Have you started thinking about 2014 yet? Have you started thinking about how much money you want to make? How many new customers you want? Sales volume? Goal setting is complex and should never be done alone.
Let's deal with the aloneness thing first. When I suggest that you shouldn't set goals alone, I mean three things.
- Literally, alone. Human beings have a tendency to overestimate what they can do. They plan for success and don't anticipate and plan for all the things that can go wrong. We also have a tendency to set lower goals than we could to more likely assure success. We'd rather surpass than just miss. We're also likely to give in to our logic if no one else is challenging it.
- Alone with vested others. Our spouses, business partners, board, employees, employers and even our bankers, lawyers and CPA's have a vested interest in you and with that vested interest comes there own agenda. It's important to take their needs into consideration, but ultimately, they're your goals and you are the one that will need to make them happen and you want to be sure that they're not being affected by yes men or people that would rather have you working on their goals.
- Hire someone. Someone who will ask you, "Why?" and, "How?" and be experienced enough to dig down and make you defend and potentially question yourself.
Several years ago, I had a conversation with an up-and-comer. He was contemplating taking and investor's money, but was concerned that the investor might lose interest after a short time and shut the business down. I asked how much did he need to sell in the next 30 days in order to stave off the investor. He replied $15K. I said, let's do it. Just tell the investor that you need 30 days to get your ducks in a row. He got that $15K and never had to take that investor's money.
Three years later, the up-and-comer told one of his customers that they needed my help. This customer wanted to get his retainer business to $20K/month. He was currently at $3,500. I asked a lot of questions to make sure that we agreed how he would spend the money and that he had personally compelling reasons to change. We started. His sales were $7,000 in month one, $14,000 in month two and $19,800 in month three.
Now, you might think that I'm telling you how wonderful I am, but when I read this comment by Pete Caputa, (Sorry, Hubspot replaced the article with a sales pitch.) I was reminded that (unlike George Costanza), it's not about me, it's about them. They had the personally compelling reason to change. All I had to do was help them find it and focus on it. Then show them how to get there. Interestingly, when you find it and focus, it doesn't take forever.
Is 2014 your year to be a rock star? Want my help?