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Video: Does your entrepreneurial dream meet your reality?

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of blog posts by John Assaraf for the SUCCESS Entrepreneurial Blog Challenge. During the six-week blog series, John will issue specific challenges to readers to help their entrepreneurial pursuits. To receive these twice-weekly posts–every Monday and Thursday–directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe to the SUCCESS blog RSS feed.

Being an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences you can have in life. However, often the reality of how difficult it can be to run a small business overshadows the passion and the dream that motivated us to become entrepreneurs in the first place.

Here are some tips that will put you back on track to building the business of your dreams.

1. Get clear on what you want to achieve in your business. Where do you specifically picture your business to be a year from now as well as 3, 5 and 10 years from now?

2. Identify your high-level goals and objectives. What are the 3-5 strategic objectives that you want to achieve in the next 12 months? No more. Take some time to think about what you want to do before you start doing it. Think high level first, then work your way down to the next steps.

3. Think about all the different strategies you can use to achieve your objective. Be careful here to not get caught up with “what” you can do. Instead, think about the various ways of “how” you can best achieve your goal. As we often say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

4. Decide on your tactics. Only after you decide on your strategies can you start working on your tactics. It’s important to consider all the possible strategies before jumping ahead—many entrepreneurs make this mistake and they end up missing out on the best solution or spend money creating something that they didn’t really need. Then and only and then, hone in on those strategies and tactics that make the most sense for your objectives.

Most entrepreneurs fall into too much “doing” and not enough thinking. Avoid this mistake and you’ll be leaps ahead of your competition.

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