Measurable: There should be a way to measure your progress as an indicator of whether or not you’re succeeding in your endeavor.

Attainable: When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, to reach them.

Realistic: How extreme is your goal? Will it drain your company of all its resources and affect your financial stability? Can you actually pull it through to the finish line?

Timely: Specify when you need these results to be achieved. In a week? A month? A year? Then review the above steps and see if they allow for this actuality.

Here’s the good news. You don’t have to fly to Arizona or attend a mastermind group to implement all of these steps into your business agenda.

No matter which industry or position you are currently in, you can open your mind and start applying the aforementioned points into every step of the daily workload. It definitely worked for Bill Gates… and it’ll hopefully work the same for you.
Onwards and upwards,

Meny Hoffman 

P.S. Under the LTB initiative, I will be launching a few different mastermind groups in the near future. If you’re interested in being notified when they more information becomes available, just click here.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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