Some people become giddy when working with numbers. I am not one of them. However, that doesn’t mean I ignore them.

You don’t have to be a math whiz to put numbers to work for you. Assigning a number to a project can help you focus and, also, give you a finish line. Open-ended goals have a way of never reaching completion. Here are a few ways to make numbers part of your tool kit.

 Pick a number under ten and use it as a goal setting guide. For me, it’s the number five. You might prefer three or six. Then instead of thinking, “I need to get more clients,” set a short term goal to get three (or whatever your favorite number is) new clients. Of course, you can repeat this exercise as often as you like, but your chances for success increase enormously when you work with a smaller number.

 Bird by bird. Small is manageable. I learned this years ago when I was floundering around trying to get my speaking business launched without much success. Then I met a successful, but unhurried, seminar leader who told me that her business plan was, “Do one, book one.” As soon as she finished a program, she’d spend time marketing her services until she’d booked just one more. It kept her business flowing without overwhelming her. It’s been a policy I have used ever since with great success.

 Challenge your imagination. Stumped about your next steps? Challenge yourself (and your subconscious mind) by asking an idea-generating question such as, “What are three ways I can grow my business right now?” Or “Who are four people I could collaborate with?”

Numbers work equally well for subtracting things from your life you no longer want. Instead of trying to unclutter your life all at once, for example, get rid of nine things a day until the job is done.

 Pick a number, any number, and then pick one of the projects listed below. 

 * Ways to get into the conversation

* Books to add to your library

* New profit centers to design

* Things to study

* New adventures to schedule

* Self-bossers to invite to breakfast

* Fresh marketing tools to create

* Media interviews to book

* Non-essentials to eliminate

* Ways to support other entrepreneurs

* Articles to publish

 Add your own projects to the list—and  then get busy making them happen.