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The Importance of Goal Setting in Business

This week we talk about the importance of setting goals in business. We use a real-life example to bring SMART goals to life so you know exactly why goal setting is the heart of your business.

This isn't some boring discussion about goals. This is how my parents went into overdrive once they got specific about selling their house. Yeah, a real-life example, to help you frame and see the importance goals have in life and in business.

WCB Podcast Goals Series:

Who You Are Is The Heart Of Your Business Path

How to Harness Your Ideas to Reach Your Goals

How to Prioritize Your Business Goals

the crazy simple sweet spot to reach your goals women conquer business

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Do your ideas seem fuzzy? Can't get initiatives off the ground? It might be your goals. Learn the importance of goal setting in business. #business #goals

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Presented By Jen McFarland

Jen McFarland CEO Women Conquer Business Portland OR

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Transcript: The Importance of Goal Setting in Business

[00:00:00] Jen: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Women Conquer Business podcast. I'm your host, Jen McFarland. On this week's show, we continue our conversation around goals. Last week, we talked about how to harness all of those ideas so you can reach your goals, but this week we talk more about the importance of setting goals in the first place.

Show Intro

What goals are and how come being specific is so important. All that and more here on Women Conquer business. Welcome to Women Conquer Business. My name is Jen McFarland. This podcast is for smart, serious business owners, tired of the senseless chatter about growing a business. If you don't want to hear any more, get rich quick, too good to be true nonsense, you've come to the right place. You'll learn why mindset is everything, as well as strategies for sustainable business growth and how to implement it.

Along with the secrets I learned leading large-scale business projects that also apply to five and six figure businesses. Are you ready? Let's go [00:01:00] forth and conquer. 

What Happens When You Have Fuzzy Goals? Nothing.

Hey, welcome back to Women Conquer Business. Before we dive in too deeply into goals, I thought I would just start off with what I've been up to. I just got back from a trip to Idaho to visit my parents. I was helping them move. They did some things that I've just never seen them do in my entire lifetime.

My mom had been talking about moving for years. Like, before 2009; and they never moved. They never moved.  it just never was the right time, or my dad didn't want to do it. It just never happened. And then.  right before Thanksgiving, they decided, well, why don't we call a realtor and we'll find out how much we would get for our house if we actually did decide to sell the house.

Sometimes Goal-Setting Starts with a Simple Question

And the realtor came back and they were floored by the amount in a good way, and they [00:02:00] decided that it was time to sell. So they spent all this time getting ready from about Thanksgiving time to Christmas, and in that time, they not only got the house fixed up. Sold the house and bought another house all within like a week of the house going on the market.

And then right off the first of the year where it is now, the beginning of 2020 my brother and I race over there and help them get out of their old house and into their new house.

And that in a nutshell, is why business goals are so important. And let me explain why. How many times, whether it's in business or in life, have you said, gosh, I really want to do something.

Goal-Setting Needs to Be Specific

I wanna make more money. Who doesn't want to make more money? The problem with saying, I want to make more money or I want to sell my house is it's not specific. It's not saying I want to sell my house by this date, [00:03:00] nor is it saying I want to sell my house and have a new one by this date saying I want to have more money is the same thing.

You're not saying how much money by what date or even what more means, you know? It could be, am I going to cut from my budget, which will make it seem like I've made more money, or do I actually want more clients, more invoicing. More money coming in through the front door because there are a lot of different ways that you can make money.

So what happened was my parents decided to take action and they asked a simple question. If we were to sell this house, how much money could we potentially make? What they got back was a specific response that was measurable and attainable and relevant and time-based. The realtor came back and said. I can sell your house for X amount of dollars.

Goal-Setting Needs to Be Measurable

You can measure it because it's quantifiable. This is how much money you're going to make. It's attainable because the [00:04:00] realtor showed them, specs of like all of the other houses in the area and said. Your house is comparable to these other comps. And we think that we can sell it in that timeframe for that amount of money.

