Colin Clapp – When it comes to setting business goals, bigger is betteri

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Read the published version in Canterbury Today

We all know the importance of setting goals, but what really makes the difference is setting the right goals. And in business when it comes to goal setting, it pays to think big.

Goals can be scary things. That’s why most business people set relatively low goals.  The reason for this? Fear of failure. By setting low, safe goals, you can avoid feelings of failure by creating relatively easy hurdles to jump. Goals that are easy to attain also mean you can claim success and have a great sense of achievement by easily hopping over these hurdles.

It’s like adding things to your list after you’ve completed them just so you can have the satisfaction of crossing them off. Sound familiar? This approach to goal setting can do wonderful things for your self-esteem, but it won’t do great things for your business.  

Average goals also produce average results. If you want exceptional results for your business then you need to set exceptional goals. To do this, you need to think big. Oddly enough, the bolder you are, the more likely you are to meet and even exceed your expectations. And, even if you do fall short, you’re still likely to accomplish more than you would have otherwise.

One of my clients has a goal around being a role model for his children, his family, and his friends – so much so that he has now set a life-altering goal. Within three years, he will take the year off from his business and take the whole family on an around the world surf trip.

The beauty of this is that his entire family, friends, neighbors, and workforce all know about this goal. He is motivated to show people it can be done.  All we need to do now is build the support system behind him and put the planning in place. This is what will make it happen.  Showing it can be done is a powerful driver for my client; everything else is just following the script.  

The following five steps can help you set and achieve your big business goals:

  • Think big, and start with the end in mind: Nothing is too unreasonable or too unrealistic. A business goal, or even a life goal, should be seemingly out of reach, but with considerable effort – reachable. Don’t be afraid to set outrageous goals, saying them out loud or writing them down simply confirms your commitment to making them happen.
  • Connect your business goals to your personal happiness: Look at how your business goals affect your personal happiness. You need to understand how you’ll reach your goal, and what wealth it will bring you – both monetary and personally. This way, you will be invested in achieving your goal practically and emotionally
  • Create a plan detailing how you will achieve your goals: While you may know exactly what it is that has be done to reach your goals, it’s still important to specify the steps and actions you are going to take to get you there. Include timeframes to keep you track.  This will ensure your goals never seem out of reach, but are only a matter of small steps to be conquered.
  • Identify roadblocks and plan alternative routes: If you can figure out what’s getting in your way, then you are halfway towards removing the obstacle. More often than not, it is our own self-doubt that gets in our way. Get rid of your self-doubt by referring to your plan regularly and taking small steps to keep on track
  • .Continually remind yourself of your goals. Write them down and continually refer to them. Don’t keep your goals to yourself; share them with friends, family and your team. By making your goals well known to those around you, you’re ensuring that you don’t delude or cheat yourself – and you have something to prove. You are also giving the people around you an opportunity to support you and help keep you on track.

What big goal excites you? Be courageous – share it, plan for it and make it happen. The rewards will be worth it.

Colin Clapp, AKA ‘The Accountable Guy’, is a professional speaker and the Chief Thinking Officer at Accountable Business Progress. His team helps to turn good businesses into great companies. www.accountable.co.nz