Small Business with Big Goals at your Service!
Many small business owners will have kicked off 2020 with some exciting and hopefully challenging goals. Did you title them ‘2020 vision’? Go on…we did!
Our chances of achieving business goals are better if we write them down and we’ll all have our preferred way. Mind maps – vision boards – SMART goals – goal setting apps – year planners – action lists – 90 day focussed sub goals. The great news is that there’s not a right or wrong way to set goals. The important thing is doing what works for you; set things you feel motivated by and will push you whilst remaining manageable. We should add here that if the word ‘goals’ turns you off, then replace it with something that excites you. Expectation – Dreams – Visions – Aspirations – Aims – Targets – Objectives. Don’t use someone else’s word pick one for yourself that sits well with you. If you haven’t thought about what you want to achieve for your business this year then don’t stop reading; it’s definitely not too late!
For some people, even as early as one month in, you will have fallen behind and not achieved everything you set out to do in January. The issue with this is not just that you’re now behind on your plan for 2020, and that you have some catching up to do, but more than your first month’s experience has not been positive and compelling. You have mentally accepted that it’s ok not to commit yourself fully or worse that you are not capable of achieving what you set out to do. These negative thoughts can incite a feeding frenzy for our inner demons and then we have them to deal with too and at best get in our way going forward.
So what can we do about this whilst we still have the bulk of the year ahead of us…
Firstly, we’d encourage you to get yourself a buddy. Choosing a buddy may not be a simple as it sounds as you need to think about these points: –
- Is this someone I can be honest with?
- Will they be committed to support me and not make it about them?
- Do they have a vested interest in the outcome that might be an issue? (i.e. if it’s your partner they may be too worried about your income or hours your working to fully support you)
- Will they hold me accountable and not let me wriggle off the hook?
- Are they prepared to put the time aside to regularly check in with me as agreed?
- Will they encourage me to celebrate my success too?
Support comes in many guises: – encouragement, empathy, inspiration, motivation and the ability to give you a reality check (aka a kick up the butt) when required. Try to find someone who will provide you with all of the above and some who you can accept their support without feeling anything negative towards them.
It may be that a reciprocal buddying arrangement is possible and this is very good as you can support the other person too. A little caveat is to make sure that you both have equal time for giving and receiving support so that it doesn’t become one sided.
Once you have a buddy decide if you’re going to meet face-to-face, online via Skype, or similar, or by phone. Next set a date, time and duration for your buddy sessions. Finally discuss how you like to be buddied. If your buddy is too relaxed, you’ll get wriggle room, and let’s be honest we all love a bit of wiggle room. The flipside is that your buddy challenges too hard makes feel attacked leading to you become defensive and potentially losing motivation.
A good buddy will support you without destroying you or letting you underachieve on what, let’s face it, you decided you wanted. They will question you to bring out your best. Here are some questions a buddy might ask during the month:–
- This month you committed to…. (review each goal separately)
- So far you have achieved…(be honest you’re only kidding yourself)
- What is left to achieve….(be laser specific, nothing woolly)
- What do you need to do….(list of specific achievable)
- When will you do this by….(to the day or hour)
- How will you feel when I feed when you have achieved this… (one word)
This check in will re-focus you and give you a step by step action plan for what else you need to do in order to achieve your goals and commitments for the month.
At the end of the month you should have another review. This part involves another key element in goal setting which is monitoring and measuring the results of your actions and activities to see what is working well and what you should be tweaking or changing all together as it’s not giving you the results you want.
Again here are some questions a good buddy might ask:-
- Did you achieve your goals last month?
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What could you have done differently?
- What took me completely by surprise? (positively or negatively)
- What do I need to do more of?
- What do I need to do differently?
- Overall how did the month make me feel?
I’d wish you good luck but luck doesn’t really come into it; so I’ll leave you with two of my favourite quotes, not sure who said them but I love them all the same…
After all is said and done – more is said than done!
Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most!
Part of the support you get at The Business Spa is focussed on your goals, buddies and accountability. If you’d like to come and meet our members and find out more then click here and choose a date to suit.