When it comes to setting and managing goals, most of us have considerable room for improvement. Here are three common goal-setting mistakes which people commonly make.
The first is confusing good intentions with goals . To be motivating, goals need a good intention behind them. But good intentions are not goals. A good intention is to lose weight. A goal is to lose ten pounds in the next 60 days by exercising four days a week.
Second is having too many goals, so that it’s difficult to stay focused on all of them or the sheer number of goals and the effort they demand leave you feeling overwhelmed.
The third is failing to group goals by categories, so that we keep goals for our personal life separate from goals for our business life. When we categorize goals properly, we can then focus only on those goals which relate to context in which we find ourselves at a given moment. That is, we focus on professional goals at work, family goals at home, and personal development goals in our private time.
Business success is built on dreams, but dreams alone never built a business. While businesses always start with dreams, they succeed only through execution of goals and plans. Dreams are aspirations. They are statements of our good intentions. But good intentions alone are never enough. If they were, we would always succeed at what we do, because we always start with the best of intentions.
This is why solid goals, good plans, and stellar execution are essential. Goals and plans are the bridge between intentions and execution. And success hinges on execution. A mediocre plan, executed well, will achieve more than an outstanding plan executed poorly.
Without a history of sales, a new company has little data with which to forecast potential income. It’s challenging, therefore, to know if revenue projections are realistic. To help resolve this issue, I’ve developed a proprietary Revenue Goal Feasibility Tool. It’s specifically designed for businesses which have one or two owners and which receive their income primarily from services which at least one of the owners delivers. Businesses which market both products and services can also use the tool for establishing realistic revenue goals for the service side of the business.
People generally have a highly inflated picture of small business revenues and profitability. Now, if this is true for people in general, it’s safe to assume that encore entrepreneurs may slip into similar miscalculations. They can easily launch a startup with unrealistic expectations, both in terms of income or of the work required to reach that income level.
Are you enthusiastic about your startup? Great! Great, that is, if you don’t let it get you in trouble! Any entrepreneurial undertaking is risky enough without compounding the risk by letting your enthusiasm lead you into assumptions that are less than judicious.