A Reality-Based Deadline is a self-imposed date for a decision to force yourself to deal with it.
A friend who owns a Chowking franchise vented out her concerns with the business. They operated the business for almost a decade but it is not doing very well now. First of all, I asked her about her commitment. She said she’s been involved in other projects while managing the business.
Problem one: Focus.
Next, I asked her if she is losing money. She replied that she’s negative for six months. I inquired if the losses are manageable, she said yes because the peak months are just about to arrive.
Problem two: Timing. Should she wait or close now?
I gave her an advice to set a deadline for her decision. Stay committed in that given time frame then give it your best. The time frame should take into consideration the amount of money that she could afford to lose if the business continues to decline. If she doesn’t achieve her goal in that period of time, she should close the business because it will only bleed to death slowly until her other resources get drained.
She set her reality-based deadline for 6 months, focusing all her efforts toward the business. Setting a deadline was like an ax she installed over her dream that if she didn’t act out her business will die in 6 months. This caused her to move and get things done.
We sat down again after the deadline. She proudly declared, I made my first positive net income three months ago and sales is going up.
Almost 2 years have passed, I saw her the other day and she told me that sales is up 35% from last year. She’s been positive ever since.