Yearly, it has become common practice for many founders and top-level managers to set goals for their business. But year on year, the same problem persists for many of these individuals the problem of meeting these set goals.
Although goal setting is a very good and important practice, when the problem of achieving set goals persists, it affects the trajectory of the business, dampens the morale of the team, and by extension the health of the business.
To address these, we’ll be taking a sneak peek into the goal-setting practices and techniques used by most top achievers across various industries, employ these practices and techniques, and you will be achieving all of your goals in good time while recording 10x and more growth for your business.
Top Goal Setting Practices of Top Achievers
For many, the primary reason for setting goals is just for the general purpose of planning. But top achievers set goals not just to plan but also to control the direction of change in their favour.
The top goal-setting practices of top achievers are normal activities that have been done in a highly effective and consistent manner by these individuals over time. These practices include;
Reviewing Past Goals
The first practice by most top achievers is a complete retrospect of past goals. Reading this post, I believe you have had certain goals for your business met or unmet. This is the first step you want to take before implementing any of the techniques you will later learn in this post. Begin with the practice of reviewing and evaluating your past goals.
Ask yourself the following questions;
- What did I or we (as the case may be) achieve from my/our previous goals?
- What did I or we do right to achieve these things?
- What was I or we unable to achieve?
- Why was I or we unable to achieve these things?
- What were my limitations?
Answering these questions will give you a bird’ eye view of the current state of your business and perhaps the necessary steps to take to make things right.
Writing Down New Business Goals
It is amazing the effect the simple practice of writing down goals can have on your goal setting. Goal writing is a practice many top achievers carry out in their goal-setting exercise but many founders and entrepreneurs fail to take it into account when setting their goals. Besides the general importance of easy referencing which writing brings, penning down goals has a psychological impact on you and how you achieve your goals. According to phycologists, writing down a goal helps imprint the goal into your subconscious, shaping your conscious self into working towards the actualization of that set goal.
Highlighting Grey Areas
One common factor responsible for the inability of many businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals is the lack of the core competence and necessary skill set to achieve these goals. This is a practice every top achiever across various industries takes very seriously. Once they write down their goals, they highlight grey areas where they’ll need to build competence. Whether it is learning a new skill, making new hires, expanding your supply chain, etc. take note of these areas and work towards putting these things in place to achieve your goals.
Before reading further, I must tell you the truth. Just reading the practices and techniques you’ll learn in this article and sleeping on them will make no difference. One distinguishing quality between top achievers and non-achievers is action. Top achievers take action on their goals no matter how small. Your ability or inability to take action towards achieving your set goals for your business will determine whether or not you’ll meet these goals.
It is common knowledge that many of us struggle with taking action. This we will learn to tackle in one of the techniques below.
The Top Goal Setting Techniques Used By Top Achievers to Attain Growth for Their Business
Without further ado, let’s sink our teeth now into the different techniques used by many top achievers, how you too can implement these techniques and record growth for your business.
- The SMART Goal setting technique
- GOSPA technique
- Vision boards
The SMART Goal Technique
“Tesla will build a Model S with a 1,200-kilometer (746-mile) range by 2020” – Elon Musk
A SMART goal which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goal, is a very common acronym in the goal-setting world. It is used by various industry leaders and top achievers to set goals for their business.
Specificity is key in goal setting. Being specific with your goals simply means that your goal is clear, concise and it is not in any form vague or ambiguous. For example, Elon’s goal for Tesla was very specific. He did not say Tesla will build cars in 2020, he was specific on the type of vehicle they’ll be producing. So instead of saying “I want to make more sales” you could say “I want to make a million dollars in sales this year”.
See how the latter example is more specific and helps put into clear perspective the goal you want to achieve?
SMART goals are measurable. Back to our example, Elon made sure his goal for the Tesla S is measurable, he sets the specifications for the car. “I want to make more sales” is not a measurable goal, but “I want to make a million dollars in sales” is a measurable goal that can be tracked to monitor progress. Now, notice how the measurement factor changed a loose goal of just making more sales into a more powerful and measurable goal of making a million dollars? Always set goals that can be measured.
