Recently I was talking to an extremely successful entrepreneur about the early days of his software company. After asking a few questions he said, “It took us 15 years to achieve our original five year plan.” Wow, that quote really stuck with me. How many entrepreneurs make a long-term plan and actually achieve it? How many entrepreneurs have the staying power to go 15 years?
Here are a few thoughts on the idea of 15 years to achieve a five year plan:
- Build a plan (start with an example simplified one page strategic plan)
- Know that most plans are wildly optimistic (which is normal)
- Seek out mentors or advisors that will provide feedback on the plan
- Settle in for the long haul (yes, it’s more marathon than sprint)
- Focus on making progress every day (see Radical Focus or The 4 Disciplines of Execution)
Entrepreneurs would do well to build a five year plan, and know that if everything goes well, it might very well take 15 years to achieve it.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea of taking 15 years to achieve a five year plan?