Much has been written about achieving your goals. For the Solo Entrepreneur, pursuing goals can be an even bigger challenge than most. The very independence that appeals to Solo-E’s often leads to an extremely full plate. The weekly 168 hours is not enough to do everything on the list, to say nothing of pursuing goals. Stop for a minute and consider what could be different.
1. What Are My Goals? This sounds simple, but the answer can hinder your progress if not related to values and stated very specifically and written down.
VALUES Goals reflect your values and what’s important to you. For each goal, make a clear link to one of your values. Some common values are achievement, balance, commitment, honesty, self-respect, and risk-taking (there are many more). Therefore, you must know your core vales FIRST, and then see how your goals relate to them.
SPECIFIC The more specific you are about your goals the more likely they will be achieved. A goal of “more money” is not specific enough. How much money? Name an amount, for example “$10,000 each month”. A goal of “more clients” can be more specific. For example, “20 new clients within 3 months” is clearer.
WRITTEN Another simple guideline that is regularly ignored. The value of getting goals out of your head and onto paper cannot be underestimated. Don’t think about this one, just do it!
2. How Will I Get There? Consider these two important elements; a plan and an attitude.
For the plan, create a written document. It should be no longer than one page. The format that I recommend includes answers to the following: A. What is the goal? (relate to values) B. What are the alternatives? C. What are the action steps? D. What could get in the way? E. What will I do and by when? On a regular basis, plan to review it and update it when needed.
For the attitude, adopt an optimistic outlook and be open to surprises. Since even the most well-written plans have unexpected outcomes, stay flexible and open to opportunities while working your plan.
3. What If I Don’t Have Time? This is the most common complaint. A CALENDAR MAKEOVER is the way to create time. Look at your calendar for the past week. Identify something that was “Urgent but not Important”. Here is an opportunity to delegate to someone else, automate it with a system, negotiate for a different outcome, or just eliminate it. Now, think through last week and identify time wasters such as web or TV channel surfing, chatting on the telephone, or any activity that you did instead of your “to do” list. Most people can free up at least 2 hours/week or 8 hours/month with a rigorous calendar makeover. Imagine what could happen if this time were spent on your goals!
4. What Gets In The Way? Excuses for not taking action such as “being too old” or “too late to start”. Sam Walton built the first Wal-Mart at age 43. Many people use previous rejection as a big barrier because they fear failure. The bestseller “Chicken Soup For The Soul” was rejected by over 33 publishers. What gets in your way? Identify it upfront and decide what to do to address it.
TIMELY TIPS — Write it Down
— Pick a Partner
— Get Very Specific
— Create a Visual Cue
— Practice Saying “NO”
— Practice Self-Care
— Be Willing to Try Again
— Celebrate Milestones
Copyright 2004, Charlotte Farrior
Charlotte Farrior of Coaching Connection (http://www.corporatecoaching101.com) and Founder/Team Member of Solo-E (http://www.Solo-E.com) is a corporate and professional coach. She works with professionals, entrepreneurs, directors, and executives to define and achieve the personal and business goals they set for themselves. She coaches in the areas of goal setting, skill development, priority management and career transitions.