Do you ever envy those people who always seem to be on a track to achieve something? Do you ever wonder how they do it?

The answer is they have a purpose. They know exactly what they want and have figured out what it would take to get it. And they are prepared to do the things required to get it, even if it means some sort of short term sacrifice in the process.

I had a conversation yesterday with a friend of mine who is a successful salesperson. He really gets it. For him, it’s not about how many hours he works, and it’s not about what kind of car he drives. He has a net worth number that he’s trying to achieve. Once he’s there, he will most likely retire. His car has over 100,000 miles on it, and the air conditioner doesn’t work. He has a good life, does basically what he wants, has plenty of savings, and lives well within his means. Could he afford a nicer car and home? Yep. Would that get him any closer to his net worth number? Nope. So he stays focused on his goal by understanding his business.

To get to his net worth number he needs to make a certain amount of money annually. He knows it normally takes X amount of sales calls to get X amount of orders. He knows when he hears “no” from a prospect that he is that much closer to making a sale. He does not measure success by how many hours he’s working; he measures it based on his progress toward his goal.

This is a great example of working backwards. He has identified his goal and has put together a plan to get there. Business owners have a similar mindset. They are trying to achieve a goal through business ownership. Maybe they want more control, more flexibility, more independence, or more personal fulfillment. Whatever their motivation is, they create a plan and stay focused on the goal. They know it will be difficult, because most things worth having are hard to get. But they also know that the hard work will pay off for them.

So the key message is this: if your goal is to be a successful business owner, what are you willing to do to get there?