Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

Small business goal achievement is a challenge. In fact, more than 80 percent of the 300 small business owners surveyed for the Staples National Small Business Survey say they don’t keep track of their business goals. Yikes! 

Based on that alarming stat, it’s easy to understand why 77 percent of business owners struggle to achieve their vision. What is this nefarious “thing” thwarting our efforts? 

Truth be told, it’s challenging to know what actually gets in the way of achieving our goals.

The Nightmare On Goal Street

You’ve learned how to set goals. In fact, you set a target or two in your lifetime. What kind of success did it create? Did you achieve your objective or, like some, did you miss the mark?

If you strayed from your target, it doesn’t exactly endear one to the notion of setting another destination. It often opens one up to crushing disappointment and an accompanying litany of failure. <Insert damaging self-talk here.>

Many small business owners are desperately afraid to set objectives. It’s much like Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory where habits and subsequent behavior are learned by the repetitive association between the response and the stimulus. If you’ve set and missed your target enough times, it’s plausible you’ll want to avoid the painful “shock.”

Think about it. Continually missing your goals is painful! The stress that accompanies unachieved goals is staggering. That’s likely why four-fifths of goal setters make it to Valentine’s Day. The other 20% make it to the end of the quarter. Sadly, that means only 8% successfully achieve their intention.

small business goals

The Road to Small Business Goal Achievement

Despite the statistics, goal setting is the most important business strategy for optimal performance. In fact, investing in goals displays greater persistence, creativity, and risk-taking. It’s the ultimate anti-procrastination strategy.

A Dominican University study conducted with 277 participants revealed some encouraging results on how to more effectively set and achieve goals. Here is what they discovered: 

Participants were randomly assigned to one of five groups. Following four weeks of pursuing their goal,  participants were asked to report on their goal achievement. They were also asked to rate the goal on the following criteria:

  • difficulty,
  • importance,
  • availability of skill and resources needed,
  • motivation and commitment,
  • whether or not they had pursued the goal before and, if so,
  • their prior success.

Those in Group 1 were to think about what they wanted to accomplish for the next four weeks.

Participants in Group 2 were instructed to write their desired accomplishments and rate them as above.

Group 3 was asked to write their goal, rate them, and formulate actions to achieve their desired result.

Group 4 was instructed to write their intended achievement, rate it, formulate actions, and send their targets and actions to a supportive friend.

And, finally, participants in Group 5, wrote and rated their goals, formulated actions, and sent their plans to a supportive friend along with weekly progress reports.

The results? Seventy percent (70%) of the participants who sent weekly updates to a friend reported successful goal achievement! In fact, 76% of the participants in Group 5 achieved their targets or were more than halfway to achieving their goals, compared to 43% of Group 1. 

The Meaningful Takeaway

The results of this study demonstrate the effectiveness of coaching tools including: 

Properly setting and implementing goals is still the best map for us to realize success. With this critical skill, we function as champions in our business.

Are you ready to step out on achieving those all-important goals? If so, consider sharing your goals—and your progress—with a friend. Or, better yet, join us at Eureka!, where CEO’s, Founders, and Small Business Owners collaborate to make their business work better.

goal achievement

What makes one business thrive while another flounders with goal achievement? What qualities and characteristics are common among goal achievers?  And, what draws individuals to embrace a framework for achieving their goals? 

These are the type of questions that keep me awake at night — that and did the neighbors cat make it home okay. 

To find out, I went where we all go to solve the mysteries of the planet. Google. 

My search for “qualities and characteristics of a goal achiever” was revealing. In that, it provided no further insight into the workings of the goal achiever mind. 

 

Most of what showed up in my google search were ‘how to’ set goals. Included in my findings were the characteristics of a good goal-setting system. Think SMART which has been done to death.

Given that, I decided to do a bit of deep dive into my own experience. (I do run a goal achievement mastermind, after all.)

The Goal Achiever Vs. Goal Achievement

After two decades of guiding business owners along their growth journey, this is what I can tell you…

The most successful – and by that I mean those most likely to achieve their goals – have shared qualities. 

They have a goal setting mindset likely developed at a young age. 

They are forward thinking with aspirations for their business. Their enterprise is more than a day-job replacement. 

They crave focus and clarity. Those are non-negotiable for their performance.  

Baked into their DNA is a commitment to life-long learning. If they miss the mark, the re-evaluate, revise, and reboot their plans. 

They dislike vagueness, overwhelm, and chaos.

They expect the best of — and from — themselves. They have great pride in the quality of their work

A deep-seated optimism keeps their eyes focused on the horizon. 

They are much more gifted and talented than they recognize in themselves. It’s likely what keeps them humble.

They know how to lighten up, have fun, and laugh — mostly at themselves. 

So, achieving goals is about the essence of the individual. The goal achievement framework is a tool used to achieve the outcomes. 

An artist has a favorite brush.  My landscaper has his versatile Hori Hori knife. The goal-achieving entrepreneurs tool for performance is the goal achievement framework.

