How to Win the Game of Business through Goal Setting

One of the greatest weaknesses among business owners is the inability to set and achieve goals. I am constantly amazed to discover business owners, employees, and people in general that lack specific goals. So often we meet people who are just existing. It reminds me of a song from the seventies "Sittin' on the dock of the bay - watchin' the tide roll away". Don't get me wrong - finding a quiet place, to do nothing is needed on a regular basis. In fact, in this world, it is probably required to maintain sanity!! But, the fact remains that our society has produced a large number of uninspired minds. Just get through the day - just get through the week - just survive.

Not having goals for your business is a certain recipe for disaster

You cannot hit a target that you cannot see. If you succeed without goals, it is by accident, and that's scary! The reason that succeeding by accident is a problem, is because you don't know how to duplicate that success in the future. By setting goals, you have a target. You know what you are shooting for. You will develop strategies to reach the goal. If successful, you can duplicate the recipe again and again.

Not having goals greatly reduces your chance of success. I have a photograph of a basketball goal in my office. The caption says "You will miss 100% of the shots you do not take". How true. Could you imagine a ball game without goals? How would you know when one of the teams won the game? How would they know when they won? The game of business has a score board. By setting goals, you can know how you are doing in the game.

Here are a few examples that may be familiar

Ball games are won by reaching more goals than the competition. You may have direct competitors in your industry, but your biggest competitor is probably the one that greets you in the mirror each morning! Someone once said "We have seen the enemy, and he is us!". Often times we set ourselves up for failure, simply by doing nothing. Failure doesn't require doing anything. My waistline will continue to grow unless I do something. If I don't set food intake goals (or limits in this case) and exercise goals, my waistline will grow all by itself. Success in business does not happen by accident - it happens by design.

Here are a few steps that, if followed, will improve the success of your business. Step 1: Set Specific Goals The first step is to set specific goals. I once asked a seminar attendee how big he was planning on building his business, his reply was "As big as possible." While I admire the optimism, if you don't have a specific number and a specific date in mind, chances are you won't meet your goals. Setting specific goals spawns other important activities in the goal setting process. Because of a specific number and specific date, you would quickly realize that there are strategies you must implement to reach the goal. A vague goal such as "bigger" or "better" will not create a sense of urgency or spell out exactly what must be done to reach it.

Step 2: Have the end in sight

The only way to set a specific goal is to see the end. You need to see as many of the parts as possible. In other words, if I set a goal to take my business to a certain dollar amount, that means that I will have a certain number of people on staff. It means I will need to take specific action in my marketing plan to take my business there. It may mean that I need more equipment, and so on. The point here is that you can't just list the specific goal without taking into consideration what else will be involved.

You will never know all of the dynamics of how it will be, and what you will experience once you get there, but you need to have an idea of what is absolutely required to be there. For example, when I took my business to over $2 million per year, I had the end in sight. I knew that I would need a certain number of trucks, a certain number of people, etc. What I did not know, is what how it would feel. I did not realize what I would learn in leading 33 people. I did not understand management dynamics as I do now that I have experienced it first hand. I knew how to manage a staff of 7, but a group of thirty three, and working with middle management was a totally new experience. So, you won't always know what kind of experiences you will have along the way. That's why we say that success is a journey - not a destination. It is the life lessons we learn along the way that create the real success, not just reaching the goal. However, the only way to get on the journey is to set our sights on a destination.

Step 3: Write Down Your Goals I know, I know, you have heard this from every motivational speaker you have ever heard! I wonder why? Could it be because it works?! Maybe they are paid speakers because they have reached a few goals in their lives. Writing down your goals increases your retention rate. Writing it causes you to physically absorb it. Your hand takes specific action in creating something. You also must think about it longer by writing it down. The written word also has more legitimacy than a fleeting thought. And by seeing it written down, you will remember it longer. If you tape it to your mirror, or put it in a place that you see every day, you will cause yourself to think about it more, increasing your chances of taking action on it. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT TIME


Howard Partridge
Phenomenal Products, Inc.

voice: 281-634-0404

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