I recently read an article on goal setting.  This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as most entrepreneurs {small business owners} are virtual sponges when it comes to soaking up knowledge.  We want to know how to identify and accomplish the goals that keep our businesses propelling forward in the most effective and efficient ways possible.   Since this topic is at the forefront of my mind, I wanted to write a post that focuses not so much on “how to set good business goals”, but rather, why do the good business goals we set for ourselves so often end up falling short? Why is it such a struggle to achieve our goals, and what can we change in order to fix this problem?

 

Been There Done That

 

I am sure that, like myself, you may have been to conferences, attended goal setting sessions, read great books (and trust me, there are many!), or worked with a business coach or life coach.  Every time we attend a new conference or session, we get that sense of accomplishment and the “warm and fuzzy” feeling of anticipation of taking our businesses or lives to the next level.  For some however, that feeling is short lived.  You have armed yourself with an arsenal of take aways, you have your goals and your tactical plan on how to get there (you do have a tactical plan, right?) but something still seems to be missing. You weren’t given a “right arm” to get you there – you know, the person (or team of people) who will actually help you set all of this up and keep it moving forward!

In the article I was reading by Suzanne M (click here for her original article), she put forth 5 steps that help break down the entire process to help motivate you to set appropriate goals, and move forward in a fluid way towards achieving those goals. You start with “Big Picture Thinking”. Essentially, you back up and look in a “bigger” way at why you’re doing what you do every day,  you make sure your big picture is heading in a good direction, you motivate yourself by breaking down your goals into more tangible or emotional reasons for WHY you do what you do, you avoid common goal-setting mistakes like being unrealistic or losing motivation too easily, and finally – to quote a famous business –  you “Just Do It”!!!

That may all SOUND easy enough, but what does it all really mean? How do you translate the good words on the screen into actual “pen-to-paper” ACTIONS? Well let’s try to break it down a little farther for you.

To start, your goals might look something like this:

Big Picture Life Vision: When you feel like you’ve reached “the top”, what will it look like? how will you be living your life, working your job, enjoying the benefits you’ve worked for?

To help kick start your creation of this vision, answer these questions:

  • What level of income do you want in five years?
  • Where will you live?
  • How many clients will you have?
  • How many people do you need on your team?
  • What will your schedule look like?

Road Map to Success?

Getting the direction you need takes a little more than just saying “my big picture goal is to be a millionaire”. That’s kind of like saying you hope you end up in California but you’re driving without a map or compass starting out in Nowheresville, Nebraska. The direction you need for your goals are the steps you take to ensure you end up California – the navigational devices that will help keep you on track. To avoid the common mistakes most people make when setting their directional goals, break them down into smaller, attainable tasks.

 

Here are a few sample goals that might get you thinking:

 

  • How many new clients do you hope to gain each month?
  • What new content do you want to produce monthly
  • Month to month revenue goals
  • What new marketing techniques can you implement by the end of this year?
  • A set number of calls to be made per week/per month

The biggest obstacle to not accomplishing your goals is yourself – or more accurately – where your motivation lies. If you have no idea WHY you are doing something, it is extremely hard to be motivated to keep doing it. Go back to our driving metaphor – if you have no idea what California means, contains, or looks like, you are simply driving for driving’s sake. And with high gas prices and the discomfort this can cause to your back – driving around aimlessly gets real old real fast! However, if you know that in California there are warm beaches, crazy celebrity watching, and Disneyland – and you are EXCITED about all of those things – you will be MOTIVATED to push through the back pain, ignore the gas prices and Keep Going until you get there!  Make sure that your goals all have a “why” behind them – for some this may be so you can provide a better home for your family, or because you will get personal satisfaction from beating your all-time call record for the year, or because you enjoy being admired in your field. Whatever the reason is – make sure you have one! It will make all the difference when it comes to actually meeting your goals!

Taking that Plan To Action

Fast forward…so now you go back to your office, all pumped up to make a goal list, write down your reasons for motivation and get that life map all laid out.  You sit down and get ready to start actualizing your goals…and then the phone rings, there are clients to attend to, paperwork to file, prospects to keep in the funnel, phone calls to return and the list goes on.  Before you know it, you’ve completely forgotten why you sat down in the first place, and all that motivation and good intention is buried under a pile of “Work”.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have staff or an assistant, you already know that you can delegate some or all of the administrative work, and maybe schedule in some time to get back to your motivational goal making.

But if you DON’T have that staff or assistant available, that is why I am here (shameless plug) to share with you how to get going!

You need to surround yourself with the right people to get you to where you are going; e.g. a long term implementation partner(s) (a.k.a virtual assistant).  Having someone to answer the phone or handle paperwork will help alleviate some of the daily work and is a great start.  But if you have action items for your goals, how do you accomplish breaking those down into smaller, actionable tasks, and who is there to help you with those?

Again, this goes back to my original point, why you are struggling to attain your goals in the first place.  You know what you need to do, but you need help getting there.  Working with a virtual assistant can bridge the gap between wanting and doing.  A virtual assistant can tell you what the latest trends are in efficiency tools, set up long term marketing plans with you using the latest technology or tools (at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone direct by the way!) and work with you in over 70 other areas https://virtualbusinesspartners.net/projects-your-va-can-accomplish-in-one-hour-or-less/.  Some firms such as myself have joined forces with a team of professionals who specialize in other areas such as web design or accounting that make for a one-stop-shop, which is especially useful if your goals transcend over multiple areas of your business, or when you feel overwhelmed with even figuring out how to get started.

The bottom line is that having someone who can help you navigate from Point A to Point B can be the key to helping you achieve your professional and personal goals.