If you’ve ever set a goal for your business that you didn’t meet, you know how frustrating goal setting can be. No matter how carefully you plan your year, time passes and deadlines get pushed.
Goal setting and business planning for entrepreneurs can be problematic because a goal is hard to implement. It’s usually a simple statement about your vision for the future with a date attached to it.
Goal Setting Example: “Reach $10k Monthly Recurring Revenue by March 15th.”
The only way to follow up on a statement like this is to assess whether or not you’ve reached your goal yet. This pass/fail mindset creates a negative lens because you don’t get any points for trying and it doesn’t bring you any closer to actually reaching the goal.
This is because a goal, on its own, is the kryptonite to your Superman. It’s not doing you any favors. And, I think it’s time we solved the problems associated with goal setting, don’t you?
The truth is, you don’t need smarter or stretchier goals. You need to set up a framework for achievement that makes everything you want to achieve, not just possible, but inevitable. And doing that is simpler than you might realize.
There are three steps you need to take to go from ambition to achievement.
Step 1: Start Goal Setting for the Future
Setting projections for our businesses is an essential process. We need success markers. And whether you’re the CEO of a team or an independent contractor, you have to know where this bus is headed, right?
Your challenge at this phase is to go beyond the revenue goal.
Identify key touch-points along your customer journey that could be transformed into a 5-star client experience. Envision the next great leap your company will take.
Will you launch a new product?
Will you create a scholarship for your coaching program?
This is also a great time to identify the problems you want to solve in the year ahead.
Go wide, go deep, and then get specific.
Your goals should be written with enough clarity that you know exactly when you’ve achieved them.
Once your vision and milestones for the year ahead are set, you need to determine how you’re going to get it all done. This is usually when all my planner friends in the room start talking about project plans and action steps.
Sound familiar? For the love of peanut butter, please put down your post-its.
This might surprise you, but projects and action steps are NOT the secret to success here. What you really need is a repeatable process you can execute that directly helps you achieve the goal.
This is where systems come into play.
If goals are your kryptonite, systems are your superpowers, because they are the “how” of your achievement trifecta.
Often, when we talk about systems, it’s in terms of problem-solving or business processes. But systems aren’t just meant to be an end-game solution, they’re a vehicle for achieving your goals in the first place.
Step 2: Determine Your System for Achievement
Let’s start with a basic example: Daily Visibility on Social Media.
For the introverts in the room (raises hand), showing up on social media every day can seem… overwhelming.
But instead of dragging yourself through 45 minutes of hair, make-up, and talking point prep every single day, what if you pre-recorded quick videos of yourself once a week? Or how about scheduling a social media photoshoot every 3 months so you always have fresh photos at the ready? When it comes to daily visibility, batching is your best friend.
Now we’ll apply this same approach to your revenue goal.
For example, let’s say you’re a life coach and you have a goal to reach $10k monthly recurring revenue in 3 months. You need to have a system for achieving this goal, and that starts with knowing your numbers.
First, you need to determine how many clients you need to meet your revenue projections. If you sell your life-coaching package for $1000/month, you need ten regular clients to meet your monthly revenue goal.
Next, you need to know where your clients come from and what your conversion rate is. In this example, your clients come from sales calls and your conversion rate is 20%. This means that in order to get ten regular clients, you need to hop on about 50 sales calls.
Finally, you need to know how you book sales calls. Where do your leads come from? Let’s say, for simplicity’s sake, that your leads come from Instagram DMs and those conversations convert to a sales call at a rate of 50%. This means that in order to get your 50 sales calls booked, you would need to have about 100 DM conversations in the next 3 months.
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After following this simple conversion trail, you have the data you need to create your system for achieving this revenue goal.
In order to make $10k MRR, your process is to be active on IG and have at least 2 DM conversations each day with potential clients. That’s it.
By creating this system, you have just figured out the “how” of achieving this goal.
Step 3: Take Action!
Once you’ve established your systems for achieving your goals, there’s one more thing you need to do: actually complete the work.
This is the third piece of your goal setting achievement trifecta. Often this is when humans ask me about “staying motivated” and “finding will-power.” But, this isn’t about motivation, at all.
Because you’re replacing self-motivation with a repeatable process, it takes will-power out of the equation.
It’s about repeatedly executing your system. All you need to take action is to follow the structure you created with your system.
Now, this is not to say that achieving your goals is easy. Please don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the process. Taking action can still be difficult, especially in the beginning, when you’re developing your new achievement routines. But if you commit to never stop moving, and you keep up with your daily routines, you will succeed.
Which brings me to the most important thing I could ever teach you about achieving your goals: you can’t fail if you don’t quit.
Want to set yourself up for success? Get our ultimate guide on business goal setting.