Goal-Setting Needs To Be Relevant

It's relevant because my parents have always wanted to move, and here's somebody telling them that they can in fact sell their house, which would require them moving. and it's aligned with what their vision was for themselves, which is to get into a new house. And it's time-based. It's saying if you put your house on the market now.

Goal-Setting Needs To Be Time-Bound

Not in a year or not the year before. If you put your house on the market now, this is how much money that you're going to make and that my friends is when people talk about these fuzzy things like SMART goal, we just ran through it. When it comes to selling a house, the same thing is true when you are working on defining goals for your business.

The importance of setting business goals is that very thing. When [00:05:00] you're your own boss, you're like, ah, you know, I don't really want to, commit to anything. You know, you're afraid that if you say, I'm going to make $50,000 this year, that if you don't make it, you're going to see it as some big failure or some other nonsense.

Goal-Setting Focuses You

Right. The importance of setting business goals is it means that you are focusing your attention on a specific outcome. When my parents were saying, we just want to move, it's like, okay, well where do you want to move? Do you wanna move to Portland? Do you want to move to Boise? Do you want to live in Meridian?

Like what? Where do you want to live? Like there's no way you could focus your attention on that if you don't know how much you can sell your house for, it's not really measurable. So what you need to do when you think about the importance of business goals is you're giving yourself a focus. You're giving yourself a focus on how long it's going to take you to do something.

How much, how you're going to measure it, how you're going to be [00:06:00] defined and whether or not it's in alignment with your business mission. See, last week when we talked about ideas, we talked about all these different ideas that can be going on that may or may not. Be in alignment with your mission. A may or may not be tied to your goals.

See, the importance of setting up goals that are SMART goals is that you're also paying attention to whether or not it's a mission based decision making tool that will further your mission will help you stay relevant and achieving things in the right way on the right schedule. Like if you say, I just want to make more money.

"The Future" Isn't Specific Enough

I mean, that could be it sometime in the future. Anytime in the future does not even specific enough so you don't really know what target you're going after. Now the thing about these goals is they also need to be attainable. One of the problems that many people I think get into is, well, I'm going to make [00:07:00] $100,000 in my first year of business when they've never had a business before, and.

They maybe don't have a product or a service or a program or you know, there's a lot of work that goes into setting up a business and everybody is selling these like six figure business scalability, launching. Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it attainable in the first year. It's kind of unlikely depending on what product you're in.

We Need to See Progress to Keep Going

I don't say this to discourage you. I'm actually saying this to encourage you. It means set, measurable and attainable goals, and if it doesn't seem like it is attainable, then set a smaller goal in the interim, because humans are funny creatures. We need to see progress, and if it's always some unattainable goal, it's easy to lose focus.

It's easy to get discouraged. It's easy to start going after shiny objects, which are her right in front of you and seem much [00:08:00] more attainable than something far off into the distant future. They also need to be time-based. They need to have a deadline. And that was actually one of the biggest things when it came to my parents moving, right?

Like it was always this fuzzy, like, we want to sell the house. Well, I mean, that's somewhat specific, right? But it wasn't really time-based. It could be like any time. And a lot of times we set goals up and we're kind of just flying by the seat of our pants. If we don't set a timeline. For something that's attainable, then you're kind of letting yourself off the hook.

And again, this is about making sure that you have focus, because goals are what triggers your behavior. Goals are what gives you focus. Goals are what helps you understand what momentum looks like, and then maintain and sustain that momentum over a long haul. Because one of the things that . [00:09:00] I've talked about over and over and over again is consistency is one of the biggest keys to your success.

Goals Trigger Behavior, Behavior Triggers Consistency

Consistency is one of the ways that you will make sure that you are setting the proper goals, because you're going to know if you're not following up on your goals. Consistency is what builds impact, success, legacy, and mastery. You know, you set up goals and it's something you maybe haven't done before or it's something just a little bit outside of your comfort zone.

