Goal setting is essential in business.
Your goals should be derived from your mission or purpose and your personal vision of what you want to achieve.
Be Clear About Your Goals
The most important thing here is clarity.
Before you can set your goals you first have to be clear about your purpose and your vision of what you want in your life.
Once you are clear about your purpose and your vision you can then set your goals for the long, medium, and short term.
If you’re already running a business, you’re probably already clear about your mission and purpose.
But if you are starting out, or still at the stage of thinking about quitting your job and starting a business, you might not yet be clear about your purpose or your vision.
If so, then I strongly recommend you first invest some time and effort in working out your mission and defining your vision of where you want to go in your business career. This will give you the clarity you need to succeed.
There are two things in particular that can help you.
Know WHY You Want To Achieve A Goal
The first is to know WHY you want to achieve a goal. What’s your motivation for wanting to achieve that goal?
Motivations are very broadly speaking of two basic kinds. There’s the “push” motivation: the things that you’re trying to escape away from or avoid.
Or they can be “pull”motivations: the things you are attracted to.
In many cases, both push and pull factors are present in our motivations and in the choices we make as a result.
Create A Strong Visualization of Your Goal
The second thing which can help is to have a strong visualization of your goal.
Not only that, but to visualize yourself performing the tasks which lead you to achieve that goal – and to visualize yourself actually achieving the goal.
Goal visualization is a technique commonly practiced in sport by professional athletes.
To win a competition or break a performance record, athletes have to visualize themselves physically performing the action that enables them to win.
By the way, your purpose should not be based on money or achieving wealth. Money and profit are essential to a business. No-one starts a business to lose money or not make any money. But thinking of business primarily in terms of money is looking at it the wrong way round. Nor is it the best way to achieve success.
Money and wealth are generated as a by-product of pursuing goals which serve other people by providing value to them. Money by itself is actually empty and without meaning.
You need to define your guiding purpose or your mission in business in terms of what you are going to offer to people and to your market niche. Marketing people call this the “value-added” component.
Which Way To The Future?
We actually never cease setting goals for ourselves. In business, as in our daily lives, we’re continually faced with choices, different paths, and different possible courses of action presenting themselves to us.
Making the right decision often depends on many different factors which have to be considered.
Many people experience problems in practice with working towards their goals. We get distracted. Unexpected events intervene. Unforeseen complications develop. Motivation can sag.
If you find this is happening to you, then one of the best ways to deal with the problem is to go back a few steps. Go back and take a look at your goals and your mission and purpose that lies behind your goals. It can be especially useful to go right back to thinking about your customers, about the people you serve in your market niche.
Ask yourself if you are still delivering a good “value-added” to them. It could be that times have changed, the market has evolved, new competition has emerged, product offerings have changed, expectations are different. If so, then you may need to make changes here.
Clarity in goal-setting is the most important underpinning of a successful business. If we are clear about our goals, then the rest of the task is relatively straightforward.
Many people find that it helps enormously if they have someone who can help them with their goal-setting. It’s not always easy to find someone suitable. If you have a business partner involved in your business, then this can be a possibility.
Alternatively people sometimes try to enlist the help and support of their life partner. The trouble with this is that quite often a life partner is not in a position to understand the nature of your business or empathize with your mission and purpose in your business. In some cases a life partner can actually be hostile to the idea of your starting and running a business in the first place.
Many people enlist the help of a third party, such as a coach, to whom you can turn to for advice and support in working out and setting your goals.
This is a much better idea since a coach can take a neutral point of view and provide you with valuable independent insight into your business goals.