This is the second in our series on How to Start a Business. The previous article was How to Start a Business – the State of Your Business. Now we will look at your goals and reasons in business and why determining these at the very start is so critical to your success as a new business professional.

Difference Between Goals and Reasons in Business

The easy way to remember the difference between goals and reasons in business is that doing business achieves goals that could be achieved by doing something other than business. However, reasons are the things that drive you to achieve those goals using business, as you figure out how to start a business. Goals are targets to achieve in your life, but what are your reasons for using business to reach those rather than some other tool? We are talking here about goals and reasons as a new business professional tackling the issue of how to start a business.

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How to Start a Business with Goals

You can set goals for your business to achieve that are purely business related. However, these milestones are not what we mean when we use the term goals here in our discussion. Your goals are your targets that have the unique quality of being able to be accomplished by use of many different tools. Business is just one of those tools.

Let us say that you have set a goal for yourself to double your income within the next twelve months. You could do that through following through with how to start a business. It is highly possible and likely, if you closely follow prescribed practices and protocols. However, you might decide to get a new job with double the salary instead. You might decide to sell your house and invest in property that is gaining in value more quickly. You might even decide to rob a bank and invest the money in foreign markets. There are many ways to achieve this goal. You do not necessarily have to start a business to do so.

I want you to ask yourself, “What are my goals that I hope to achieve in my life by starting a business?” Write them in a bulleted list, without numbers. Make a list of 7-12 of them, no fewer and no more. Then I want you to identify the top three and line out the rest. These are the three goals that define your targets for your personal life through doing business. Ignore the rest. Focus only and exclusively on these three. It is a shorter list than what Warren Buffet suggests for career goals.

How to Start a Business with Reasons

So now we come to the reasons that you are doing business. Remember that goals and reasons in business are not the same. When we talk about reasons we mean the reasons why you are using the activity of doing business to achieve those goals you listed earlier. Maybe you do not want to start another job with another boss and in yet another work environment where you are not on the top. This would drive you to pursue starting a business as a means to achieving your goal of doubling your salary within twelve months.

Does this also make being your own boss a goal? Do not be misled from the real goal. The goal is to double your salary in twelve months and the reason for using business to do that is that you have more control over your ability to achieve that goal and fewer distractions that you must cower to and adapt to as the obedient worker. These are the qualities of being your own boss that relate to achieving your goal. Of course, you probably also look forward to the other perks and dread some of the disadvantages. However, calling things correctly will keep the clarity as you make business decisions on a daily basis.

Keeping goals and reasons in business well defined will assist you in success as you tackle this tough issue of How to Start a Business. The next article in the series on How to Start a Business will cover Resources and Skills. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of each article as it comes out and do not forget to whitelist us so the newsletter ends up in your Inbox.