Smart Goals & Strategic Planning
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Starting a Business - Part 4
We gave you a lot to think about last week! This week we want to focus on one thing, goals. Setting goals isn't necessarily the next step in starting a business but it's a skill you'll want to develop and be committed to throughout the start-up process and well beyond. As you think about your goals, you may want to continually ask yourself, "Why am I in business?"
There may be several reasons, but it’s probably safe to assume you want to make more money, right?!
But let’s be clear - ‘making more money’ - isn’t a goal. We can hear Tony Robbins now saying “Here’s a dollar, now get outta here.” Meaning if we give you a dollar you have ‘more money’, but we seriously doubt you are starting a business to make a literal buck. So we need to set a worthy goal and get more specific.
You’ve heard of SMART goals, right? Just a recap, it’s an acronym that stands for:
These are important to keep in mind, but we’re going to approach it slightly differently, stay with us.
Goals & Planning
First, a worthy goal should feel like it’s in harmony with who you are. For example, if you’re lucky enough to know you were born to be a coach or to help people with 'X', your goals should always feel aligned with that. This can also help weed out opportunities that maybe aren’t for you. Second, a worthy goal is one that excites you and also scares you a bit. This is where we tend to veer off a little with the realistic requirement above. You don’t have to know exactly how you’re going to do it. Actually, your goal should be something you’ve never done before. You should be emotionally invested in your goal. Making $20k per month might be your goal, but a 2 with a few zeros behind it might not be the end-all-be-all. Your goal should be YOUR goal, but here are a few examples of what a worthy goal might look like.
Goal - I’m a successful life coach, attracting perfect clients and steadily earning $20,000 per month by December 31, 2021.
I’m a best-selling author by...
Start living from the end.
We mentioned you want to be emotionally invested in your goal. Putting too much focus and emotion in your current state can keep you there. For example, if currently, your balance sheet is lacking, you feel like a newbie, in a little over your head, or maybe even like an imposter, the feelings that come from that can keep you up at night. On the flip side, if you start living from the end, you are being pulled from the goal rather than pushing. You are a best-selling author now, and you’ll feel more inspired from that place, and you’ll write with inspiration and flow rather than fear and lack.
So a goal statement would actually look more like “I’m so happy and thankful now that I’m a best-selling author by December 31, 2021.” This is a practice learned from Bob Proctor, who writes his goals on a goal card, the size of a business card, and he carries it around in his pocket, his desk drawer, and everywhere around him.
If something didn’t work in the past, let that go. Don’t carry that into your work now. Be who you are becoming- be that person NOW, because you will never outperform your self-image. Use Lady Gaga for example. Lady Gaga didn’t wait to become Lady Gaga until she became a star. She was a star FIRST, or she never would have gotten the success she did.
To take it up a few emotional notches, start to think of what your life will be like when you’ve reached your goal. Example: "Now that I’m earning $20k as a success coach, my family is comfortable, I’m able to feel peace and be more present, etc." The more descriptive and the more senses you include, the more attached and the more you feel like you're being pulled rather than pushing.
Take Inspired Action
This all sounds good, but the results come from the doing. There are different approaches to this that are all good, but let’s keep that inspiration in mind.
One option - You can look back from the desired outcome, and ‘think backward’ of the main steps it took to get there. “I launched my product, created a website, held attraction webinars at specific intervals, formed partnerships with others working with my ideal customers, I did weekly reach-outs and follow-ups” etc. These are your ‘value add’ action steps. You can use this to set milestones to develop your short-term goals and action plan. Consider 1-3 short-term goals you’d like to hit in the next 90 days that bring you closer to your long-term goal. Make them measurable. List the actions needed to achieve each short-term goal. Prioritize your list of actions to keep you on track - to be completed within 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
Another option - You can break it down by customers or revenue. If your goal is $20K per month, look to hit 5K per week, and 1K per day… Or this can be customer-focused, need X amount new customers or X amount new prospects each month.
These two approaches are very useful, but use caution not to lose your inspiration. You want to work in ‘flow’, a state where you are inspired and time just flies without you realizing it because you are in the zone. Start to trust that YOU are the right person for the job. The only person for the job. You may not know everything right now, but start to trust that as you stay in that inspired state, you will know what to do. Trust your intuition, and the answers will flow to and through you.
The practice we have found to be most effective is two-fold. Have a loose set of routines for each day - or an area of focus. For example, one day might be reach outs or attraction, then follow-ups or retention, 10x opportunities, such as podcasts, another day may be a content dump, and another day to monitor performance and systemize. Saturday can be for catch-up and learning or training, and Sunday for inspiration. In all honesty, they kind of run together, and that’s ok. This idea makes sure you don’t procrastinate in one area or drop a ball that is critical to your business.
This second practice is what ties it all together. Each evening, set your intention by listing 6 actions you’d like to accomplish the next day. These should be directly related to your goal, this is not - pick up groceries… This is where you allow for not having all the answers, but each day trust that you’ll have a better view of your goal and what you need to do next.
Understand that you will not get through all 6 actions most days. At the end of the day, just set the priority for the following day. If you are taking action from the desired end result each day, your efforts and results over a few months or over a year's time will feel like a quantum leap. Stay inspired, celebrate your wins, and trust and enjoy the process!
Check out Starting a Business - A Guide for the Online Entrepreneur for a summary of this blog series and what you can expect to learn each week.
Go back to the previous post - Part 3 - Foundational Marketing
Continue to the next post - Part 5 - Attracting & Retaining the Right Clients
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