Empowering Ottawa entrepreneurs with bold ambitions

Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by numbercrunch. 


A decade ago, no one was hailing Ubers or booking Airbnb rooms on smartphones. There was no Snapchat, Stripe or Instagram.

The rapid emergence of these platforms into near-ubiquitous parts of our day-to-day lives is a result of bold entrepreneurial ambitions and goals that inspire greatness within teams.

As a new year – and a new decade – kicks off, how much thought have you given to what you can accomplish over the next 10 years? Now is an ideal time to set lofty goals for your business.

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Many entrepreneurs fail to set their goals high enough – unless, that is, they’re brand new to the world of entrepreneurship, in which case they may be overestimating what they can achieve.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in a decade.” 

Seasoned entrepreneurs may shy away from aggressive growth targets as a defensive reaction to past experiences of missing previous targets. They may blame themselves for being naïve in the past and may resist articulating lofty ambitions to protect their ego.

I’ve been privileged to work with countless entrepreneurs and business owners in my career. Seeing all the incredible talent, innovation and drive in our city makes one thing clear: We could all use a little more boldness in our ambitions.

First steps

Our thoughts and actions dictate where we are at any given moment. If you spend all your time focused on present-day realities, you’re unlikely to move to a greater future result. Instead, get thinking and start acting bigger!

The first step is to remove limits on the amount of success you desire. Set your dreams at a level that requires daydreaming. You will soon find yourself feeling inspired and thinking about new and exciting ways to grow your business beyond what you had thought possible. The typical alternative is growing accustomed to accomplishing someone else’s goals and dreams.

Both scenarios require hard work. The difference is inspiration versus obligation.

A business built on a foundation of obligation wears entrepreneurs down and is a drain on everyone else on a team. Conversely, one quickly sees productivity and creativity flourish when a team’s imagination is sparked with visions that are aligned to lofty growth goals. 

To my chagrin, most entrepreneurs do not set annual financial targets – a decision that can directly limit growth.

What if we all grew our revenues by 10X this decade? What if you grew your staff by 10X? Consider also:

  • What if you dominated your category?
  • What if you bought your competition?
  • What if you structured a pricing model that had your customers happily funding your growth?
  • What if your customers are excited to tell their friends about your business?
  • What if your employees were passionate about their jobs?
  • What if you stopped people pleasing everyone (clients, employees, family, friends, etc) and instead directed a chunk of that energy stepping up your game on your business?
  • What if you put most of your attention on what is working instead of what is not working?
  • What if you set all your goals 10x bigger than you think they should be?
  • What if you believed all of your employees were going to make amazing contributions towards your 10X growth?
  • What if you obsessed about chasing your dreams?

Let’s not be mediocre. Let’s not cut costs by five or 10 per cent. Let’s not focus on problems. Instead, let’s remember why we were once inspired to make big things happen. Let’s get bold. Let’s go 10X. Let’s imagine the art of the possible.

Susan RichardsSusan Richards is the co-founder of numbercrunch, a one-stop-shop for business financial services. The company offers cloud-based bookkeeping, and virtual CFO and controller services. To learn more or to request a quote, visit numbercrunch.ca.

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