Ask any entrepreneur about annual business planning for their business and you'll immediately be met with eye rolls. If we're honest, it's one of the few pieces of business ownership most entrepreneurs would rather avoid. Yet, it's likely one of the most important pieces of business development as you head into a new year.

Your annual business evaluation and planning adventure (I do encourage you to see it as an adventure.) sets the tone and direction for the upcoming year. Done thoughtfully, it provides insight into trends that may impact your business and changes to consider in the year ahead.

It's the perfect business reboot!

end-of-year assessment

End-of-Year Assessment & Planning: A Big Deal Vs. a Big Ordeal

Whatever you do, avoid making it a big ordeal. Any project that "feels" big and unyielding tends to be avoided for as long as possible. And, we all know what happens with delaying action...

Additionally, make sure your plans for the year ahead are based on facts and data rather than conjecture.

1. Set your intention for your assessment/planning adventure. Just like "going to Grandma's for Thanksgiving" gives us a framework for preparation, establishing an objective equips you to achieve your desired outcome.

2. Schedule planning time and location. I don't know about you but talking about doing something doesn't get it done. Blocking time on your calendar certainly does increase the likelihood of it happening — especially if treated with the same respect you would any important meeting.

If you need an uninterrupted, undisturbed assessment/planning experience, consider finding a nice Airbnb away from the office.

3. Pack your bags. With your intention set, consider the information you'll need to gather in advance of your assessment/planning time.

4. Dig in. This can certainly be easier said than done. For that reason, we created this handy, dandy year-end business assessment and planning worksheet for you.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with two additional points:

  • remain as objective as possible during the assessment phase to ensure you're evaluating business results properly, and
  • refrain from too much detailed planning for the third and fourth quarters of the year. As quickly as business is evolving, you want to remain as agile as possible.

Although you may have to pinch your nose to get through your business appraisal, your ability to think clearly and act boldly in the new year makes it worthwhile.

For a free copy of our end-of-year assessment, log into Eureka. Not only will you find the Think Clearly. Act Boldly. End-of-Year Assessment, you'll also find some intriguing conversations around planning. 

business

I personally know what an MLM feels like. I was involved in one – successfully I might add – until I woke up to the system of how it pays off for the few while the many do the lion’s share of the work. It was a structure I couldn’t stomach.

Everything felt like hype. One punctuated with lots of enthusiastic energy and a bit of deceptive selling. Like the time I was waiting for an elevator. I struck up a conversation with a guy waiting for his guest to arrive for a meeting. After I identified his affiliation with Amway, he quickly remarked, “just don’t let my guest know.” Yikes!

Business today feels like it's moving in that direction. It’s the rise of the faux business.

business

Linkedin is peppered with ‘Linkedin lead generation specialists.’ Others speak emphatically about how they can help you earn 7 figures within 6 months.

Clickbait clamors for our attention. Disinformation leads us down a dark and winding path. Wild and loudly exclaimed headlines crowd our feeds.

Invest time to get to know you and build trust? Heck no – the world is in a hurry and you’ve got 15 minutes. Sales questions are locked and loaded. It's speed selling on steroids. There’s little time or effort invested into an honest, relationship-building conversation.  

Let's take a collective breath and slow our pace.

Can we turn down the volume of our headlines and social media? And, return to truth in advertising?

Most importantly, can we give potential business clients the respect of time they deserve to state their dreams, hopes, and challenges? And, then pause to listen — to really hear what they say as well as what they don’t say.

What a wonderful world this would be...to quote the incomparable Sam Cooke.

self care

We live in a world of extremes. We have extreme skiing, extreme skydiving, and extreme snowboarding. And, for small business owners looking to accelerate growth, a new strategy exists -- extreme self-care.

Airlines tell us to put on our own oxygen mask, even before we do so for our children. Their instructions are purposeful. They understand that you won't be of benefit to others if you don't take care of yourself first.

The truth is that you're not good to anyone when we're not the best to ourselves. Like taking an extended road-trip with regular gas in a car that requires super unleaded, minimize the need for extreme self-care and you're just not that effective or efficient.

self care

You're Number One

The art of taking care of oneself means being responsible for getting our needs met. It means applying the 51% principle, a notion launched by Connie and William Lantz. To hold another person accountable for your own care is unfair and selfish. Self-care is an insider's job.

Extreme is defined as "way out there," out of the ordinary, beyond what is normal. Hence, extreme self-care is defined as going beyond the ordinary to take care of yourself to get your needs met.

Significance of Extreme Self-Care on Business Growth

Extreme self-care influences the quality of our performance. And, when practiced daily, it enables you to give from your joy rather than from obligation and duty.

It infuses you with energy. You are more creative and productive. Your senses sharpen. You open up to new insights and awareness that lead your small business into exciting horizons previously undetected.

Your performance -- and the results you achieve -- is quite extraordinary.

YOU are the most important person there is and without YOU, nothing else will be able to exist. So, if you really truly are intent on growing your business, this is a to-be-included small business growth strategy.

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Testimonial

Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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