So it needs to be something attainable. It needs to be time-based. It has to have a deadline. And I will tell you, my parents like backed themselves up into a deadline when they sold their house because they, they sold the house much quicker than they had anticipated, which meant that then they had to really speed up the home buying process and then try to sync that up, which was part of why.

we needed to come over to [00:10:00] Idaho to help them move, which is great because when the deadlines change, guess what? In business, that's when we collaborate. When things change, we need to have people that we rely on. We need to have our partners and colleagues who have our back service providers who will help us.

You Always Need to Collaborate

It's good to keep people in the loop because if they know that there's a goal, if they know that there's a deadline in the first place, then if something changes. They're more able to be agile and shift along with you. If people don't know, then it's really hard. It's really hard for people to shift with you and collaborate with you if they're not aware of some of your bigger goals.

So say you have an event, but something happens with the venue and you need to change the event day and time. While it's good, if you need a lot of help with the event that you kind of keep everybody in the loop on all of that so they can shift with you and help you. Which I hope that doesn't happen.

Cause when event venues change, that's a very difficult [00:11:00] thing to overcome. You see the difference between a dream and a goal has a lot to do with things like planning and deadlines. See goals are dreams with deadlines. I can't remember where I read that. I think it's a really cool quote. the more clear you can be about what it is that your goals are, the clearer the focus.

Then you know exactly what you should be working on. You know exactly what programs, what projects, what it is that will drive you toward that goal. And if you don't know, then work with somebody like me who can help guide you through the process of ensuring that your goals are aligned with your mission and your projects and programs and products that you're offering are in alignment with your goals.

Alignment is Still Important

That's. Like that's the key to any sort of successful launch or project planning is looking for that alignment and then getting laser clear and [00:12:00] focused on what's important. See, goals are like essential and the heart of every business. That's the importance of goals is that they are actually what helps you with your internal and external clock when it comes to your business. It gives you clarity around decision making. It helps you control the future. It keeps you from overspending, on the wrong things and underspending on the things you need to focus your attention or time or money or resources on.

And it motivates you. That's the importance of having attainable goals is if you have too high of a bar to get over, sometimes it's unreachable and it actually demotivates you and keeps you from actually going after those goals. Where a sensible goal, an attainable goal should be motivating you every day.

It needs to be something that you look at every single day and you're like, yep, I'm getting closer to that. Yup. I'm getting closer [00:13:00] to that. This is what we're talking about. That's why sometimes setting up that six figure income as a goal, it may not be attainable. And hence, if you give up on it, then it's really not providing you with the adequate motivation.

Goal-Setting Increases Motivation

Adequate motivation might be to look at last year's income, or if you're doing new business, look at other people who are comparable to you and maybe interview people and find out what is reasonable for the first, second, third year in your industry. Because goals are intended to be motivating. They're intended to give you some satisfaction.

They're intended to give you that sense of purpose and in fact, reinforce that mission and that vision that you have for your business. Anything less, and it's going to do quite the opposite.

And I want you out there motivated and achieving your goals so that together we can make the world a better place. Please join me next week as we continue diving deep into goals. Because [00:14:00] as you know, goals are different than resolutions. Most new year's resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, but for your business to succeed, goals need to be a core concept that you've embraced.

Talk to you next week.

Show Outro

Thank you for listening to the Women Conquer Business podcast. If you're wondering what's next, here are a few suggestions. If you love the show, be sure to subscribe. If you want to follow me on social media, you can find women conquer business on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. And finally, if the episode today brought something up for you and you need to talk, email me at hello@jenmcfarland.com The Women Conquer Business podcast is written and produced by Jen McFarland and Foster Growth LLC in beautiful Southeast Portland, Oregon. Thanks again for listening. [00:15:00]

About the author

Hi! I'm Jen! I have over 25 years of training, teaching, and executive experience in leadership, strategic project planning, and digital marketing. Today, I am the founder of Women Conquer Business, a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community build sustainable businesses. I'm a frequent guest speaker and trainer. Get access to my free business growth accelerator and hang out with me on my weekly women in business podcast, Women Conquer Business.

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