Solving the Chicken or Egg Problem for Small Business Owners

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chickenFor centuries, philosophers have contemplated the nagging causality dilemma – which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Equally perplexing for small business owners is “which comes first, the goal or the plan”. We all know the goal comes first, right? Regardless, small business owners often find themselves in the middle of a random pile of activities that have little connection to their final destination.

Why Plans Don't Work

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It's not uncommon to see small business owners embark on their journey with a meager plan in hand. With little reference to the final target, we eagerly set sail accomplishing an array of tasks.

We create “to do” lists of when to blog, how to tweet, and what to post. We're busy people! We hit the floor running each and every day systematically checking off our never-ending tasks to accomplish. Sound familiar?

We pause occasionally to scratch our head in bewilderment when the flurry of activities fails to produce results…and immediately pick up where we left off. Busy. Busy. Busy.

The Missing Ingredient

The “chicken-and-egg problem” is commonly used to describe a situation that is not a philosophical dilemma, but one in which it is impossible to reach a certain desired outcome because a necessary precondition is not satisfied, while to meet that precondition in turn requires that the desired outcome has already been realized.

Thanks Wikipedia! You're a big help! Are you saying that in order to achieve our goals, we need a plan? And, in order to create a plan, we need a goal? Precisely!

In the case of the “which comes first, the goal or the plan” quandary, you can't go wrong when you start with your goals. Begin with the end in mind to significantly improve the likelihood of selecting the best plans and actions that move you to your destination.

The next time you find yourself knee-deep in dastardly deeds, pause momentarily to ask, “what goal does this action achieve?” If there's little or no correlation between the action and the goal, it may be time to break that activity.

That settles the “goal-and-plan” dilemma, doesn't it? As for the “chicken-and-egg” problem, you'll have to decide for yourself.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. You are right Jackie. It’s definitely the goal. The plans can change to suit but you have to know where you are going and what you want to achieve.

  2. Solving the chicken or the egg problem for small business owners | The Sass - Supporting Women In BusinessThe Sass – Supporting Women In Business

    […] by Jackie Nagel Original blog posted at Project Eve. […]