Sometimes the day-to-day grind in startups means you are looking out about six inches at a time. You are trying to pay the light bill, land a deal, hire an engineer, fund the next payroll and other critical things… That doesn’t give you a ton of time to be strategic… but you have to.

About once a week you have to step away from the forest, climb a tall tree and see where you are headed…

One exercise I like it to do a 3/1/90/30… Simply you start 3 years out… remove all the hurdles in your company (not enough funding, wrong people, etc.) and try to imagine where things COULD be. Be very specific and visual. See your company’s success and what it looks and feels like to be sitting in that spot 3 years from now… Write it all down.

Pull back to one year. Now, knowing where you want to go, what hurdles could you remove in one year… How would you do it? What needs to happen? Be specific.

Pull in to 90 days. In the next quarter what progress can you make on removing hurdles and doing strategic things. Set some clear goals, realistic, but meaningful.

Now… 30 days. Do something to get started. Tactical steps that move you towards your goal. Tell your team where you want to go. Get your eco-system on board for your 3-year vision but execute in 30-day increments…

Don’t forget to climb the tree every week and revisit these… Suddenly your goals and your future will be right there in your daily to-do list along side that light bill.

Yours in startups,


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