Thursday, September 21, 2006

Business Fundamentals - Goals

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

Most everyone agrees that you should set goals. I’m no different, I think it’s imperative to identify certain levels of achievement, and reward yourself upon reaching them. But there’s more to it than just setting goals. Let’s look at why you should set goals.

An older study done by Success magazine of Yale’s graduating class of 1953 gave us some pretty startling numbers regarding goal setting. Among other questions asked, three were,

Have you set goals?
Have you written them down?
Do you have a plan to accomplish them?

Pretty simple questions to which you shouldn’t have to think very long for an answer.

84% of Yale’s graduating class had no specific goals at all, mostly using the phrase “enjoy themselves”.

13% had goals, but had not put them in writing.

3% had written down goals, and had a plan of action to achieve them.

Twenty years later, the same class was interviewed again. The results stated this:

The 13% with goals not in writing were making on average twice as much money as the 84% ‘enjoying themselves’.

The 3% who had goals and plans in writing were bringing in on average 10 times as much as the other 97% combined.

That in itself is enough reason for me to write down all of my goals, all of my plans, and anything else that may be relevant. 10 TIMES AS MUCH!!!!

Goal setting and having a plan of action cannot be emphasized enough. It works, it’s worked for too many people too many times there is no arguing it.

Have you written your goals and action plans?
Do you have goals and action plans?

Before you even set your goals, do you know where you want to be?

Here’s another story, this one from Alice in Wonderland:

Alice: “Will you please tell me which way to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” replied the Cat.
“I don’t care much where….” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” said the Cat.

What a great illustration. You have to know where you want to go before you can choose your direction. If you know where you want to end up, then the first step is done and you can start to plan. If not, that should be your first priority.

You may have to do some self analyzing to find where you want to be. What are you good at? What are your weaknesses? What could you work at all day? What kind of people do you want to be around? You may also want to talk to those who know you best, and will be honest with you. Sometimes the things you need to hear aren’t what you want to hear, or what you would’ve told yourself. Be open to others input. And you should write all of this down as well.

Decide upon your destination, and now you are ready to devise your plan.

Here are a couple of guidelines for getting those ideas out of your head, and putting them into play:

Goals must be specific, concrete and detailed. You need to know what steps you must take to achieve your goal, by what date it must be accomplished, and how you are to measure achievement. A goal of “best sales month ever” won’t cut it. How much do you expect to sell during that month, and how are you planning on making it more successful than other months?

Believe in your goals. Make them challenging, yet attainable. You do not want to set yourself up for failure, and at the same time, keep the bar high enough that you are going to have to take your performance from ‘ordinary’ to ‘extraordinary’. If you set goals and come up a little short, as long as having a goal helped you get more out of yourself, then it served its purpose.

Remember, it’s the goal setting that’s important, not the goal getting.

You have to believe in your goals, and you have to believe in the effectiveness of goals. Goals must be in writing. An unwritten goal is just a dream, in writing, it’s a commitment. You must have the conviction to put your intentions on paper. I can speak from firsthand experience of the impact this will have on your business and personal life. Learning to identify goals and plans of action has been one of the most important tools for success for me personally. If you are serious about learning and growing your business, it will be for you too.

On another note, our group will be arriving in Connecticut for Ryan's bootcamp early Thursday afternoon. Pat and I have a couple of meetings scheduled but plan to spend most of the evening hanging around the hotel in order to meet everyone. Make sure you stop by and say hello.

Nick Berry


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Zach Even - Esh said...

Nick - this was a HUGE lesson I took away and am acting on now, HAVING DEADLINES!

was awesome to meet you and Pat over the weekend, I'll talk to you guys soon!



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