Having goals to strive for in our business is great. It is a sign that you are ambitious and have a plan on how to be a winner. Goal setting is not the sexiest exercise in the world. They are even more pointless if you are setting the wrong ones. Chase after the wrong unicorn and you will end up with mud on your tracksuit pants plus not much to show for at the end.
Check your goals against the ones below and see if you have been aiming for the right ones:
1. WRONG GOAL – To have customers lining up for me because of this idea I had
Imagine that you have a brilliant idea in your head which could be turned into a business. You wrote business plans, chose which corner of your living room to turn it into a home office, looked at various colour palettes for your website and dreamed about how many business cards you should order. HOWEVER this goal is essentially useless if you have not uttered a single word about what you do to a soul. For customers to want your stuff, they have to know that you exist. In order to know that you exist, you have to seek them out.
Goal to set – Create strategies to promote my work and attract customers to my business.
2. WRONG GOAL – The next person who pays attention to me will be my customer
Ok, let’s say you went out there and told people about what you do. Unless you have an amazing product on your hands (think – a smartphone that will knock the socks off Apple) or provide a service which everyone needs and only you have it, don’t get too disheartened if the first person who paid attention to you is still not reaching for her purse. It does take a little while to build a relationship, gain trust and increase your likeability factor in the eyes of a stranger.
Goal to set – To engage in an authentic relationship with my potential customers.
3. WRONG GOAL – I want to earn at least $10,000 in the next 7 days
I wouldn’t say that if you were to set this goal for your business (even if you are in the early stages) is far-fetched. It only sounds ridiculous if all you have is a good idea but no clear game plan on how to generate income from it. For example, you have an idea for a smart refrigerator which is virtually connected to your local grocery store. Its role is to place an order on your behalf whenever any food items runs low. You talk to a busy working parent. She is keen to know more and possibly even buy one for her family. Bam! You have a potential customer. Boo hoo! You have no way to get money off her.
Goal to set – My next product launch will enable me to meet my target income of $________.
4. WRONG GOAL – I want to quit my day job, start a business and be wealthy.
If you don’t have a plan, kindly do not set this goal. Unfortunately real life is not like Hollywood movies. It takes time to build a business and even longer to earn an income to comfortably provide for you and your family. Before you go all out and quit your job, have a plan on how to manage your finances, your new career and your family. Be prepared to make any temporary sacrifices in order to fulfil bigger goals.
Goal to set – To have a profitable business by putting the right foundation in place.
5. WRONG GOAL – My family is to be fully supportive every single time I have to work
Starting a business is never easy. Starting a business from home with a family to look after is even harder. No matter how supportive hubby may be of your business or that the kids are fine over at grandma’s, please don’t take this as a sign that it will be 100% OK all the time. Your priority as a mum in business is to make the business fit into your lifestyle and not the other way around. Establish boundaries so that your family clearly knows when you have your Businesswoman hat on and when you are Mum.
Goal to set – My business shall exist in harmony with my family life.
Having your dream business and a happy family life is not impossible when you put in place sensible, realistic and practical goals. Goals are there to guide you towards your definition of success so make sure you set the right ones.
Your turn – what goals have you set in the past that turned out to be wrong for you?
Cassie Lee is a Business Transformation, Mindset and Action coach who inspires entrepreneurs to overcome their inner critic, take action and be a champion of their own success. Grab a copy of her free Ebook “You are What You Think” as the first step towards developing the ideal mindset for a business and life you want.