By, Keith Rosen
Throughout my career as a business owner, a sales trainer and a business coach, I've noticed a consistent theme in relation to achieving greater levels of success.
That is, the professionals who are extremely productive have taken the time to define their goals and a roadmap to attain what they want most.
While some enjoy the excitement of strategizing for the New Year, others find themselves intimidated by the goal setting process. Instead, they get caught up in the trivial tasks and "busywork," doing everything except the activities that yield the greatest return.
If it's ever been a struggle to reach bigger goals, manage your schedule or maintain your focus and motivation, here's your opportunity to design a Personal Navigation System(tm) that will enable you to accelerate your productivity and generate greater results.
A Personal Navigation System is similar to the navigation system that you find in cars today. It's the system you use to navigate through life, which encompasses your vision, goals, strategy and routine, providing you with a clear sense of purpose and direction. This way, you can stay focused on your goals and the path that will take you to your desired destination.
Running your business or managing your career without having goals in place would be equivalent to driving from New York to California without a roadmap. You're bound to wind up somewhere else other than your original intention.
Just like building a home, your goals become your blueprint for success. Having the end result clarified in your mind (and on paper) before you become consumed by your daily responsibilities will make the process of reaching bigger goals easier and more enjoyable.
Here are three steps to make this year your best year yet!
1. Develop A Theme
In order to achieve more, it's your responsibility to exercise your super-vision. That is, the ability to see beyond what is happening today in order to crystallize the picture of what you want your career to look like tomorrow.
What's the one thing you want to stand out most when you look back at the end of this year? Extreme profitability, accountability, organization, exemplary customer service, becoming systems driven, developing a highly productive staff, an enjoyable business? Create your theme by finishing the sentence, "This is the year of/to--"
If you're a manager or business owner, create more buy-in from your staff by having them create the theme with you. The theme then becomes your company's barometer or checkpoint when taking the actions to build your business.
Your theme complements your goals, the direction you want to travel and enables you to prioritize the activities to engage in.
2. Define Your Goals
If you can measure it, you can manage it. What is your gauge for success? While your goals need to support your theme, they must be specific, measurable and have a deadline attached to them. It's not enough to say, "I want to sell more and make more money." Clarify what success looks like and write it down. For example, "I want to generate one million dollars in sales at a profit margin of X% by 12/31/03."
Take it to the next level and conduct a sales audit to determine who your ideal client is as well as the type of projects that you enjoy selling, have a market for and are most profitable.
3. Align Your Actions With Your Intentions
Many people spend time thinking about how they need to generate greater results such as increasing their sales volume. The question is, are you spending more time worrying rather than actually doing something about it?
A client was complaining how slow business has become. I asked him, "On a scale of one to ten, where ten means you're putting in your full effort to build your business and one means you're not engaging in daily activities that generate new business, where do you stand?" He responded, "I'm probably a four." I then asked, "How much time are you devoting to sales and revenue generating activities?" The response; "Two hours per week."
The next time you feel frustrated because results aren't showing up fast enough, consider that your actions may not be aligned with your intentions.
Now that you have defined your goals, identify the revenue generating activities and tasks you need to consistently engage in to reach your goals.
Next, build these activities into your schedule by assigning designated blocks of time for these activities throughout your week. Make them non-negotiable to ensure that you are using your time to engage in the activities that are aligned with your goals, rather than becoming distracted or consumed with activities that may not move you towards achieving what you want.
Once you've completed this exercise, keep your goals in front of you as a constant reminder.
The fact is, it's a lot easier to attain that which you want most when you know exactly what you're looking for and have a map to achieve it.
Have a profitable 2003!