SMART goals are challenging but achievable. I understand you want to see a tremendous change in your business, therefore you want to set very high life-changing goals. I admire the zeal but do not fall into the trap of setting impossible goals for your business. Let’s backtrack a little, look at the goals you’ve set, are they realistic, are they possible looking at the various factors within and outside your control, and are there things in place to actualize those goals?
Instead of setting far-fetched goals, set challenging goals that will push you into putting in the extra effort. How do you distinguish between a realistic and an unrealistic goal? A realistic goal even though challenging, is achievable. For example, from history you’ve only made $1000 in sales, besides based on your current capacity, all of your production and inventory sold would not amount to $50,000, it will be quite unrealistic to set a million dollars as a sales goal.
SMART goals are relevant. How relevant is this current goal to your overall business mission and strategy? Is it worth your time, will achieving this goal impact your business in any way? Is it the right time to push for that goal? Taking into cognizance all of these questions will help you set very relevant and motivating goals for your business.
SMART goals are time-bound. They have a target date or time to which they are achieved. Consider our previous examples, “I want to make more sales” and “I want to make a million-dollar in sales this year”, the goal of making one million dollars in sales this year is time-bound therefore, you have a date to work towards.
Although widely practiced and accepted, there is a school of thought that believes that the parameter ‘achievable’ is a factor that makes the SMART goal technique limiting. But except you currently have the doggedness of Steve Jobs, the SMART goal technique is a fine place to start setting and achieving your business goals.
SMART goals help you set clear and specific goals, while GOSPA helps you get to work on these goals. I love the combination of these two techniques side by side. GOSPA is an actionable goal-setting technique that stands for Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Priority, and Activities. It is a technique used by individuals like Brian Tracy, and it is common among top-level executives and managers.
Goals are aspirations you want to achieve for your business within a set period.
In the GOSPA technique, this is the section where you list out your SMART goals. For example; “I want to make one million dollars in sales by the end of the year”, “I want to improve my customer satisfaction experience by 60% at the end of Q2”, “I want to have a 25% share of my market by the end of Q4”, etc. These goals are SMART and a good foundation for the next phase of the technique.
This section highlights the key objectives, that is, sub-goals that must be accomplished to achieve the SMART goals listed above. For example, your goal is to make a million dollars in sales by the end of the year. Your objectives or sub-goals might first be to make $200,000 in Q1 through ads, $300,000 in Q2 through ads and referrals, etc. Breaking your grand goal into 3-4 objectives per goal will motivate you towards working and achieving the goal.
These are the various methods you will employ to accomplish the objectives on the way to your goals. Still on our $1 million in sales, your strategy to achieving this could be to outsource sales in Q1 while you build a strong internal sales team. It could also be to invest more in ads while building a strong referral network from those clients, etc. Different strategies can be employed to achieve a set goal.
One problem many founders and businesses make is the problem of focusing and prioritizing. This section addresses this problem by ensuring that you only focus on important activities. Based on your laid down strategy, you identify and make a list of the most important activities based on priority. Apply the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule). Identify the 20 percent of activities that you can take that will account for 80 percent of your results? Note these activities and follow them sequentially based on priority.
Finally, action! This is one area many entrepreneurs find difficult.
These are the specific day-to-day activities, duties, and details that must be done to implement your strategies, and ultimately achieve your goals. Having broken down your day-to-day activities, begin by working on those priority activities daily, no matter your level of motivation. Work daily to move the needle. Begin with 2 minutes, 5, etc.
This is one tool used by high achievers like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey, etc. A vision board is a visual representation of images and words that represent your set goals for your business or life. It is also known as “dream boards” or “inspiration boards”.
It serves as a compass to help create a mental picture of your vision/goals.
A vision board can be physical or digital and it is made by arranging collages that represent your goals on a poster or corkboard.
The different benefits of creating a vision board include;
- It creates a psychological impression that allows the brain to view your goal as a reality, therefore allowing you easily work towards them.
- Creating your vision board can be a powerful meditative process that brings clarity on what you want your business to be like.
- It makes it easier to leverage the Law of Attraction in your business.
- It helps maintain focus on the most important things and not sweat the small stuff
Although there are a plethora of goal-setting styles and techniques, to achieve exponential growth in your business, begin with the powerful combination of these 3 goal-setting techniques as utilized by different top achievers across various industries, and implement the goal-setting practices stated in this post.
Have a blast with your goals. Have a blast with your goals.