Business

Beyond SMART: Goal Setting for Entrepreneurs

April 14, 2020

If there is one thing we know about goals, they must be SMART, right?
After all, that’s what we’ve been told for years. The only thing that matters is that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
While that looks great on paper—and clearly it’s easy to remember—it doesn’t go far enough for those who want to achieve big things.

Think about it…

Do you want to be stuck with “attainable” and “realistic” goals when what you really dream about is a 3-day workweek, frequent international travel, and enough money to make an impact and be free? Seems pretty clear that those safe, smart goals aren’t going to get you there.

In fact, they might even do worse than simply “not get you there.” They may actively hold you back.

Consider what happens when you set an “attainable” goal of earning 10% more than you did last year. You might work 10% more. You might spend 10% more on ads or product creation. You might even reach out to 10% more potential clients.

And you’ll likely earn about 10% more.

“Not bad!” you say. After all, that was your goal.

But did that 10% goal inspire you to work harder? Or did it create a subconscious ceiling on your earning potential that you’re unable to breakthrough?

Rather than focusing on goals that are attainable and realistic, savvy entrepreneurs know that the key to incredible success lies in creating lofty goals that feel out of reach—may be even UN-attainable.

They do not strive to earn 10% more than last year.

They want 50% or even 100% more.

They stretch themselves. They find new—and better—ways to do things, so they don’t have to work twice as hard, but they remain open to the possibility of doing so—at least in the short term—when it’s necessary.

Of course, you cannot simply declare crazy goals and expect the universe to hand them to you. And that’s exactly why putting aside those smart goals is so…smart.

When you shun the attainable in favor of the “holy cow, how will I ever do THAT?” goal, you push yourself beyond those self-imposed limits and reach for the stars.

Sure, you might not double your income, but you are almost guaranteed to do better than a mere 10% increase.

So, push your boundaries.

Set big, audacious goals.

Even if you fail, you will be much further ahead than those smart goals would leave you.

More Important Than Money: Understanding Why You Really Do What You Do

What do super-successful coaches and small business owners all have in common?

It’s not experience.

It’s not extraordinary skills.

It is not even a powerful drive.

It is their WHY.

Although all these things can help your business grow, they are not a prerequisite for success. After all, no one is born with experience or skills, and plenty of successful people lack drive BUT they do follow HIGH-PERFORMANCE HABITS.

They make the most of their day.

They are resourceful and know how to maximize their reach.

They have goals, targets, and particularly good with follow-through.

The one thing that does make a difference, though, is your “why.”

Why did you decide to become a woman in business?

Why do you spend too many hours in front of your computer every week?

Why do you stay up late and get up early, so you can work on growing your business?

The “why” is what ultimately drives us to succeed but here’s the thing: it’s different for everyone. Your why is not my why, and my why is not her why.

It’s a deeply personal choice that can have great meaning…or not.

For example, a survivor of domestic abuse might happily spend 60 or 70 hours each and every week mentoring other victims of abuse, or counseling couples on how to break the cycle. Her big why is a strong desire to prevent other women from suffering in the same way she did.

A mother of small children may be saddened at the thought of sending her kids to daycare just so she can go to work to pay for it (barely). Her big why is a drive to spend as much time with her kids as she can, while still supporting her family.

A young, fresh out of school entrepreneur might resist taking the same path her parents took, working for a corporation for 40 years, only to retire and find themselves with barely enough to live on. Instead, she dreams of having the income (and the time) to see the world while she’s still young enough to enjoy it.

So, what is your big “why”?

It might be the freedom to travel, the option to spend time with your family, to give back to your community, retire your partner, or embrace a lifestyle you have dreamt of.

Whatever it is, your “why” is the driving force behind every action you take.

When you are deciding whether to take on a new client, ask yourself if it is aligned with your “why.”

When you are setting goals for the year, ask yourself if those goals are moving you closer or further from your big why.

Thinking of branching out into a new business venture?

Make sure it is in alignment with your big why, and success is suddenly much more attainable.

Develop resourcefulness.

Make it happen.

Always follow through.

Put yourself in their shoes to get the answers.

Set timelines and embrace working hard in a smart way.

LT

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