Baltimore native, Reginald F. Lewis (December 7, 1942 – January 19, 1993) is known as the first African American to own and manage a billion-dollar company, TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc. However, Lewis could not have completed the leveraged buyout of TLC without first completing his first major deal to purchase the McCall Pattern Company. After completing the leveraged buyout of McCall for $22.5m, and making important adjustments to company operations, Lewis sold McCall for $90m, making a 90-1 return on his initial investment of $1m. After the sale of McCall, Lewis positioned himself to purchase Beatrice International Foods from Beatrice Companies in 1987 for $985m renaming it, TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc. In 1996, TLC reported sales in the amount of $2.3b.
Whether our desire is a corporate leveraged buyout, buying a home or saving for retirement, we must have clearly defined and prescribed long-term goals supported by realistic, measurable and attainable short-term goals to help us make adjustments and to see our progress along the way. Setting long-term goals helps you focus on the direction you want to take and where you want to be 5, 10 and 20 years from now. Short-term goals are usually components of long-term goals. By meeting each of your short-term goals, you are taking the steps needed to reach your long-term goals.
As you think about your goals, make them in writing, clear, measurable and realistic. In order for you to reach your goal, it must be clearly defined. For example, “saving for retirement” is not as good of a goal as “putting 5% of each paycheck into a retirement account.” Aim to make your goals measurable. Creating a budget is a worthy goal; however, creating a budget within 30 days is a better goal because it commits you to a deadline. Goals should also be realistic. Paying off tax debt within 90 days may be unrealistic depending on the balance you owe.
Take some time to write down a long-term goal and related short-term goals as one of the first steps to planning for your financial future.