The #1 way business owners sabotage their goals

Nina KaufmanArticles, See Differently, Strategic PlanningLeave a Comment

Have you ever gotten excited about a business goal … only to find your enthusiasm wore off after a few months?

You’re not alone.

I was speaking to a group of entrepreneurs about goal setting. Several were concerned because they had started with such robust passion for their goal, only to find they lost their taste for it shortly thereafter.

What does this mean? Am I lazy? Not cut out to be a business owner?

No. The approach you’re using to setting goals is broken.

Lots of business owners I know follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” goal framework. Many business coaches swear by it. Consultants recite it like a mantra.

S.M.A.R.T. goals and actions are:

  • Specific. You know exactly what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable. You identify how will you know you met your goal
  • Achievable. You evaluate that it’s not too far to reach, but far enough to be challenging
  • Relevant. You link the goal to something important, something that inspires you
  • Time-Bound. You set a deadline for when you want the goal to be met

S.M.A.R.T. might make for a zippy acronym to follow, but it’s NOT how the human brain works.

Yet millions of business owners across the country are trying to shove their decision-making into that framework like a square peg into a round hole.

When you force yourself to go in order, you gloss over factors that are pivotal.

Like, is it relevant?

Anna, who runs a video production firm sure thought her $1M revenue goal was relevant and important to her. I need the money. I’m tired of scraping by and breaking even.

Yet she never seemed to get there.

So I asked her, what are all the reasons you might NOT want to go for that goal?

Because it’s not fun.
Because I could be working 20 hours a day.
Because I want to spend more time with my 3-year-old daughter, Dori.
Because I have to hire more people.
Because I’m already tired.
Because it will push me beyond my comfort zone ….

When she saw that, she realized she was stuck between two powerful and opposing forces.

The promise of growth … and the fear of sacrifice.

That indecision, that stuck-ness had sabotaged all her neatly-drafted plans.

Now she has the clarity to set better goals. Achievable goals. Goals that have traction and momentum and accountability behind them.

I showed her that S.M.A.R.T. … wasn’t always smart.

Once you can see the obstacles, you have options. You can decide if that’s the right goal to shoot for. You can explore different ways of reaching it. You can take objective stock of your staffing and financial resources. You can become a better leader for your business.

If you want to have momentum and enthusiasm to reach your business goals, email me.

 

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