Putting together a simple game plan for reaching your goals can be very simple, you just have to know what you want from your business now and in the future. Then you create a plan to achieve that goal. Most importantly, you have to take action.
For example, if you set out on a road trip to wherever, that’s where you’ll end up—wherever! But if you know that you want to travel from Chicago to Los Angeles, your chances of actually getting there are significantly improved. Your route can be more direct, and you’ll get there faster. The same is true for your small business.
Know What You Want: Staying with the travel analogy, let’s say you’re going to L.A. for a family vacation. What type of transportation do you prefer—train, plane, automobile? How fast do you want to get there? Would you prefer a leisurely drive or are you in a hurry to see the great mouse, Mickey?
What do you want the journey to look and feel like? Do you see yourself in a plane or a convertible with the top down? What will be the most fun? It doesn’t matter whether you take the scenic drive or the most direct route. The only thing that matters is that you have a great vacation, right?
If you know how you want your business to look and feel,
you will increase your chances of success.
How can you apply this concept directly to your business? After all, your business doesn’t look like anything and it certainly doesn’t have feelings! 🙂 Actually, I’d say that your business does look like something, and how you see it is far more important than you might think.
How you see your business will affect your feelings about it. If those feelings are positive, it will directly affect your ability to attract more business. (Wouldn’t you rather do business with people who are energized and motivated? I’m sure your clients feel that way, too!)
Spend a minute imagining what it would look like if you had the business you’ve always wanted. How much money are you making? What are you wearing? If you have an office, how would it be decorated? Describe your clients. What do you like about them? How much time do you spend working? How much flexibility do you have? Feel free to add anything else that’s important to you.
Now imagine what it would feel like to have the business you’ve just described. Would you feel excited, happy, relaxed, more fulfilled, etc?
What Do You Want Right Now? Can you have everything you want – maybe, maybe not? It really depends on you. A better question to ask is, “What do I want right NOW?”
What goals do you want to achieve in the next 6 months or year?
Be specific, so you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. Stretch a little. Make that goal a little bigger than what you’d expect, but not outrageous. Figure out what you can reasonably achieve and then add something to it.
Make sure you feel excited about achieving your goal. People who are excited about their goals are much less likely to give up when the going gets tough. There will be ups and downs. Being excited will help give you the staying power you need to get what you want.
Decide How You’re Going to Get There: Now that you know what you want, you must decide how to get there. What is going to be the most effective route to achieve your goals? Again, be specific. For example, how many prospects are you going to have direct contact with every week?
Monitor your progress at least once a month.
If the strategy is moving you toward your goals, that’s great. If not, evaluate why not and adjust accordingly.
Take Action: Without action, all the planning in the world won’t get you anywhere. You’ve got to put the key in the ignition, turn on the car, and step on the gas. On the days when it feels like you have too many hills to climb, call a friend. Ask him or her what they would do if they were you.
Be open to hearing what they have to say. You’d be surprised how much you can gain from a little fresh insight.
Bottom line? By knowing what you want, creating a road map to get there, and taking the necessary action, your chances of success will increase incredibly. If you’re like many of my clients, you might even surpass your own goals!