Here we are in a New Year and as entrepreneurs that are starting out or as entrepreneurial veterans the one thing that all business owners must do is to have goal setting on the top of their to-do list. Goal setting is essential in life experiences and work experiences.
“You can’t move forward until you look back.” ― Cornel West
Michael Hyatt put out an interesting ebook, “The 8 Strategies Super Successful High Achievers Use to Prepare for the New Year.” His ebook has inspired me to really take a look at my business as a successful high achiever.
Guess what all the high achievers would do first – Reflect. They would reflect on the good things that happened in their business and the bad things. However it wasn’t something they took a long time doing and drown themselves with doubt and apprehension for the year. They know they have to reflect and some would just take a day and some people will take a full week to look back at all the pros and cons that happened during the past year. Once that reflection was done, that was that, they could move forward to what action plans that need to be accomplished.
Take a look back at all your accomplishments last year – big and small. What you have accomplished may surprise you. It surprised me! I started out my business with a whole different plan and I have to say it looked like a copy of me still working at a 9 to 5 job at a non-profit organization. If you’re a fresh entrepreneur, the one thing I must say that I had to REALLY get used to was to know that… I AM THE BOSS. The clients that hired me were not my employers but working partners that I’m helping. That was probably the biggest takeaway I got from reviewing all that happened in the past year. That in itself was a big accomplishment.
I also found the most important part of being an entrepreneur was networking. I know networking is such an overused word and I apologize but it’s so very true. The connections you make online have an immense effect on your business. I have to say that I probably made more friends in my life in this past year than my whole thirty-something non-internet life. When I say friends I don’t mean “Likes” and “Followers”, I mean true relationships of fellow entrepreneurs who genuinely want you to make it.
Express Gratitude & Positivity
It’s inspiring to meet entrepreneurs that are like-minded and want to see you succeed. It’s great motivation to cheer each other on. I found most support of my business through Google+ communities, Facebook groups, and LinkedIn groups. I found an accountability partner, a single person out of the beautiful bunch, to keep me grounded, positive, and someone to cheer me on when I’m kind of going crazy.
This is exactly what Michael Hyatt had mentioned as well in his ebook, that high achievers would express gratitude and stay positive. I’m so very grateful and blessed for the people who have come into my life because of my business. I found that entrepreneurship is HARD therefore you’ve got to have a positive attitude no matter what comes your way.
Another point Michael Hyatt made was to eliminate excess. What does that really mean? It means to get rid of the projects you’ve got on your list that aren’t profitable. If you’re losing money or not gaining anything from it then why bother. You need to focus on projects that really impact your business positively.
Set Compelling Goals
Don’t set goals to just… set goals. They have to mean something to you. Lewis Howes brings in a great question from the ebook.
Every time you list a goal, ask yourself why. If you answer it and you’re not thrilled about it then don’t waste your time. Figure out what’s going to excite you to get that goal done. Know this quote?
Isn’t that the reason to have your own business to do something you love and do it with passion? There’s a reason to work hard if you’re in love with what you’re doing. Make every day count.
Break it down, Charlie Brown
How do you plan these goals? Some people categorize, some people limit themselves to 3 big goals, and some people will break them into smaller goals to revisit quarterly. It all depends. Everyone has to find their preference of what’s going to make their goal more achievable. All that matters is to break up the goals into parts where you can easily succeed.
Make it S.M.A.R.T.
Are you old school where you need a notebook and pencil?
Are you a contemporary “old schooler” where you get your colorful pens and your planner? –> This is me…
Is Evernote or Microsoft Office all you need? –> I found that this doesn’t work for me…
Do you use a whiteboard like Amy Porterfield?
No matter what method you use – paper or electronic, you’re well on your way to success. Sometimes it takes time to find what will work. I tried doing electronic but it was actually harder for me to stay focused. This year I’m going old school to plan out the year. haha
The last strategy Michael Hyatt mentioned was to unplug for a time. All the high achievers took time off and scheduled it. It’s essential to really take time for yourself. Get re-energized! Many people took the time during the holidays. Some will take a couple of weeks off and some a whole month. No matter what, take time out from the hustle.
Goal setting as an entrepreneur doesn’t have to take long to do and it can’t be avoided. Find a system that will work for you and stick with it.
Let’s be high achievers together! Let me know what your biggest goal is to achieve this year in the comments and what methods work for you.