The Art of Film by Matthew Darienzo
by Matthew Darienzo
November 22nd, 2023

Work in Reverse

November 22nd, 2023 by Matthew Darienzo

One of the best tactics I’ve learned throughout the years is something I like to call “Work in Reverse.” It’s another way to think about goals, but thinking about things in reverse can help achieve goals that may seem out of reach.

First, the concept requires an individual to dive into what action they would like to happen but also includes drilling down into why they would like that result. Some might have an arbitrary sales number they want to hit for their business or want to make X dollars in income, which is great. The next question should be why. Let’s say they make that extra money … what will they do with it? Is it a car, a house, or just financial freedom they’re looking for? Really focusing on the “why” can sometimes enhance the goal. One might realize that he or she wants to spend more time with family and that it can be achieved with either less income or just a shift in time management.

Everything really comes down to sacrifice. I heard a clip of an entrepreneur the other day that resonated with me. He said, “Really anything is possible, it’s just about the amount of pain you are willing to endure to achieve your desired result.” I know it’s a little dramatic, but it makes sense. Most audacious or big goals take many hours of dedication and might mean sacrificing other things in life to achieve that goal. People undercut their potential due to their lack of discipline and sacrifice for the end goal. Highly successful people are not too different from everyone else except they are able to absorb information and execute on a specific vision. They are driven to succeed and it pushes them to action. Action, not ideas, is what drives success. To come up with ideas is easy, but to execute is the hard part.

When you work in reverse, it forces you to visualize the outcome and then all the decisions you make should align toward that outcome. At Solar Art, we have five specific big goals for next year, so we are building out a plan to show what achieving those goals looks like. Once the vision is clear then we will work backwards to identify the specific steps necessary to get there.

I always like to break things into two buckets when setting goals. First, what I absolutely “know” can happen just based on action, e.g., we are opening in a new market and we need to lease a space. I know for sure there is space available and if I have the funds, there is a certainty around that specific objective. Second, things that need to happen but might be out of my direct control, e.g., we need to grow sales to X by this date. This objective is not a certainty, as it can be affected by the market, the salesperson or other variables. Putting objectives into these buckets will help visualize what to focus on when working in reverse.

Everyday decisions in business can be hard to make and the work-in-reverse concept can help make sure those decisions are strategically aligned with your ultimate goal. Visualizing what the outcome looks like is the first step to achieving your goal and realizing your full potential.

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  1. This article is so true! Successful don’t make the money, then figure out what they are gonna spend it on. They KNOW what they want and figure out how to get it! Thanks Matt, loved it.

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