“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” — Lewis Carroll

One of the things that drives me batty is when people have dreams but don’t (or won’t) take the next step. For those of you who know me, you’re not surprised to hear that I’m a “ready, fire, aim” kind of gal. Action isn’t my problem. And, as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to slow down a bit and solidify a plan. But there will be a plan and there will be action.

As we look at what “Going Big” means to all of us, I ask you: What does your plan looks like? Do you know what it looks like to succeed? Do you know what achievement will look like to you? Do you know what steps you need to take to get there? Do you know what skills you need to refine or who you need to learn from to reach your goals?

Oftentimes, being able to name our dream isn’t the hard part. The hard part is taking action.

I have a friend who is one of the most amazingly skilled golfers I’ve ever met. He has been very close many times to pursuing a professional touring career, but he just hasn’t taken that step, due to either life circumstances or motivation or fear. In a recent email, I asked him the following questions as thought-starters, a way to help him find a starting point at a time that feels too late in his career to start again:

• Does playing golf still make you happy?
• What about playing golf makes you the happiest?
• What do you need to do to regain your pro card?
• What tournaments are in your area that you can schedule while still working and use to qualify?
• What associations can you go to for more information and resources?
• What will it cost? Will you be able to cover it or will you need to find people to sponsor you?
• What will success look like?
• What do you need to accomplish specifically, and by what date?
• What do you need to take your game to the next level? A swing coach? New equipment?

The seventh and eighth question were critically important, as we need something concrete to be our measuring stick. Our feelings will often lie to us about how things are going. On any given day, we can talk ourselves out of just about anything. We’ve all done that. But, if we have specific steps with stated measurements ahead of time, those won’t lie. If my friend feels horrible about himself on review day but he’s finished in the top three of each of the four tournaments he’s played in, the facts speak for themselves. He’s making progress and should keep working toward his goal.
So I ask you: What does your plan look like?
If you need help with the questions, let me know. I’m happy to help.

— Erica Pefferman, President, The Business Times Company