Simple Approach to Achieving Small Business Goals
The greatest hurdle it seems most small business owners face in achieving goals is not setting achievable ones in the first place. We’re in a hurry to get to awesome, based on some vision of what awesome is. And often that vision is one we are admiring that someone else is creating… which is simply a distraction of living towards our own.
While we are setting ourselves up for the dream, and creating a vision of the outcome, we’re missing critical milestone mini-goals along the way. We are taking shortcuts while we think we are fast-tracking.
Milestone mini-goals should be concrete, incredibly tangible and you should feel optimistic you can nail them. This does not mean avoiding stretch goals, and becoming an underachiever, but it does mean reaching for what is reachable in the process of reaching for the bigger desired outcomes.
Some of the shortcuts feel mundane, or too slow. But regardless of how they feel, they must be done. Some of it is inside work (embracing your true self so you can project that forward to build confidence, trust, clarity and ease of growth) and some of it is business work (setting up systems, processes, technology, budgets, sales strategies). All of it requires taking a degree of risk and practicing in your business through trial and error, failure and lessons learned, repetition of what works and ditching (fast) what you know didn’t.
Create Your Mini-Goal Mindset
- Establish a marketing map, visual document or written action plan of your 3 and 6 month goals and what you think must happen to achieve them.
- Set Daily or Weekly Goals.
- Define repeatable tasks that you do week after week, without fail, that serve to grow your new customer potential and honour your existing customers.
- Tackle the to do list one item at a time. Some days nothing gets checked off because we are too busy fretting about getting it all done. (It’s never all done is it?).
- Blog, create video messages, podcast, Instagram video or verbalize your ideas once or twice a week to practice sharing your insights with clarity of your own voice, to build your confidence and boost SEO (I have loads more to say about why over here).
Life Lessons from the Kids Become Life and Business Lessons for the GrownUps
This lesson has never become more apparent to me than when I watch my daughter grow through her sport of competitive gymnastics. I am in awe of how at as young as 6 years old, these girls start to grasp that small goals beget big dreams.
Proud Mom Alert: As you may know, my oldest, who at the time of writing just turned 11, broke her ankle and was fully casted September to early November. Right before that happened, she was dreaming of her success for her 2nd year of competition (after 5 years of training).
She was devastated for about a week. Then her natural goal-minded attitude kicked in and she decided to just train modified hours, doing whatever she could to just be in the gym (bars, bars and more bars). One week in the gym her goal shifted to being able to do all four events at her first competition of the season that December. As that competition grew closer her goal shifted from just being able to compete to becoming top 10. When she went to that competition, she nailed new skills and was top 5.
She put one goal in front of the other. She didn’t change her big dream at all, but she quickly realized that the path to that dream had to change and the only way to get there was one determined goal at a time, in a linear process. Hard work, determination, excellent coaching, physiotherapy and talent of course all played into that first competition even happening. But it was her goal setting that blew me away. She has gone on to win on the podium every competition since and is about to head to Provincials (an earned spot).
I am of course proud of her medals, but mostly I’m in complete awe of her journey and insanely proud of her mindset that is allowing her to exceed her own expectations, even if she hadn’t been in a cast for 8 weeks!
All elite athletes, of any age, know this lesson. They know failure. But they love what they do and pick themselves up and keep applying what works in small ways to get to the big outcomes.
Mini-Goals Beget Big Goals
Setting mini-goals, in pursuit of the big ones, in a step by step linear process, leads directly to the big dreams. Sometimes the path changes and so do the set of goals. But keep an eye on the big picture and chip away at the necessary processes along the way.
Not sure what those processes are? I can help! Setting mini-goals with my clients happens to be one of my good things too. (Now if only I could still do a cartwheel)