The incredible efforts of the 2012 Olympic athletes are inspiring both the young and the mature. Of course what we spectators have been watching is just the culmination of years of training and interim achievements. The achievements come when they succeed in meeting their goals, and there will have been many of those in the build up to the ultimate objective of winning an Olympic medal.
And unless they decide to retire, their efforts don’t stop there. After a well-earned break, they will be setting more goals for the future and working towards them.
As business people, we may have lessons to learn from that. Whether your ultimate goal for your business is set for five years or twenty years on, you will have to build and develop it to get there. You need to set interim goals in realistic time frames, and give yourself time to celebrate when you have met them. Then you’ll be motivated and enthusiastic about moving on to the next goal.
The Right Goals Point you in the Right Direction
Effective goal setting is a skill that entrepreneurs need to acquire. If you get them right, you will be directing your efforts in the right direction and less likely to be side-tracked into unprofitable activities.
Most business people have heard about using a SMART technique to set a goal, making it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. But there is more to it than that. The most important aspect is that you really want to achieve it, and it’s not just something you think you ought to be aiming for. If you personally don’t have a passion for it, it will be very hard to summon up the drive you need to achieve it.
Goals Must Remain Dynamic
You will, of course, need to review your goals from time to time to make sure they remain appropriate if circumstances change. For this reason, goals should always be set out in writing which will also help you make them detailed and precise, so they they can’t be dissipated by vagueness. When you write up your goals, don’t include anything you don’t want that needs to be avoided. Keep your text positive and just leave the negatives implicit.
For each of your goals, you need a schedule that sets out the steps you will take to get you there, and when you will take them. This also can be changed at review stage if your plans are not working out as you hoped. External changes out of your control can make this necessary, and you shouldn’t ever blame yourself. You just have to take them in your stride and decide on other strategies to help you reach your goal.
Remember that your outsourced bookkeepers are on hand to discuss your financial goals and may have useful tips on different ways to reach them.