4 Reasons Why Goals are Essential to Entrepreneurial Success
Rather you’re just starting your journey as an entrepreneur, or you’re already a seasoned business owner, chances are you know that goal setting is imperative for success. However, did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to approach setting goals? Be it personal goals you are looking to set or business goals, it is important to understand how to properly set goals that will lead to successful completion.
It is easy to set generic goals such as “Getting Rich” or “Grow a Successful Business”. Though these are good thoughts, goals need to be specific and involve action plans that will help make them a reality. Research has shown that professionals who create well thought out goals are more likely to achieve long-term success, where-as companies who fail to do this quickly fall behind their competition.
So, as the ball dropped us into this new year, are you ready to redefine your goals? Here are five reasons goals are essential to your success as an entrepreneur.
- They keep you motivated.
Achieving our goals is seldom an easy task, but if you are like us than you thrive on setting goals. There is not much we love more than the satisfaction of checking an item off a grand to-do list. When setting up your goals, we like to treat them like a to-do list. We list the big items, then bullets below of things we can accomplish in order to get there. Staying motivated is key in accomplishing big goals. Setting smaller sets of manageable goals within the bigger goal is helpful as you will be able to see what you are headed for and be confident in your progress along the way. Did you know that setting goals (and achieving them) increases your self-esteem? It’s true! The more you work to achieve your goals, the more confidence you will gain in your abilities, thus increasing your chance of success.
- Focus on what success looks like.
STOP RIGHT THERE. Put down your wallet. In focusing on what success looks like for you in the long run, I am NOT implying you should buy a new house or fancy car that you envision accompanying your life when you are “successful”.
With that said, Success in business means something different to everyone. In order to get to that level, entrepreneurs need to start with a vision for both their company and their life. In order to do this, we suggest you sit down with a pen and paper. Then pretend you are at the end of your life. Look back at everything you went and did, where you lived, etc. In looking back at your life in this manor you will become more aware of the type of person you want to be and then dive into the steps it would take to make that vision a reality. Make sure you write that vision of your life down and keep it close by to remind yourself why you set the goals you did. It will provide you more clarity in this process than you can imagine, as it will fuel you on days when you don’t feel like working.
- Allow room for adjustment.
Sometimes when you are working your way to a goal you find that the path isn’t going to work the way you originally thought it might. At this point so many individuals would rather throw in their towel than learn how to pivot and change. What we at iStart want you to understand is that companies are not stationary. They evolve overtime. They grow, gather feedback and adjust. You must learn to adjust too. When your initial path doesn’t work, take a deep breath. Let go of your original expectation and move forward. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by choice. So, choose to continue to make things work. Choose to remain positive. Choose to move forward.
Keep in mind, it is easier to shift a specific goal than it is to change a vague one. As you write out your goals, ensure they are specific so that adjustment is easier to come by.
- They make you more ambitious.
The stronger your commitment to a goal, the more ambitious you will become. Did you know that every time you achieve a goal, your confidence rises? This means that as you progress, your goals will too. Our advice to you is to be unapologetic about your intention to excel and stay determined and focused in your approach. Success is yours for the taking, and we are confident you have what it takes to get there.
For further help setting effective goals, we suggest using the SMART method. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time driven.
Be Specific – What specifically does success for this goal look like? Address the who, what, when, where, why and how of what needs to get done for each specific goal.
Set Measurable Goals – Without the ability to measure the goals you are trying to accomplish; how will you know if you’ve reached your goal? We encourage our entrepreneurs to break down goals into year, quarter and month.
Focus on Attainable Goals – If you hope to achieve your goals, make sure they are challenging, not impossible. When goals are too easy or too difficult, motivation can be easily lost.
Be Realistic – Think about the impact that reaching your goal will have on your business. Let’s say you want to acquire five new clients a month for the next year. This may be attainable, BUT will you be able to manage the workload by the end of 2020? Some goals are attainable but not realistic.
Set Timely Goals – When goals have a date attached to them, it is guaranteed to keep you on track for success. How long do you think it will take to achieve this goal?
Setting goals isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone, but we hope our guidance will help you on your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Reaching for lofty entrepreneurial goals is a lot of work, but it will be incredibly worth it. So, go, choose a long ladder and take one step at a time as you reach for the stars.