Running a Small Business & the Art of Defining Goals

Small Business and the art of defining goalsActively discovering, defining and setting goals has become a big part of my professional and personal life. These days, it’s a process that I think about on a daily basis. But it wasn’t always that way.

I still remember a time when I was working as a senior copywriter for Lands’ End, commuting 90-minutes a day. My goals were unclear, until I started listening to the likes of Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield on that commute — day after day.

Simply put, this simple act transformed my life — especially listening to Zig. I wouldn’t be who I am, or where I am, without his insights and advice. The reason I bring this up is because everything I’m sharing in this Small Business series is derived from Zig, and others like him. I can’t take credit for these concepts, but I sure as heck can share them!

In the last installment of our Running a Small Business series, we talked about discovering goals — which is the first step in the process of transforming your business and/or personal life. If you missed it, be sure to check it out before reading this article.

Next up, let’s dive into defining your goals …

How to Clearly Define Your Business & Personal Goals

A goal is very much like a trip across America. If you’re driving in the dark with no headlights, and no directions, there’s no way you can reach your destination.

Trying to accomplish a goal without gaining a clear picture of what it looks like is just as impossible. Success is in the details — the more the better — until you’re looking at a hi-definition picture of your goal.

To keep with the driving analogy, a clearly-defined goal is the same as entering an exact address into your mobile phone’s maps program. It’s very specific — with every turn, street and highway name spelled out (and spoken). In other words, there’s no doubt about where you’re headed.

Brian Tracey has an excellent strategy that can help clearly define goals. Here’s what he has to say …

“Imagine that 5-years from now your whole life has been made perfect in every respect, every aspect of your life. All your dreams have been fulfilled. Every goal has been achieved. What would it look like if 5-years from now your life is ideal in every way?”

Very powerful.

Brian goes on to ask questions that help you flesh out the details:

  • Where would you be in five years?
  • Who would you be with?
  • What would you be doing?
  • How well would you be doing it?
  • How much would you be earning?
  • What kind of home would you live in?
  • What would be your level of physical fitness?
  • What would your family be like and your relationships?
  • How would your children be doing?
  • If your life were perfect 5-years form now in every respect – what would it look like?

He then emphatically states “the 5-years are going to pass. No matter what. And if you’re crystal clear about what your life is going to be like in 5-years, your chances of making that a reality go up about 1,000%.”

I like those odds — how about you?

According to Jack Canfield, “one of the easiest ways to begin clarifying what you truly want is to make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be before you die.”

If you’re interested in leaning more about goals, I highly recommend the incredibly affordable Goals CDs by Zig Ziglar. Although the cover art (from the 1970’s) could use a revamp, the material is timeless.

If you subscribe to Audible, you can listen to Zig’s Goals program for free!

I hope this article helps your clearly define your goals. In the next installment of the series, we’ll talk about setting a realistic plan of action to attain our goals.

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