Why You Should Always Begin With The End In Mind

You always want to begin with the end in mind. I remember when I read Stephen R Covey’s, “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”. The 2nd habit is called, “Begin With The End In Mind”, and that’s important not just for your Zoom presentation, but for everything.

So what does it mean? Begin with the end in mind meaning we begin each day, task or project with a clear vision of our end goal.

As an example, I often hear people placing ads on Facebook or doing a social media post or doing a Facebook Live. But my question is always like, “And then what? What’s your end goal? Can you walk me through how you think posting this motivational quote is going to lead to more clients?”

If it does then by all means do it. But often it doesn’t. They’re short-sighted because they only see one step.

Similarly, I remember when I started going out with my wife Stephanie about 10 years ago or so. She was a student back then and I asked her, “What happens after your law degree? And then what?”

She goes, “I’ll get a job at a Big Four like Deloitte or KPMG.”

I say, “Ok cool. But then what?”

“I don’t know. You then finish the grad and maybe you make manager in five years.”

“And then what?”

“Oh, then maybe you’ll partner.”

Stressed out female lawyer image“And then what? Do you know what partner looks like? Do you want to make that amount of money and have that amount of stress as partner? If you do, then I’ll get off your case.”

Most people have never seen what the road ahead looks like. I had that same mistake happen to me. I did IT, but I didn’t know what an IT job was.

What’s the point of paying 50 grand, spending three years of my life doing an IT degree, all those hours of study, and I don’t even know what the job looks like at the end?

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager, an entrepreneur or getting started on a marketing campaign. If you don’t begin with the end in mind, the chances that you’ll magically arrive at that goal you set out is just few and far between.

You have to reverse engineer it a little bit. Yes, it does take a little bit more thought process because it’s easy to think, “Ah! I’m going to pick that course!”, or, “I’m going to write this social media post.”

But what I would call that is the illusion of progress because you’ve made progress but in the wrong direction.

I know a lot of people have learned the hard way. I’ve definitely learned the hard way with presentations.

But you don’t want to be putting in all those hours of practising your talk, putting together a slide deck, doing all your marketing and figuring out Zoom only to realise that once you actually do the event, people aren’t moved to action.

And they weren’t really moved to action because they didn’t see a reason to, or they weren’t sure what they were going to get.

You get reasons like, “You know it’s not what I’m looking for right now.”

“Let me think about it.”

“Have you got something that you can send me on email?”

You get all these types of reasons instead of people being genuinely interested.

So always remember Stephen Covey’s ‘Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind’ whenever you’re about to start a task or a project. You’ll head the right way and achieve your goals much faster.

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Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, News.com.au and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.