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Idea Exchange: Balancing Big Picture Ideas and Small Business Tasks

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Idea Exchange: Balancing Big Picture Ideas and Small Business Tasks

By JimD
Published: December 2, 2010

Most aspiring entrepreneurs have heard some version of Walt Disne;s famous quote,-If you can dream it, you can do it- Once a big idea starts materializing, it can be hard for entrepreneurs to balance those ideas with day-to-day accomplishable tasks. Successful entrepreneurs need to manage both the'big pictur' and the'small picture'

We asked the Community to share with us how they balance'big pictur' ideas with small pictur' accomplishable tasks. Overall, we learned about three very different methods for managing goals and actions.

  • Method 1: Turn big picture ideas into smaller accomplishable tasks

    This method consists of taking your big ideas and breaking them down into accomplishable tasks. crosby52 uses this method and it works well for him. He said,'I would like to get $1 million in sales this year. That breaks down to $2,740 per day and each account make me about $250 / day, so I need to have 11 accounts each day to get to my goal. He then goes and makes tasks based on the 11 accounts a day.

    Rick_LaPoint also used this method. He made a list of big picture goals, and then detailed each step that needed to be accomplished in order to see the success he envisioned. Rick also put time constraints on each task, so that he wouldn't be held up on one specific step for too long.

    Pros: The big picture ideas eventually get accomplished through the small tasks and small business owners feel as though their big picture ideas are a part of their everyday tasks. Many big picture ideas can be broken down into smaller tasks.

    Cons: Some big picture ideas are too big to break down to the accomplishable task level. Trying to make sure those ideas are not lost can become difficult. You may miss new opportunities because you are working on accomplishing small tasks.

  • Method 2: Small accomplishable tasks should lead you to your big picture ideas

    The opposite of method 1, this method takes the small tasks and morphs it into a big picture idea or goal. Some small business owners feel that their big picture ideas are engrained into them and by working everyday on the small tasks, it is getting to their big picture.

    RossDeamau doesn't believe in a big picture. He works every day task by task. For example, Ross writes a blog and doesn't think of how he will get to 10,000 readers. Rather he thinks of how a change will get him 10 more readers. Gradually, Ross will reach 10,000, but his goals are more short term.

    lyncte has feels that his tasks are small parts of a big puzzle and by working on the small parts he is simultaneously working on the big picture. Charlie added, Just ask yourself each day if the smaller tasks support your larger vision. If the answer is yes, you are doing the right thing.

    Pros: Small tasks are being accomplished which are leading to the overall good of the business. It also makes you feel as though you are working to accomplish something bigger.

    Cons: By not having specific big picture ideas, they can be lost over time. By using small tasks, it can sometimes be difficult to communicate the big picture goals with other employees or managers. Big picture goals can be change very quickly, depending on how the small tasks change.

  • Method 3: Take time to accomplish small tasks and take time to think of big picture ideas

    The last method that our Community members use is separating tasks and goals and allocating time for each. brittles does small tasks everyday and tries to spend some time each week focusing on the big picture. finaiddube broke his time into percentages. He spends about 80% of his time on small tasks and 20% researching big picture ideas.

    Pros: It is difficult for you to forget about the big picture ideas if you take time to focus in on just those.

    Cons: Finding the correct balance for you and your business can be difficult. You may also not be translating your big picture ideas into tasks and the big picture ideas never get accomplished.

  • No matter which method you choice to use, balancing long-term and short-term goals can be difficult. Most of the small business owners could agree that there needs to be some type of balance - if not, something may get lost.

Related Resources

What's Next for the Idea Exchange?
The current idea exchange December 2010: How are you planning on recognizing/rewarding your employees if cash is tight? will run until December 31. Please submit your thoughts and vote on the ideas you agree with by clicking Kudos!

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Taking things one day at a time is crucial to success. Set the big goal and then focus on the small task that'll get you there. I love this post.
The idea is one that is important in the success of every business. If no ideas, no different from what you would die, sooner or later. Great article, thank you
Good article to accomplish small task but at the same time dreaming of setting goal for the Bigger picture. Sometimes a failure in doing small task deter many to not to burn their hands into the same. A cool & confident mind can conquer anything. So keep faith in yourself & accomplish your task.
The blog title brought attention for the entrepreneurs as the major task is bringing the proposed task to reality. Getting from papers and follow the path of actual growth is the biggest task for any entrepreneur. Similar to this was designing the online learning portal and it was well achieved through continuous work. Now the portal named 1to1 offers a wider spectrum of services for the aspirants.
3 ideas, but one core idea; have big goals,but tons of little actions to reach them. HA! One of my business partners loves the idea of talking about the big goals-ALL THE TIME! Sure, the creative sessions for talking about the larger goals are important, but I'm pretty sure that spending half of every work day on new big plans is cutting into our production(or small task)time. We are actively working on curbing this habit.

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